I have an elaborate system for dealing with change. The pennies go into an empty whiskey bottle. When the bottle is full, it’s about $14.35 in pennies. I have a jar for dimes, and a jar for nickels. There’s a machine at the bank that counts it all and deposits the amount in an account.
I can’t say that $14.35 gets the same respect in that account that it got when I was putting it in the whiskey bottle a penny at a time, but it’s a system.
Quarters are more useful. Quarters mean laundry, and parking meter feed. Since I’m collecting state quarters a roll at a time, there’s a jar for all the state quarters that I don’t have a roll of yet.
The state quarters that I already have a roll of, go into the ceramic wishing well.
When I was a little boy, decades ago, my grandma and grandpa had this ceramic wishing well on a doily on an end table in their living room. They put money in it. Whenever we would visit, they allowed me to raid the wishing well. I’d go down to the little corner grocery store and get Popsicles and comic books and bubble gum and balsawood airplanes that were powered by rubber bands. After grandma and grandpa passed away, decades ago, somehow I ended up with the wishing well.
When there are enough quarters in the wishing well, they go for laundry.
The normal quarters with eagles on the back side go into a butter tub, or a margarine tub, or whatever that stuff was that I ate, down on the third shelf. Those are for laundry. Or parking. Or casinos.
Sometimes there are things that come out of my pockets that I have no idea what to do with, so they stay on the bookshelf, sometimes for years. They become souvenirs. I have two souvenirs to tell you about.
One is a receipt from a sporting goods store. The date on the receipt is September 2, 2007. That tells me when it was that I did this thing. It also happens to be about six weeks before she decided she didn’t want to see me any more.
The amount on the receipt is 536 dollars. I think that means that on September 2, 2007, I bought her a bicycle. Now the reason I did that was because she wanted a bicycle, and because I loved her, and because I wanted her to have a nice bicycle, and because I thought there was a chance that we might go bicycle riding together some time, and because I wanted her to love me. But six weeks later, she decided she didn’t want to see me any more.
So when I look at the receipt, I say, what the hell did I do that for?
Well, I did it because she wanted a bicycle. And because I loved her. And because I wanted her to have a nice bicycle. And because I thought maybe some day we might go riding bicycles together. And because I wanted her to love me. But six weeks later, she decided she didn’t want to see me any more.
So when I look at the receipt, I say, what was I thinking? What the hell did I do that for? And of course, I did it because she wanted a bicycle, and it goes around and around in circles. It never stops. I have to walk away from it because there are so many other things to do.
The other souvenir on my bookshelf is a red round plastic token. On one side it is painted to look like a target, and on the other side is the name of an indoor shooting range. The token is good for one free day at the range, during the term of your membership.
We went to the range one day and they wouldn’t let us shoot unless one of us was a member. I decided to be the member, and with your membership you get two free days at the range. We used the first day while we were there, and ten minutes later she was ready to leave. Ten minutes is hardly worth getting a membership. The other free day was why the guy gave me the token.
I never got back to that range, but I still have the token. My membership expired. The membership was only good for a year. The membership lasted longer than the relationship.
The wise e-mail says we are supposed to repent, and forgive ourselves, and get on with our lives. I think I did that but I still have souvenirs, just in case I forget.
You can’t tweet that.