I Found A Coin Pouch From My Childhood & Everything’s Fine Now I Think
First of all, who has coins? I can wave my phone over a cash register like I’m in the cafeteria at Hogwarts and pay for everything from coffee to cat food, coins aren’t really a thing that happens anymore. In fact, they’re a farcical nuisance—and I mean this sincerely. I have a jar full of coins sitting in my home that’s been there for eight years. I have no idea what to do with it and it just keeps going from apartment to apartment with me increasing the weight and cost of my moving fees. I am paying money to move money, this has got to stop.
Anyway, I found this coin purse online while sifting through gift guide ideas for single women which is a thoroughly depressing endeavor should you want to undertake it (I’d suggest reading this instead), and I came across a nostalgia moment that made me audibly gasp at the screen so loud my cat left my lap in favor of the floor: This cute lil coin pouch.
Do you remember these things?? Who among us didn’t have ten of them in the bottom of a drawer somewhere from using their 146 leftover Chuck E. Cheese tickets to purchase one. I mean there was a time in our lives when we were so young that these weird rubber vaginas served as our wallets. I was shocked at how delighted I was to find it, and many others of its ilk. It put me in such an optimistic mood for the day that I did two loads of laundry and dusted my books.
Which brings me to my second point: Why do old things make me so happy? Things from my childhood—inarguably a time when we didn’t know how to appreciate anything at all because everything appeared like magic without us having to earn salaries — make me so happy when I get to relive them again as an adult. Now that I have all my faculties and a level of consciousness higher than that required for Saturday morning cartoons, things from my youth mean something to me. Even this shitty little receptacle for loose change.
Remember when life seemed to move so slowly when we were kids? As though there was a decade in between birthdays? The raw, criminal irony of it all is that life was actually moving too fast, but we wanted to grow up and drive so badly that we didn’t notice. We didn’t appreciate the pure cool of everything we had back then. Idiots.
Generation Y, certain elder millennials, and definitely late Gen X were the last children with toys that advanced at a reasonable clip. Now, technology’s rate of making things obsolete is so swift that I bet you green money I could give a kid a Super Mario Brother’s cartridge and they’d think it was some kind of large Lego. Are they going to feel nostalgic about an iPhone 8? Or early Minecraft graphics? What will they beg their parents to keep in basement boxes until inevitable flooded washing machines claim it for scrap?
As for our generation, what now, I ask you? Do I go dig up an old phone where you can see its insides? Do apartments even come with phone jacks anymore? I have no idea, but I’m inspired. You can’t leave me alone with this much eBay lying around and think I’m not about to go apeshit on a Strawberry Shortcake plastic thermos.
There’s a third point I’d like to make: Why is viewing nostalgia not enough for me? Why do I also want to hold it in my hands? I mean yes these pouches are cute but I won’t be satisfied until I see one dangling from the side of my very expensive French leather purse and therefore diminishing its value. It’s not enough that I know it exists, I need it to be mine as well.
Maybe I cling to my youth because there’s no anti-aging cream for the brain. Maybe retail therapy is part of my birth chart. Maybe it’s just been a concussion of a year. Whatever the reason, I need my nostalgia. I need little reminders of the simple days, the days before I let a boy see me naked. And if I can get that via a small piece of eventual trash that makes me smile and mean it, then it’s worth throwing a few coins in that direction.
Shani Silver is a humor essayist and podcaster based in Brooklyn who writes on Medium, frequently.