Character Building Moments ™ of your ute.

Walking to school in the cool fall mornings, I begged and cried and whined for my mom to let me wear a coat, sweater or poncho.

“You will be hot by the end of the day and then forget your jacket and I’ll have to buy you a new one because you’ve lost it and we aren’t made of money, y’know.. Just wrap your arms around you or walk faster to keep you warm.”

She was right.

I would have lost the jacket and we weren’t made of money.

But what does this have to do with utes?

Ute is a slang word in my world ( from My Cousin Vinnie) It means “youth”

Doesn’t everyone have access to my gray matter? :dubious:

But now, thanks to Google ads, you know where to purchase a nice, toasty warm coat online. Just don’t lose it.

I don’t remember my parents ever telling me I couldn’t wear a jacket, but I didn’t usually lose them. When I was in about second grade, I had a spiffy rainbow-colored poncho. I wore it for my school picture.

I didn’t have many character-building moments, but I turned out to be a character, anyway. :stuck_out_tongue:

Cheeez, Shirley, that’s a terrible story. It was character building only if you learned to tolerate the cold so well that you grew up to be an Arctic explorer or something.

My story involves a nice parent. When I was eight or so, my dad made me a bracelet from a tin strip and plastic lacing. The bracelet was red and white checked with my initials in red. I took it to summer camp and had it on when we went on a hike down a shallow but fast-running river. I decided to see if the bracelet would float. It didn’t. And it was swept away by the fast current. I was heart-broken but learned an important lesson: THINK BEFORE ACTING.
That lesson really has kept me from doing a lot of stupid things.

Well, I was about 18 when I lost my rent money gambling at a county fair.
Does that count?
The nice shyster running the booth did give me a stuffed jackass-ok, he called it a donkey but I knew what it really represented.
Taught me that 1) if something seems too good to be true-it most likely is; 2) nobody is in business to give you free money; and 3) greed easily overcomes common sense.

dammit. You’ve spoiled my quip by explaining it.

I’m gonna use it anyway.

*Uh… did you say “utes”? *

I think by “character building” the OP means “painful” rather than “instructive.”

My mom never bought us expensive clothes. We begged and begged and begged for a Benneton rugby shirt or a Swatch or a GUESS bag (I just stamped my age on my forehead, didn’t I?) but Mom looked at the price tag and told us no way, no how. My entire wardrobe growing up came from Sears, K-mart, and Target. And everybody at school knew it, too. I got no end of crap. (K-mart’s store-brand name for jeans was ‘Favorite.’ Didja know that? I didn’t know that, until everybody in the sixth grade started calling me ‘Favorite Jeans.’ Took me a while to figure it out, too, because I didn’t read the labels anyone’s jeans, including my own.)

I don’t know if the Right Clothes[sup]TM[/sup] would have made that much of a difference, though, and I never got wrapped up in the whole designer-clothes mentality, so I guess I have Mom to thank for that. But I am still trying to recalibrate my clothes-buying instincts.

Good investment: a $60 pair of pants that are well-made and fit well.

Bad investment: $20 pair of pants that are just a tad too short and fit funny in the thighs and are made of cheesy fabric that shrinks the first time you wash it so that they just sit in the closet, but hey, they were only $20!

Oh yeah - I’ve got a coupla these.

My mom’s an excellent knitter - she’s been knitting since she was 12. She can knit you up a sweater using a photograph as a pattern. She’s good. She made me a sweater once when I was 8 or 9 - it had an apple tree on it and I loved it. I couldn’t wait to wear it; I begged and pleaded. She said no, you’ll just snag it. I promised I wouldn’t, that I’d be carefuller than careful, just pleeeeeease. She relented, I wore it and was delighted. Until I snagged it while playing. She didn’t make me another sweater until I was 21.

I was biking one day with my sister, and was coasting along the downside after a slight uphill climb. Next thing I know, my foot slips off the pedal (I’m sure there was a reason, but damned if I know what it was) into the front tire and I’m over the handlebars on a date with the pavement. My sister helps me up, and I walk the bike the short remaining distance home, bruised, bleeding, broken, and crying. My mom takes one look at the bike and says, “You bent the rim.”

Character building, ha. I’m still a little bitter.

Rolling perfect 20s for an elf mage.

What? What?

I learned this one by paying back, out of my $2/week allowance, the cost of my lost jacket. Man was that a crappy 7 months.

The first year I went out for Little League I was cut. CUT! And I wasn’t traumatized for life or anything. Just worked my ass off doubly hard the next year. :wink:

How in the world (any world) did you manage to roll 20s with 3d6?

What did she want you to do with the sweater? Frame it?

When I was in fifth grade (age ten or eleven, I guess), I was in the fifth-grade spelling bee. I had won it in the fourth grade. It came down to me and one other kid.

We had a substitute teacher that day, and she was running the contest. It was my turn. She gave me the word:

“Alley,” she said.

I didn’t need to ask her for a definition, or to use it in a sentence, or any of that. I stood up. “Alley. A-L-L-E-Y. Alley.” I sat down, relieved to have gotten an easy word.

“Wrong,” she said.

“What?” I asked, as my jaw hit the floor. “Could you use it in a sentence, please?”

She said (I am not making this up), “In World War Two, the Russians were our alleys.”

Yep. She was mispronouncing “ally.” I protested, to no avail. Being only a kid and not knowing any better, I didn’t complain up the ladder about the incompetent substitute. I lost the spelling bee.

Yeah, I’m still bitter.

The lesson: Being right doesn’t matter when an idiot is in charge.

that was basically going to be my question

That’s what I’m wondering. Why would she knit a sweater for her kid and then say ‘you can’t wear it’?

I don’t know if this qualifies
8th grade - developed crush on boy i was tutoring in science - and (wow!) he liked me back - he invited me to a movie (his mom had to drive but anyway) we went to see Soylent Green (I let him pick - last time that ever happened)
after the movie we went to the concession stand and the counter girl asked me if I wanted anything. I went into a mini rant (along the lines of) “Are you kidding me? I just saw Soylent Green! I may never eat again!” (even tho I was rather hungry) and so on.
Boyfriend ordered 2 hotdogs and looked at me. I tried to shrink myself down to elf size and said “um, yeah, I’ll take one, also”:smack:
I usually eat before the movies now…:dubious:

My biggest character builder was when I failed history for being a clown and a smart-ass. The teacher, a Mr. Ferrigno (no, not big Lou) was a real nice guy, but he expected us to pay attention, or at least not be disruptive. To make a long story short, I clowned one time too many, after repeated warnings. He then told me I had just failed the class, and explained why. It was my first realization that just being a kid won’t protect me from the repercussions of my own actions. It was a very educational day, in a very real sense. It was like “damn, I am being held reponsible for something”, after a lifetime of skating. I learned that magic word - Accountability.

Back when we lived in Vancouver, there was a steep hill behind our house, which my friends and I dared each other to skate down. It was way too steep for a bunch of fourth graders (the incline was about 45 degrees, I kid you not), but one day I strapped on my blades and inched over the top, picked up speed, and suddenly swerved to the right and skated crotch-first into a lamppost (contrary to popular belief, this is painful for girls too) and crashed into a cluster of garbage cans, thoroughly scraping up every inch of my arms. Not one to give up easily, I hobbled back to the top of the hill and did it again :smack: I learned that day to evaluate the damn consequences before I act. And to avoid taking stupid risks for inconsequential rewards.