The Secret Life of a Clock Radio

Clock radioBack in January, my blog friend Luanne posted about her “Magical Music Box”. At the end, she asked if anyone else wanted to post about the secret life of an object. I filed it away as a fun topic for another day.

That day is today.

We grew up lower-middle-class in an upper-middle-class world. Although Pleasant Hill wasn’t the tony, $800K for a townhouse on a postage stamp foundation suburb it is today, it was slowly gentrifying. And, my sister and I went to private Catholic school. Lots of rich (to me, anyway), skinny, white kids. I was never good at blending in with all of that.

Anyway, one of the side effects of never having money was that I was always looking for ways to make some. When I was in grade school, I used to pet sit for our neighbors. In 5th grade, Denise and Henry took a vacation with their kids, leaving me to feed their dog, an Irish Setter named Rocky. I still remember the ginormous cans of disgusting smelling, gelatinous “meat.” For a week’s worth of feedings, I made $10.

My sister and I used to go grocery shopping at Gemco or K-Mart with my mom. The weekend after I was paid, I took my $10 with the intention of buying a digital clock radio. This was 1985. Everyone had a clock radio, including my best friend, Linda. But I did not. The options at my price point were slim. As I recall, there were really only one or two. So, I got the brown, fake wood model with the red digits.

Then, my sister pitched a fit because she didn’t get a clock radio. So my mom bought her a pink plastic jobber that was $15.

Way to show me that a tantrum, not actual work, was the key to getting what one wants, Mom.

I have no idea if that pink clock radio still exists. But I still have my $10 clock radio from 1985. It has moved with me countless times… the first being to Morewood D-Tower at Carnegie Mellon. At some point, I spilled some nail polish remover on it, so there’s a streak in the brown “wood.” Jackson uses it now.

I refuse to get rid of it. I suppose I see it as a small symbol of my independence.

Do you have anything that seems totally innocuous, but really holds a lot of meaning for you?

4 thoughts on “The Secret Life of a Clock Radio

  1. Pingback: Fall into Autumn | Luanne Castle's Writer Site

  2. Oh my gosh! Your Mom! She must have been having a bad day or something. Look how proud you were of yourself, though, and you still can be. Your sister never had tat. Wonderful secret life post!!! I added a link to your story to the end of my post today.

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