15 December 2009

The Mirage

I had to laugh a little when a friend of mine recently told me that she thought I was so organized and that I looked as if I had it all together.

Maybe it looks that way from a distance. (A very far distance.)

But if it ever does look like that, it would only be a mirage.

Let me share an example. (And there are so many from which to choose.)


We have been saving our change and stray dollars for our Disney World Christmas adventure. And it only seemed appropriate to stash said spare change in a plastic bank that is a giant Mickey Mouse head saved from Kevin's youth.

I decided today would be a good day to toss those coins into one of the handy coin counters at our local Publix.

I only had three children with me so I should have really been on top of my game.

But I wasn't.

Berg lugged the heavy Mickey head into the store.

Instead of sticking her cute self in a cart, I allowed Piper the freedom of walking. (Mistake Number One.) Apparently, she got a little giddy with that freedom. Let's just say that throughout the majority of the scene I am about to relay, she acted like a child caught in the classic throes of being Two. (It was not pretty. Nor inspiring.)

Already inside the store, I discovered that the Mickey head required a screwdriver to open. I did not have a screwdriver in my pocket at that moment. (Mistake Number Two.) I managed to wrangle the white plastic lid off with the edge of my key while Mosely observed directly at my elbow, calmly saying repetitively, "Don't break Mickey, Mommy. Don't break Mickey, Mommy."

I began dumping coins. I pushed the start button on the machine, after agreeing to give eight percent of my coin total to the machine. (Greedy little thing.)

The coins spewed out half-heartedly. I dug the dollar bills crammed in the Mickey head out with my fingers. "Uh, guys? Why is this money all wet?" Because it was. All wet.

"Uh-oh," Mosely said. "Um. I might have washed Mickey one time. With water."

Gross soggy money is still money I suppose, so back to the task at hand. I assigned Mosely the job of carefully smoothing the damp bills.

Not only is Piper still being Two, but Bergen has decided that this is the exact right time and place to have an emotional breakdown because he cannot see the coins dropping into the machine as clearly as he would like.

And then the machine stops. A bright red light at the top of the machine starts flashing and the computer reads, "See attendant."


I bet I look real put together about right now.

Sylvia comes over to assist. Everything about her, from her countenance to her body language to her audible sighs, lets me know that she does not share my enthusiasm for saving spare change and turning it into dollar bills. Sylvia pushes buttons with force, sighs, puts her hand up at Bergen, pushes the machine away from the wall, sighs, calls Bergen "honey" through her gritted teeth, sighs, grabs a pair of scissors and pokes the coins, sighs and calls for back up from Andrew. Before Andrew arrives she shoves a wooden chip from I Have No Idea Where Or What towards me. I take it. Apparently this wooden chip could be part of our problem. Or not. She never says.

Andrew is, in fact, the superhero of the coin counting machine. Which I try to tell him. No one laughs. Except me. Nervously.

At long last our ordeal is over - more than twenty minutes in.

I gather our dollar bills, the empty Mickey head and three children and leave - more tired than I should be from the simple act of allowing a machine to count coins for me.

So, my sweet friend, if this is what "having it all together" looks like, you may just want to run in the opposite direction.


  1. Hey Lacey, you may want to take that 8% and buy an inexpensive, gravity-fed coin sorter that the kids could use again and again. Then take the sorted coins, roll them, and take them to the bank. Or at least roll the quarters before putting the pennies, nickels and dimes in the machine...

  2. Oh, I'm feeling your pain . . . every minute of it. You do have an excruciating way of making me feel as if I was there with you . . . or making me feel I was you. Ouch! : )