I love Spring.
The blisters on my tender ankles from new sandals. The bloat from too many pastel Easter candies. The amazing hairstyles resulting from gale force winds blowing in off Lake Michigan. I also enjoy never, ever being dressed appropriately: I bring the light jacket and freeze my ass off; I bring the fleece and sweat unbecomingly all over the neighborhood. (Where’s that black market deodorant guy when I need him?)
But, the very best part of Spring: the annual report from Parade detailing what people earn. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the report.
I wait all year for this. I just stole my neighbor’s copy (she’s out of town and a Venezuelan citizen so she’ll never know what she’s missing). I actually remember reading this 30 years ago. That I was an 8-year-old child interested in earnings might have been an early clue that my interests would border on peculiar and hover around bizarre.
Anyway, this year’s report is as illuminating as any of the preceding 29.
My favorite entry: Martin Wilay, chimney sweep, earns $35,000 annually. I didn’t even know chimney sweeps still existed. The best part is the accompanying photo of Mr. Wilay with a bona fide top hat as if he’s freaking Dick Van Dyke on the set of Mary Poppins.
Least favorite entry: Laura Gerson, mom/blogger, earns $0 annually. Way to offer me some inspiration, Parade.
There is a Dolly Parton impersonator who makes $60,000 annually in Torrence, California. Her boobs aren’t even that big.
It’s sobering to see some people have followed their dreams only to end up with an annual income of $0.00, like the guitar shop owner and the martial arts instructor. More heartening is that Sarah Palin now makes $1 million and Oprah makes $290 million.
Mostly, I always finish the report wondering why people like Michelle Groot (insurance analyst, $36,000 annually) and Dennis Salisbury (sporting goods store owner, $75,000 annually) agree to have this information published for a Sunday circular.