Sunday, November 19, 2006

A mama meme

It's been roughly six years and three weeks since my commander pulled me into his office to tell me my mother died. We had a somewhat contentious relationship for about the last 30 years of her life. Now, as the holidays approach, I stumble upon bits that my mother taught me, like driving over random frost heaves on a highway.

Last week, I went to fancy designer purse outlet store, and bought my sister in law the thing she really wants for Christmas. We've been related for 12 years, and this is the first year I am certain I have a gift she will adore. Today, I remembered that I have to put a penny in it before I wrap it.

That penny used to confuse my children. Well into their teens, they thought I was the ULTIMATE cheapskate for giving a penny in a purse. "Geez, Bets, why bother, put some real money in there!!! You are sooo cheap to give Grandma a penny!" And I could never explain that you can't give an empty wallet or an empty purse, because if you do, the owner will always be poor. In my thinking, who wants THAT? FIND a penny.

And I remember when I learned this. I was eight or nine, and there was a J.C. Penneys outlet store near our home in Elmhurst, and my mother LOVED it, because everything was cheap, yasi, a bargain. She bought me a purse, and made sure to put a penny in it. And it's funny, that one instance made an indelible impression on me.

I'll tag all of you for a mama meme.

10 comments:

Grace Yaskovic said...

My mother did that, a penny in a purse or a wallet, my brother throws change in a new car, yesterday we carried in all new work clothes for Tom, and he put the new sneakers on the table, I snatched them off of there so quickly! That was always a no-no, new shoes on the table was inviting trouble and bragging!

junior_goddess said...

I don't have to worry about THAT-my table is heaped with clutter! Good to know, though!

Les said...

What about when giving a knife, you had to attach a silver coin to it - back when dimes were made of silver!! anyone heard that?
Les

junior_goddess said...

Why? I heard knives were unlucky wedding gifts, because they can sever love, but nothing about a dime!

CatBookMom said...

Thank you for sharing the story. I have faint memories of never putting a hat on the bed, and not opening an umbrella in the house, but neither are connected to the 'why'.

Amysatx said...

I loved this entry! The knife version my mother told me was to never just give a knife or that person would cut themselves with it. A few years ago when I presented a Wustoff knife to my Mother she made sure she gave me some $ for it-some small coin amount.

CatBookMom said...

I've caught the tag and posted mine. The only thing I remember about purses (called pocketbooks when I was little) was Grandma saying "Don't spend so much on it that you don't have anything left to put in it."

Having a Knit Fitt said...

My mom always did the penny thing. If she gave money, she always quoted her father as saying - Spread it thin.
Cate

junior_goddess said...

The smart alecks around me used to say "don't spend it all in once place" but I think spread it thin sounds better!

Trish - My Merino Mantra said...

My mother also put pennies in new purses and wallets. I still have her things. Almost 5 years after she died, I still find money in her purses and wallets, but it has multiplied! She used to hide money everywhere. I'm really getting a kick out of it.