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Whenever I need a dollar for my meeting, I head to the top drawer of my vanity and hit up the little tin where I keep my mad money.
If I have to, I don’t ever mind dropping quarters into the basket when it comes around, but I kinda feel like a broke ass if I scatter a pocketful of nickels and dimes in there. Nobody gives a shit what type of money I’m using, but I still get worked up about it.
Let’s be real. Change is for little kids, and even that’s a stretch. Just ask the Tooth Fairy. Anymore, she deals almost exclusively in greenbacks and gift cards.
I’d been meaning to ask my husband if he might bring me back some singles the next time he went to the bank. Or better yet, would he make a special trip so I could have what I wanted right away?
But I kept forgetting, until I’d used up most of the quarters. That’s when I said something. And the next day, when there were no more respectable coins, I was instantly annoyed.
“Dave, did you remember to go to the bank?” I asked, cupping ten dimes in the palm of my hand and tapping my foot.
“I didn’t get a chance, my Mary. I’m sorry.”
Which I do believe to be true, because I married a truthful individual. My husband is practical with his time, conscientious and generous of heart. When I ask for stuff, no matter what it is, this man does his best to be accommodating. He is a magnificent partner.
But none of that mattered right then. I needed a dollar in paper money, damn it. Not all this fucking change. God forbid I had to feel a feeling I didn’t enjoy.
I hollered up the stairs. “Have you boys got any singles?”
“I do,” Desmond said.
“Can I get one? I promise I’ll pay you back.”
Yes, relief. At least somebody around here wasn’t purposely trying to make my life miserable.
“You got any interest in these dimes, kid?”
“Yeah, I’ll take ’em.”
Desmond leaned over the bannister, and we traded legal tender.
“That worked out pretty good,” I said to Dave, tucking the dollar into my bra. I grabbed a soda and gathered my things to leave.
“How many dimes you think we’re gonna find in the dryer tomorrow?” he asked.
I paused to consider the question as it involved math, which really isn’t my bag.
“I don’t know. Ten?”
Well, sure enough, the following morning, ten little pieces of silver made their way into the big metal cylinder where all the clean, wet laundry goes to mingle and get fluffy. Dave stacked them into a slim tower on the kitchen counter.
I’ll admit, I felt a little foolish. I’d made such a big stink the day before with all the tracking and transferring of currency. My reflex was to scoop up the change and return it to my container. After all, that’s where it belonged. It was mine to begin with.
Dave handed me the twenty singles he’d gotten from the bank.
“Thank you,” I said, carrying all the money into the bathroom.
I opened my tin and stared at its contents. I didn’t want to reimburse Desmond the dollar I borrowed. I tried to convince myself he didn’t care and neither should I.
Separating one single from the stack, I carried it upstairs and placed it on top of some books on his desk. I stood there, admiring what I’d just done.
I thought I might go get my phone and take a picture. It seemed like something I might want to look at again sometime.