“Keep the change.”
That’s what the girl in front of me at the gas station told the attendant. From where I stood, I could see the green numbers on the register display. She was leaving behind 53 cents.
I could do a lot with 53 cents.
I could buy two York Peppermint patties, or 5 Andes mints, from the candy display at the register.
Or I could combine it with the three dimes in my car’s center console and buy a taco at Taco Bell.
Or I could get a rocking new sticker for my trapper-keeper from one of the coin machines.
Or I could get a super bouncy ball from the other coin machine.
Or I could add it to my coin jar at home, the one I put all my spare change into at the end of each day, the one that is slowly accumulating my vacation fund money.
I could be 53 cents closer to Harry Potter World.
I wondered about that girl for a while. Was she so financially secure that she didn’t need to care about measly fractions of a dollar? Was she germophobic and worried that those coins had been in a small child’s mouth, or maybe more than one small child’s mouth? Was she trying to tip the gas station attendant? Or was it simply that she didn’t care about coins (she was quick enough to grab that $10 bill though), having been raised in a world dominated by plastic and automatic bank drafts.
In any case, she left her change sitting on the counter. The attendant tossed the two quarters back into his drawer and put the three pennies into the tiny take-a-penny tray. I realized I felt sad for that girl. She obviously didn’t have a dream or a financial goal to work towards. I stepped up to the counter and paid for my $37.92 in gas. When I got home, I put those eight cents into the jar.
8 cents closer to Harry Potter World.
Penny Stories are published every Thursday. If you have a story you want to share, drop me a line at kawrites0 at gmail dot com. (That’s a zero, not an o. Just so we’re clear.)
Also, every time someone clicks Like or Share, an orphaned penny finds a home in someone’s pocket. Just saying.