While many of my early childhood memories of Matthew display perhaps a tinge of older to younger sibling resentment, I can recall a few distinct preadolescent moments in which he decided to don the wise, protective, older brother hat. One such moment takes place at our old house in South River, during a yardsale held before we were meant to move out.
I was only four when we moved from our first house and was, therefore, unable to help out much with the yardsale. I was dying to do something to contribute, so my mother suggested I set up a lemonade stand. She, of course, made the lemonade (though, I'm sure she let me stir, so I felt I earned my profits). I knew nothing of money or the proper value of a glass of lemonade, but my mom suggested I price each glass at ¢25. I was four years old; the lemonade was powdered; it was 1992. Sounds about right.
I set up a folding table with a pitcher and some plastic cups. The shoebox in which I was to place my quarters sat neatly behind my display. Now, I just needed to make a sign to grab the costumers' attention. On a peice of posterboard, I drew a circle with a presidential silhouette in the middle. At least, in my mind, this is what I drew, though I'm sure my artistic skills at that age did not allow me to render much more than a somewhat circular blob.
Sales were fine, but I couldn't help feeling like I was doing an awful lot of work for very little pay. When I aired this grievance to my brother, he asked how much I was charging.
"Mom said to charge a quarter."
He took the posterboard down from the front of my stand and drew a rectangle around my presidential blob. Above this he wrote, "Lemonade $1." That's when the money started coming in. I guess people have a difficult time resisting an entrepreneurial preschooler, even if she's upcharging 400% for 8oz of powdered lemonade.