Give Her Some Credit by Joe Giordano

Jennifer is glad her daughter is finally financially independent... by Joe Giordano.

"How does your daughter enjoy receiving a paycheck?" Hairdresser Emma clipped Jennifer's brunette bob.

"We like it more."

Emma's scissors snipped. "I get it. She's no longer your financial obligation."

Jennifer sighed. "Cara graduated without student debt, but it wasn't easy. The day she matriculated at the University of Texas, we cut our credit cards in two. Cash-only disciplined our spending. I can count on one hand the number of times Ted and I ate out in the last four years. Vacations? Forget about it."

Emma said, "You two lived like a cloistered religious order. We insisted our William work while in school. Bill Sr. told him, 'Nobody will roll you over in bed and stuff a hundred dollar bill inside your pyjamas pocket.'"

"Cara majored in computer science and the curriculum was gruelling. We didn't want her distracted. Her job was to graduate. Ours was to foot the bill."

"Cara's done well?"

Jennifer smiled. "Google gave her a signing bonus. She's attending their training program in Dallas. As NASA would say, 'We have liftoff.'"

"Will Cara be home for Christmas?"

"If work allows. I'm speaking with her later today."

Cara and Jennifer connected on a Facetime call.

Cara's brow furrowed. "Mom, who did your hair?"

"You don't like it?"

"It's okay. I go to Vidal Sassoon in Fort Worth."

Jennifer smiled. "Your hair's lovely. How's the job going?"

Cara beamed. "Terrific. I met lots of new friends. We're together every weekend."

"What about Christmas?"

"My boss will advance me a few days of vacation. I'm coming home."


"I can't wait to show you my new car."

"You traded in my old Taurus? What did you buy?"

"A canary-yellow Porsche 911 Carrera."

"Oh. My goodness."

"It's a rocket. I turn heads."

"Your signing bonus was that large? Did you set aside any money for Google's 401K plan?"

Cara's face turned serious. "Mom, I'm twenty-one, a financially independent woman. I make my own decisions."

"Of course. I was just wondering... Never mind. Your father and I want to visit Dallas after the first of the year to see where you're living."

"I have a duplex apartment in Luxor Heights. Twentieth floor. You'll love the view."

"Wow. You're moving fast. I'm not sure your Dad and I can keep up."

"So much is happening. I can't wait to tell you."

"Suddenly my daughter has transformed into a mature woman. I'm so proud. When you were a child, we knew what to buy you for Christmas. You'd squeal with delight over a new doll or a blouse. What could we possibly give to the sophisticated young businesswoman who has everything?"

"Well. You know, I have an idea."

"Tell me."

"Perhaps, you won't consider it a festive enough present."

"Honey, if you need something, tell me."

"How would you and Dad feel about paying off my credit card debt?"


  1. Kids, huh? A humorous piece of flash fiction - I never expected that ending!

  2. I also did not expect that ending, it went right against the flow. Excellent!
    there´s also a moral in there somewhere!
    Mike McC

  3. Thanks for reading and thanks to FOTW for publishing my piece. Please check out my website


  4. As someone with no children, but three niblings I can understand it all too well.

  5. Clever and fun with a surprise twist ... very surprising for Mom and Pop!

  6. As Madonna used to say "I'm a material girl." Entertaining.

  7. During my years as a gray-haired undergraduate attending the University of Texas in Austin, I observed a slice of today’s up and coming generation. My experience inspired a few short stories. Here are three that have been previously published:

    “Saved by the Bell”

    “The Price of Fame”

    “You Can’t Give it Away”

  8. I have twin girls, I think I've had this very nightmare in duplicate! ;) Fun flash fiction.

  9. I love the way that, except for a few phrases, the whole thing evolves in dialogue. I like stories told in dialogue -- conversation is how we normally communicate.

  10. An all-too-familiar tale of parents who tie themselves permanently to the upkeep and self aggrandizement of their progeny. The lament, “Mom, I’ve twenty-one, a financially-independent woman,” rings predictably hollow. Eventually, Cara will be borrowing on her parents’ pre-paid funeral plans. Very well told, Joe.