My friend Diane just put up a cute post about money and how she loves to find and keep coins. (I actually didn’t know that about her). It reminded me of the coin situation in our house growing up.
For some reason we never really thought much of coins thus, you could always find several coins laying around somewhere at our house. It used to drive me crazy when friends would come over and they’d say, “hey, a dime!” Usually, I would respond with “ah, who cares. You can keep it.” They would usually respond with a surprised and enthusiastic “thanks!” and then start looking for more. There was always change in the driveway, in the cars, on the floor, in the couch cushions (among other things). I’m not really sure where it came from either.
My dad was always the user of change. He had, and still has, this old fabric wallet. When my sister and I started going to my dad for money, we quickly learned the in’s and out’s of his wallet. Since there was no zipper, snap, or even velcro on it, you had to open it a certain way or all the change would fall out (that is, with the tag up…oh yeah, I still know.) He was the carrier of the cash. Later on we had to start checking with him before we took some change just to make sure we didn’t take the wrong quarter. (He’s one of those State quarter collectors). Several years back (probably after my sister and I stopped taking his change) he would empty his change into a big glass jar. I think he ended up collecting some $300….that never would have lasted with us kids in the house.
Then there’s my mom. She rarely carried cash. She was a check writer…luckily she’s mostly over that. If she did have cash, she’d never give exact change. Unless she was paying in change (like for those, “can we afford it” fast food stops) she never used even a penny even if the total was $5.01. The 99 cents would go straight to the bottom of her purse. She probably could have lightened her load by a couple of pounds if it weren’t for that change. Because of this, we always knew that if we wanted to take a trip to the old Rainbow General Store (AKA “the little store”), “I don’t have any money” was never a good enough reason to keep us from begging. On any given day you could probably dig up enough change from her purse to feed a family of 5 (well, back in those days anyway).
I’d say that I am neither like my mom or my dad. These days my dad will occasionally pick up a coin from the ground, usually to check to see what state quarter it is. I use cash on occasion but I faithfully use the coin pocket in my wallet…which has a zipper. Devin never carries coins and always unloads them on me so I guess I’m forced to use them. I usually don’t pick up coins. One reason is there is always that middle school kid who thought it would be funny to super glue a quarter to the floor and hide around the corner to see who tries to pick it up. (If you give it a little nudge with your foot it will save you the embarrassment when you bend over). However, I am not above checking every washer and dryer for returned coins after I found a quarter in the laundromat last week. Now that was a good day!