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The Pizza Hut Incident of 1984 🍕

OK, time for a stroll down memory lane... While this isn't my earliest memory of money, it's one that
OK, time for a stroll down memory lane…
While this isn’t my earliest memory of money, it’s one that is memorable nevertheless.
See more below 👇
And thanks, as always, for reading.

"Why Didn't You Just Ask Helen?"
That’s what my Mom said after I told her the story.
Wait, let me back up a bit…
The year was 1984 (or close to it).
Mom had dropped my younger brother, Chip, and me off at Georgia Square Mall in Athens.
She had errands to run or some other place to be.
But that was OK with us, because we got to hang out at “The Mall.”
The food court, the arcade (ours was called “Time Out”), time to wander and be unsupervised for a while…
In ‘84, I was 13 and Chip was 8.
So Mom dropped us off, and probably gave us $20-25 for the arcade and lunch.
This was a few years back and I don’t remember every single detail, but I know we eventually sat down for lunch at Pizza Hut.
And we’re not there 5 minutes until an older woman walks over to our table. It was Helen Price, a neighbor and close friend from down the street.
I’d known her as long as I can remember.
Remembering Helen, I’m sure she made some wise-crack about us being up to no good. But she really just wanted to say hi.
So we order.
We eat our food.
And the bill comes.
Oh crap!
I check my pockets again. Chip is doing the same.
We don’t have enough cash to cover our lunch.
Now I don’t remember us being short by a lot, but short we were.
So after killing time and multiple drink refills, I finally break the news to our waiter.
The waiter tells us to hang on and walks off.
A couple minutes later, another guy walks over and introduces himself as the manager.
And I sheepishly told this very nice gentleman that we didn’t have enough money for our bill.
I remember him being very patient and understanding.
He asked when our Mom was picking us back up and I told him.
He said to not worry about it and just have my Mom come by when she came to pick us up and they’d take care of it.
He “released us” back into the relative comfort of the mall.
We were off the hook..
But now I have to tell my Mom about this.
And the first thing my Mom said was, “Why didn’t you just ask Helen?”
In hindsight, that’s a good question.
Was I too embarrassed? Too prideful? Something else?
I’m not sure.
But looking back I find it interesting that for some reason I already had some “money scripts” - or stories we tell ourselves about money - that I’d internalized.
At age 13.
For whatever reason, I wasn’t willing to approach a long-time friend - one that had already come over to say hi - and ask for a couple of bucks.
Why is that?
And why do you make money decisions the way you do?
What money stories, both positive and negative, do you unconsciously tell yourself every day?
It’s food for thought (yes, pun absolutely intended).
If you’ve visited this page on my website, you’ve gotten a glimpse into why the work I do is important to me.
But I had a recent opportunity to share my thoughts about why I became a financial advisor.
It’s about 5 minutes long if you want to give it a listen:
The Society of Advice Podcast | Why I choose to be a financial planner with Russ Thornton
I think the “why” behind our decisions and actions is crucially important (see the story above).
And while I’m no expert in this area, I enjoy the opportunity to explore this often uncharted territory with clients.
If this is a conversation you’d like to have, hit reply and let me know.
Retirement Thumbs Up 👍
When I saw this tweet, I had to learn more:
Yep, you read that right…
A “pro video gamer” was forced into retirement because of a thumb injury. 🤦‍♂️
If you’re curious like I was, here’s the full story:
Professional video-gamer, 25, hangs up controller over thumb injury
So for all of you out there with kids or grandkids who can’t separate themselves from their video games, make sure they’re taking good care of their thumbs.
Whether amateur or pro, an injured thumb could bring their video game career to an abrupt end.
What’s the strangest retirement story you’ve ever heard?
Hit reply and let me know.
Until next Wednesday,

Postscript: I have 278 blog posts currently published on my blog. Over the years, I’ve deleted some, combined others, and have some I’m working on for future publication. My oldest post currently on the site is dated September 15, 2011, and it’s about “questions to consider.” Click here to read it.

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Russ Thornton

I'm Russ, a financial advisor based in Atlanta, GA. My focus is retirement planning for women (and their families) who are 55+. Every Wednesday, I write an email letter with my thoughts and perspectives on retirement and its many related topics. And I might include some other ideas or interesting topics as well 😉

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Russ Thornton | Atlanta, GA | Disclosures: