Sunday, December 5, 2010

Old Habits Die Hard

A family friend of ours came over for dinner the other day and inquired about our quarter jar, which is an old mayonnaise jar filled with quarters that sits on our fireplace mantle. Since we have a washer and dryer in our apartment, there was no clear reason why we had a quarter jar. I say it is for Nicole's college fund, but really, it's an old habit of mine from almost a decade of using coin operated laundromats.

Let's see...this includes 4 years of college (when I lived in Germany they used tokens, but still the same idea), 2 years of graduate school, and even when I bought my condo, the complex shared laundry facilities using quarters (that's another 2 years).

Quarters are like gold. And like gold, quarters are not as easy to come by. Some banks are not willing to exchange bills for quarters unless you were an actual customer of the bank (and no, not the walk-in kind). The grocery stores around the college campus would not exchange them for you because they were so use to college kids begging for quarters. And being the responsible, slightly anal roommate, my roommates were always mooching quarters off of me, which meant that I was always on the lookout for more quarters.

In addition to having my mom buy me rolls of quarters from her bank, I also got in the habit of paying for everything with bills in order to acquire my quarters' collection. Even if something was $1.01 and I had a penny on me, I'd still pay with $2 because this meant I was getting a whooping THREE quarters back! I find myself doing the same today sometimes, even though it's been over four years since I've stepped into a laundromat. Still, you never know when you're gonna need those quarters!


Thomas said...

I thought we were supposed to treat ourselves to a fancy dinner when the jar was full.

Tea Pot with Natasha said...

Yeah, haha, that was *before* Nicole was born. There's still no reason to collect quarters imo, just out of habit.

Jeff & Cat said...

Parking meters! I don't know about Portland, but quarters continue to be like gold for us since it allows us to park in the city. And dimes and nickels aren't good enough for Boston meters, apparently - quarters only.