Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Confessional Tuesday on Wednesday

I am a money scavenger.

The thrill of finding money in the world never gets old.  I’ve found so much over the years.  Our land is littered with paper money and coins.  Pennies are the most common money I find, of course.  It may sound ridiculous to pick up a penny off the ground, but I’m one cent richer than I was before I found that penny, and I didn’t have to do anything to get it.

I never realized my love of scavenging money until my kids were little.  I was appalled when they’d crouch down to pick up a penny lying in an oily puddle or stuck to a piece of gum, but invariably I’d take it from them and put it in my pocket, to be washed and returned to them when we got home.  I felt their triumph when they’d spy something of value thrown away like trash, and I started encouraging them to keep their eyes open.  My son once found two dollars on the ground.  He is hooked.

Not everyone feels this way about scavenging money.  My girlfriends and I walked through a parade route one evening.  I advised them to keep their eyes to the ground; with all these people around, maybe we’d find money.  They all laughed at me and rolled their eyes.

I didn’t find any that time.

But I have in the past.  On two different occasions I found a twenty dollar bill.  Just the other week I found sixty-five cents in my neighborhood.  Yesterday I felt a pang of jealousy as a woman, obviously also a money scavenger, stooped over in front of me in the grocery store to collect several coins strewn on the floor.

A money-scavenging kindred.  My competition.

When my husband and I traveled to New Orleans recently, someone was throwing stacks of what I assume were dollar bills off a balcony into the street, about a half a block away.  I was irritated because my husband had ducked into a street bar to get a drink.  As I waited for him I watched as it rained dollars down on the heads of the people standing in the street.  It took all I had not to run over and hip-check those people out of the way to collect mine, but I needed my husband as back-up.  By the time I got there, all the money was gone.  Not even one lone dollar was stuck in the gutter or in a crack on a window trim.  I had missed the ultimate money scavenging event.

Scavenging money is not only accomplished out in the world.  Today I found four dollars while doing laundry – one of my family members left it in his or her pocket.  Winter coats are always fair game for scavenging.  Other family members’ coats, of course.  I have only ever found money in my pocket one time. 

I still can’t believe I left money lying around.  Who DOES that?


  1. I'm not alone!!!! I get mocked for picking up coins in the street, in parking lots, along the curb next to parking meters (great place to look Saturday mornings!), and I also claim any loose coins in the bottom of the hamper.

    It's amazing how much money is simply lying around. Now I know I have competition for it.

  2. It's in our genes. I money scavenge, but recently, I've taken to flipping over tails-up coins for the karmic benefit to me and the good-luck benefit to the person who finds the heads-up coin I just flipped.