I ‘m not sure if everyone else does this, but for some reason I have always itemized money in my life. And no I don’t mean that money comes first. It usually goes first though, due to the lack of active barter systems in my life right now. As far back as I can remember, once I learned about money, I associated it with other things. Here’s what I mean, in grade school when the only thing better than recess was a piece of candy to eat during recess to help increase my recess production levels. I penny wasn’t a penny, it was a Swedish Fish, or a Tootsie Roll, but only when they were out of Swedish Fish. I penny equaled happiness, in the shape of a little red candy fish.
When I got into junior high school and became immensely smitten with music and the ownership there in. I began purchasing cassettes. Then in high school, after the great cassette to CD crossover, I began my collection of CDs, which became the item I used to associate with money. When I would go out to eat or look at spending money on something, it was not a matter of how much cash I could save when it was on sale or how much it would set me back if I did buy it; it was a matter of how many CDs it was equivalent to.
When I got my first parking ticket, I wasn’t upset that it cost me $45, I was upset because it was three CDs that I wouldn’t get to buy as a result. Likewise, when I was saving up for my new stereo system, it wasn’t a matter of how much it would cost, it was a matter of how many CDs did I had to resist in order to save up enough to buy something else. Seventeen… it equated to seventeen CDs that never came into my life in order to get my stereo.
I really didn’t take notice to what I associated my new exchange rate to until my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh and I were renting a car in Hawaii. We needed a car for only one day, which apparently is a bit odd when you are spending a week on the island. The rest of the time we were on the island we took the bus, just like the people who lived there. It was like watching a bear in the woods, except, well, the wildlife was not really wild, but they were life forms indigenous to the area… and the bus was kind of like their natural habitat. Riding on the bus is kind of like the lotto, you spend a dollar and sometime you win a show put on by the other people riding the bus, and sometimes you won’t. You might not always win a free show, but when they happen… talk about a show!
The point is we needed a car. So we reserved one online. Trouble was, the island was out of cars to rent, but the Enterprise website failed to make that realization and just kept accepting and setting up reservations. When we went to pick up our car, there were none available, cars that is. There were only two options left on the entire island, a big red Dodge Ram truck and a minivan, which we named She-Ra, after the Princess of Power herself. You can guess which one we took.
The deciding factor however had nothing to do with the windy road we would be traveling that day (the Road to Hana) or the tread on the tires, or… it was a bottle of wine. The amount of money we would save filling up the truck vs. the minivan equated to being at least one full bottle of wine. Yes, my new itemization exchange rate of choice is a bottle of wine (and if I were the type of person to include those little happy face images made by typing a colon and then a parentheses I would type one in right here).
I do believe my itemization exchange rate method is a work in process though, especially when large sums of money are the topic. Take the interest I paid on my mortgage last year. It’s a bigger number than I am typically use to, so I have to invent a new itemization conversion. It was five two week trips it to Italy, or one commercial sized hot air balloon, or the producer credits in a direct to DVD B-movie… the list goes on and on. I’m not sure I’ll ever look at money as money, because really it’s just a piece of paper. I find myself much more interested in it and its well being if it’s associated with something I’m rather fond of. I guess if I had an affinity for stationary then I might be ok with it being just a piece of paper, but I’m not. I need something a little more, and for now wine seems to be doing the trick.
Do you do this as well, and if so what are some of your itemization exchange rates?
Google Images, keywords: buying candy, CDs, She-Ra, and Italian wine.
I think I do something similar when I have to work two thirteen hour shifts on the weekend, or a week of night shifts. I hate working when my friends and family are home for the weekend.I have to keep telling myself that the money I will earn will help pay for a nice trip or meal with friends perhaps……. or some new shoes.( I do love shoes!!)
First, I think you might be becoming a wino. Maybe not, but be careful, these things can creep up on you and you never see them coming. Next, and this has nothing to do with the exchange rate, but, for some reason, this smirk sparked a memory.
Cargo Nets. Actually, cargo nets and cargo pants, one of which I still fancy. I inherited my older brothers cargo nets he used to hand on the ceiling and put random things in. It was the coolest thing ever to me (and to the early 90’s) When he left home he bestowed his nets to me and I hung them with pride. My room looked like a fisherman’s exodus into the cob-webbed caves of Solomon’s Mines.
I took the *random* part of it to the next level, but it made for great discussion and the more stoned my friends and I were, the better the topics
“Uh, dude…is that…a condom wrapper in your net?”
“Minus the condom. My first sexual foray.”
*stoned NO WAYS!*
“Um, dude…is that…a speeding ticket?”
“first time caught speeding…unrelated to the condom wrapper. That was the second ticket over in the corner of the net.”
and so on.
Like most fisherman’s nets, my own caught many stray things one would not normally display, but I found a degree of humor to the things I put in my net. I had it right up until the point my wife-my then hot foreign busty girlfriend-decided my apartment needed a girlie touch to it. I even had a Moonie up there at one point. (a Moonie was this little fat dude Spencer Gifts use to sell that came with a apparatus to squeeze and make him drop his pants and moon people.) Again, this has nothing to do with anything, but thought I would share.
Smirk. Sharing smiles one uncomfortable memory at a time.
Cargo nets never made it into the horse western community I grew up in, although I did make my own living quarters in the basement, which we called “The cave,” which, in thinking back, would have loved some cargo nets. It was the closest any of my friends had to their own place and we made good use of the place.
As for wine, I do have an affinity for the stuff, but I really only drink it at our wine parties once a month, Which is when I get to try a lot of these wines and in only a limited amount. On an average I only have one to two glasses a week. So, for the time being I’m doing pretty good. In all of my experience drinking, I do have to say I’ve only been buzzed once, and… you know I think I have an idea for a new Smirk! Thanks Scott!.
I love this smirk and I loved Scott’s share as well. I had a cargo net but mine wasn’t nearly as interesting as his sounds. Mine was full of fluffy, furry friends otherwise known as care bears and other stuffed animals. The only time I’ve really thought of money other than what it is was when I would have to work hours I wasn’t fond of or two jobs or over time such as siobhan shared. Then I thought of it in terms of, rent, food, a better Christmas for the kids, etc.
For as far back as I can remember I have had a budget. Taught at an early age that this was a must in ones life. I have always known how much I had to earn in a year to survive and how much was left to save and to play with. I think thinking about money the way you do would be much more fun and I might give it a try. Thanks for sharing.
Maybe it’s time we brought back the cargo nets! For you it can be an act of nostalgic sharing, for me… I just want more things in the world to look a little more like old-timey pirates are still around.