Beyond Babedom

We're (way) over 40. Deal with it.

Who’s Changing?

According to my sister Camille, it shouldn’t be you or I changing. But  I don’t mean changing as in our attitudes, or weight or style. I mean giving exact change, as in digging in your purse for dimes, nickles, quarters, pennies. At least that’s what the book “How Not To Act Old” says. That’s the most sure-fire way – other than counting the rings on your neck – to let people know you’re over 40.

So, why is that? Supposedly it’s because youngsters (e.g. anyone under 40) no longer use actual money; they’re all using debit cards or Starbucks cards or their smart phone aps to make their purchases: ipso facto: no change.

I’m not buying it. First of all, especially if we’re talking about the under 30 crowd, half the time the money they has been given to them by their parents (and, really, do you think anyone is ever going to contemplate whether or not you’re 23?). My theory is bit more low tech. I think Generation X, Y and Z simply don’t give a damn about making someone else’s life easier.

Think about why you give exact change. Maybe it’s because you’re trying to get your purse under 20 pounds, but most likely it’s because you know retailers want the change. If they can’t give change, they’re screwed, so sometimes they’ll even tell you “forget it” if it’s a penny or two, just so they can hold on to that 98 cents.

But we’re now into the age of selfishness, of self importance of me, me, more, more, where our spawn are taught they can do no wrong, they deserve everything and there’s no need to think about others. When every kid wins a prize, where’s the contest? When parents drop everything to cater to their kids’ schedules, or buy them every toy or gadget or designer whatever under the sun, where are the lessons? When the idea of “helping out” at home is anathema – and never expected – we get 1,2 or 3 generations who decide that taking the time to help out a cashier is so not on their agenda.

Or they really want those pennies for their piggy bank.

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This entry was posted on Monday, June 13th, 2011 at 12:45 PM and is filed under Social Issues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  1. susan stampfli says:

    So the other day at Target, I dig for my unreachable change and feel the eyerolls from the 20 somethings behind me. My age is growing geometrically higher with every coin I retrieve. Yet I fumble on, thawrted not by un-peer pressure. Perhaps a debit card and more botox are in order.

  2. Bob In Pacifica says:

    Another thing, and I think Susan touches on it, is that the way things are now set up the cashier is not leisurely waiting for you to get your change. Instead of being all by your lonesome there’s a long line of people behind you. You are rushing through the line. If you hand a dollar bill your change gets spit out of a change disburser farther down the line. You must grab your purchase, scoop up your change and receipt and then get the hell out of the way of the next person.

    You used to be able to go to casinos to get rid of your change but now even they insist on debit cards.

    By the way, no one has any problem figuring out what side of forty I’m on.

  3. Judy Herring says:

    I try to give exact change as much as possible – and I’M PROUD OF IT!!!!And I get a big thank you for it, too. I’m told they always need change. I almost always pay in cash, except for larger items – then my husband pays for that!! Remember – “Cash is King!”

  4. Toni Fredella says:

    The last couple of times I stood in line with my debit card, I had this feeling of guilt for not having cash. I feel like I’m playing “make believe” when I hand over a piece of plastic as my payment. It just all seems weird to me…When did we turn into this society where a plastic card can count as $10.16. It confuses me… are we going to end up just getting rid of paper cash? Computers, technology, whatever… just baffles me. If I don’t have enough gas money, to this day, I’d still rather go through my “jar of change” at home before I rely on a credit card. Haha

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