To you who’ve spent a lifetime quite content
To leave a tip of under ten percent,
Whose pleasure in fine wines cannot be beat
But only if they’re someone else’s treat,
Who’ll squeeze eleven pennies from a dime,
And reach to take the check – but not in time,
Although your parsimony may run deep,
It’s not too late to give up being cheap.

To you whose soap comes only from hotels,
Who fishes quarters out of wishing wells,
Who’ll cut the greenish parts away and eat
The far-too-long-expired deli meat,
Whose tube of toothpaste lasts and lasts and lasts,
Whose bargaining skills have never been surpassed,
While buying retail always makes you weep,
It’s not too late to give up being cheap.

I know you surreptitiously regift,
I know that you can teach the thrift shops thrift,
And that you lie in bed on the same sheet
You bought the year of Adlai’s first defeat.
But in this final segment, my old friend,
Forego tight-fistedness and start to spend,
And though your assets sink, your heart will leap.
It’s not too late to give up being cheap.

Source: From the book Unexpectedly Eighty, by Judith Viorst

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