My granddaughter (MZ), a high school junior, dropped into our kitchen unannounced on a Monday evening, full of life and energy as only that age is. The dropping-in is normal since we are neighbors and our back yards run together. We chatted and I asked how her weekend had been. The following dialogue ensued.
Me: So did you have a good Saturday? What did you do?
MZ: April and I went to the mall. And, oh Grandma, it was tragic! Just plain TRAGIC!
I’m calling to mind the dictionary definition: causing extreme distress or sorrow.
I’m visualizing a horrific accident.
I’m trying to make connections, didn’t she just say she went to the mall with her friend? I didn’t hear anything tragic in the news.
Me: Tragic? What do you mean tragic? What happened?
Well, according to MZ, it is tragic when you are at the mall where there are great sales and you have only $10 in your pocket.
Me, laughing: Oh, MZ! That $10 is mad money.
It was MZ’s turn to be puzzled. I could tell by the way she tilted her head slightly and looked at me from under her brows.
MZ: What’s mad money?
So, I told MZ that her great-grandmother (my mother-in-law) was the first to tell me about mad money when I was still a bride, still getting used to my new name–Alice Nine.
Mad money is money you have in your pocket. It’s just enough so you aren’t penniless but not enough to buy anything you really want. And it drives you mad. Hence, mad money.
In 2005, Mad Money, an American finance television program, was created.
Hmm! We were using that expression years before; little did we know we had such a marketable expression.
In 2004, Alice Nine, a Japanese visual kei rock band, was formed.
Hmm! I paid taxes, bought property, signed birth certificates, got a driver’s license and passport with the name Alice Nine years before it was formed.
In 2015, the Alice Nine band shortened its name to A9.
Hmm! Through the years, I’ve initialed hundreds of documents and probably thousands of student papers with my initials A9.
So, just for the record, I am the real Alice Nine (aka A9) with the real mad money in my pocket.
Do you want to set the record straight on something, perhaps your name? If you do, be sure to share it with me.
A special thanks to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, Beth, Kathleen, and Deb for a place at Two Writing Teachers where teachers and others can share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year and every day during the month of March.