If wishes were horses this beggar would drown. Wait no - scratch that - if pennies were horses this beggar would ride. Though upon further recollection that’s the wrong proverb entirely.
A penny for your thoughts.
A wishing well to toss pennies or for golden balls to fall into.
A penny saved is a penny earned.
Are any of these true? Adages and habits like these are the unseen losses of inflation.
The Frog Prince was performed at my wedding. A puppet show to entertain the guests before we met on the stage to exchange our vows. The self-centered princess dropped her ball down, down, down until a frog brought it back to her and traded it for a kiss. There is more to the story, a moral of being true to your word and how wishes sometimes come true in a roundabout manner. The bauble of a princess; So much more than a penny. Is the death of the penny going to ruin wishing wells; making sure only the 1% have wishes; Only those of us with golden ball baubles to throw into watery deep? Will I have to throw my grandmother’s wedding ring into the mall fountain in hopes of world peace, pain free days, and health for all people? Will piggy banks across America go out of use?
The dollar bill seems to be on the line, too. Inflation stealing it’s ability to buy a candy bar. Will the grade 3 and under set turn to Apple Pay and Google Wallet; being given their allowance and birthday dollars from grandma via email and smartphone? Email our Sunday Schools folded up bills once a week to teach us giving and support our churches? What excuse will college students and lonely hearts have to come within kissing distance of a dancer… a dollar poorer and lonelier still?
What will we do? What will we do?
Well, for sure, we should nix the penny. The truth is out there and it’s not in favor of our copper-plated friend. It costs more than it’s worth, literally, to manufacture. People hoard them in bottles and closets without spending them. We drop them into wishing wells by the handful… wishing for more money to pay our bills, magical houses, and love. But somehow we don’t spend our pennies. We, as general rule, don’t even think these coins are worth the energy it takes to bend down and pick them up from the sidewalk as we rush this way and that. Even if there are several in the same place, strewn across our path, we just continue on.
The penny has seen it’s last days. Or, rather, it should have. This country has enough monetary issues without sinking into a well of debt where we continue to romanticize this coin because we remember our childhood wishes and savings so fondly. My dreams and hopes are worth more; maybe I should pay face value -- childhood dreams adjusted for inflation.
For now I stand strong for the dollar bill. We can still gather enough bills to make a realistic purchase without bogging our purses and pockets down so much that we can’t walk under the weight of the load. One dollar tips at the Starbucks counter still add up to enough for baristas to divvy and buy lunch or put in a wallet until it is time to buy gas or groceries.
A nickel for your thoughts? Will a Snickers bar be as satisfying for five dollars? Will our wishes finally be free?