I have always loved getting free stuff. I got a free slurpee cup from 7-11 once and could not stop talking about it for months afterwards. Free stuff is one of the best things in the world – it’s the universe smiling upon you.
But you know what’s even better when you’re a kid? Buying stuff yourself. The FREEDOM of saying, “I want that, here is some shiny crap in return.”
You get that money in your hot little hands and you can buy WHATEVER you want! Candy? Check! Toys? Check! When I found a five dollar bill on vacation once, I nearly lost it in excitement. I literally RAN over to the “Sugar Shack” as it was known and bought a boatload of candy (or what constituted a boatload when I was younger) to share with my brothers.
I was a HERO.
But, at the tender age of nine, I had decided that money was what made this world go around. Money was where it was at. And at nine, I had none. My family didn’t do allowance, you did what mom and dad asked you to and once in a while unrelated to what chores you did, sometimes they bought you stuff. It was a good deal and I never remember going without.
But one day, sitting by my doll house I distinctly remember wanting a candy and feeling powerless because, well, they cost money. I knew my Mom and Dad wouldn’t fund this sugar-laden treat more than once a month. But it would seem, fate intervened.
I came downstairs to grab a glass of water when I heard my Mom moving around in the kitchen and the unmistakable sound of coins. COINS = MONEY! I peered around the corner to see Mom tossing in her loose change into this small, black, cardboard tube we stuck on the lower shelf of our kitchen.
I always just thought it was decoration. When she vacated the kitchen, I rushed over to said tube and saw to my surprise and delight that it was FILLED with change! Shiny quarters, dimes and nickels – delightfully copper colored pennies. All I could see when I looked into that thing was: CANDY.
Specifically, the penny candy you got at “Macs” which if you spell it backwards is Scam. Is this a coincidence? I do not think so. Anyway, Macs = penny candy. Which in no world cost a penny, everything was at least a nickel. The really good stuff was a dime. And the rich stuff was a quarter each. When I looked into that tube, all I saw was all the penny candy I could eat and more!
I want to tell you that I had a crisis of conscience. I want to tell you that an angel and a devil sat on each of my shoulders and I weighed the decision thoroughly before eventually deciding to do the right thing.
But if I had, let’s face it, this blog wouldn’t exist.
The moment I knew my Mom had gone into the backyard, I rushed over to the tube and stuck my greedy hand into it. Even as a child I knew that I couldn’t steal all this money at once. I had to be crafty. I had to bide my time. (This is how I know it was devious. The forethought).So over a course of a month, I took small handfuls of change from that tube, stole away to the front yard of my house and buried it in a hole beside my favorite tree. Seriously, I actually DID that.
Then I would sit in my room, pretending to play Barbie’s with my giant dollhouse and secretly just scheme on the next time I would steal from the tube. Would it be Wednesday? No, I would wait until Mom went to mow the lawn. Dad would be at work. It was perfect. Then I would smile a Grinch-like smile and wait until my next covert operation.
I remember the thrill of taking this money. I remember the thrum of my heart in my chest as I scrambled with those coins (always replacing the lid so it didn’t look suspicious) and running to the front yard to bury my treasure.
Now, you’re thinking:
“Hey Katelyn, wouldn’t your Mom find it suspicious when you came home with all this candy?”
I had that under control. You see, my brother Matt loved pirates. So much that my Dad made him a pirate ship in a tree. Yes, my parents rocked. And Matt was always going on about pirate treasure. BURIED pirate treasure. I had the scheme all hatched – I would innocently play in the front yard (with my Mom watching of course) and pretend to be playing pirates. I would then unearth this treasure and rush to Macs to buy candy. It was the perfect crime.
Except, you know, it wasn’t…
I went to the tube one afternoon, one of my last planned heists. And just before I could stick a hand into the tube, my Mom and my littlest brother Jon rushed into the room holding a plastic bag full of change.
Yep. My Mom knew all along. She’d watched me over the weeks rushing off, burying the treasure. She saw it all. And she made her move KNOWING that there was no way I could claim the money as my own. I’ll never forget that feeling of being super furious at the situation but feeling utterly powerless because I knew I was in the wrong.
And so yes, I conceded defeat. Either I had to admit the money was STOLEN and get no treats PLUS get grounded and make my brother really sad. Or I could just pretend like my brother found buried treasure and let it go and accept my fate. My Mom was sure to dole out the appropriate punishment.
My mom knew the devastation of the event had hit me at my core. She didn’t even have to move the black tube from its shelf. It sat there until the day we moved from that house and I never touched it again.
Moral of the story: Don’t steal, bury your treasure and think you can unearth it a while later pretending its buried treasure. Someone will always beat you to it.
Oh, and also, just don’t steal.
4 thoughts on “Why you shouldn’t bury your change”
Oh my god!! this is so hilarious. I used to do something similar except with my mum’s make up. I was obsessed with it but had no idea what it was. But whenever she went out I’d take some and hide it in my dolls house. She knew I rook it obvs but she never said one day she could not find her mascara and she asked me bribing me with a tenner. I handed over a bag stuffed with makeup. She almost gave me the tenner but then goes “nope a tenner covera the theft insurance plus damages and vat.” its safe to say I never stole her make up again. Nope…. I stole my sisters.
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Thanks a lot!