Some kids in my neighborhood have commenced with another true rite of summer: the lemonade stand.
It’s quite a production. Card table, sign, various chairs in case they get tired of standing. Also, a boom box, for mood music. Very cool. We first saw their setup on Friday night, on our way out, and of course we stopped to make a purchase. Seventy-five cents a glass, pink lemonade, in cool pastel colored plastic cups. Bonus! Since then, they’ve been set up a few more times. As you approach, they’re standing around, sometimes tossing a ball back and forth: but when you get closer, they grab the sign and start jumping up and down. I bought another glass yesterday, but one a day is my limit. Each time I’ve given them a dollar they’ve begun to rush to make change before I tell them to keep it. It’s just a quarter, right? But I remember my own lemonade stands, and making change was actually one of the fun parts. So maybe next time I should take the change, THEN give it to them? Hmmmm.
The sad thing about this stand is that this is a very small rural neighborhood, not a lot of traffic. Plus we’re on a dead end road, so it’s the same people coming in and out all day. When I was a kid, we had our stands at the entrance to the subdivision, which is pretty big, lots of cars passing and people cutting through. The flip side was when I had a stand up in Cape Cod in front of my grandmother’s house, also a dead end road, NO ONE coming past, maybe three cars a day. So pathetic. My grandmother would always come out and buy a glass, and my mom, but mostly I’d just there in the sun before drinking it all myself and packing up to go home. So sad.
A few years back, we had a big family celebration in Cape Cod and my little cousins had a lemonade stand. It was pretty fancy, with a hand painted sign and everything. It said something like, $1.00 A Glass! which had then been crossed out, marked down to fifty cents. One of the parents was standing nearby, and I said, “Already a markdown, huh?” He smiled and told me that they’d intended to have it at fifty cents all along, that pretending it was marked down was a sales technique, people always buy more when they think they’re getting a bargain. Guess what business he was in? Yeah. Retail. This explains how I can never control myself on the Gap clearance rack, right? I am so easily played. I bought lemonade that day, too. More than one! Such a sucker.