An Uncapped Pen

January 21, 2008

Take Pennies

Filed under: Family — cindylv @ 9:54 pm
Tags: ,

Some Dads say, “Drive carefully.”

Some Dads say, “Love you.”

My Dad always said, “Take pennies.”

Dad hated getting pennies back as change from the store. Whenever we’d leave the restaurant on an errand, he’d yell “Take pennies.” He wanted us to take pennies to the store to ensure we could pay the odd cents and not bring home any more pennies.

One of my childhood memories etched in stone: Mom picked up her purse and keys for a quick run to the SuperValue to buy milk. As she made her way around the end of the bar, Dad looked up from the glasses he was washing behind the bar and said, “Take pennies.”

Mom froze in her tracks. It was one of those times when a kid peels back the veneer of childhood and gets a peek at the real world for just an instant. From across the room, I saw Mom turn around and walk behind the bar, hit the No Sale button to open the cash drawer, scoop out a handful of pennies, and slide the drawer shut.

I stood across the room watching, silently willing my Dad to look up and see what I knew was about to happen. Oblivious, he continued swishing that glass on the brush in the sink. Mom marched back around the end of the bar and toward the front door. Just three steps before she reached the door, she stopped and turned to face him. When he looked up at her, she flung the handful of pennies in his face yelling, “Here’s your fuckin’ pennies!”

After the door slammed shut, Dad turned to me and asked, “What the hell was that all about?”


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