It was the spring of 1990. I was just completing my freshman year of high school. Like most fans of basketball, I idolized Michael Jordan. Up to that point in my life, I'd never worn a pair of 'Air Jordan' athletic shoes. Like most families, mine simply couldn't afford to drop that much money on one pair of shoes. But that summer changed everything. It was the summer I earned enough money to buy horribly expensive shoes.


I simply had to have a pair of the new Jordans. One of the first jobs that I had as a kid was detasseling corn. It was a hot and tiring job, but for a kid who didn't have his license yet, the options were few and far between. At the end of the summer, I'd earned a nice chunk of change. My parents made me put it in the bank to save for back to school items. I told them I wanted a specific pair of shoes. They asked me how much they cost. I told them. $175. My dad said no...and probably some other words I can't print here. But my mom told me that if I really thought I needed them, that I could buy them. But when my money was gone, I'd get no help from them on any other things I might still want or need. Did I buy the shoes? You bet I did! I wore those things for 3 years. I scrubbed the bottoms to keep them clean and in good shape. I'm not sure I got my money's worth, but I sure thought I did!

Looking back, I can't believe I ever spent that much on one item of clothing! I'm not sure I have the fortitude to let my kids buy something that expensive. Perhaps that was what my parents were trying to get across.