Many people dislike change. They feel it weighs down their pockets, causes unmanageable bulges in their wallets, or makes too much noise as it clangs together. My husband is one of those people. At the end of the day, he clears all his accumulated change and throws it into our household piggy bank. (He does, however, relish counting change, rolling it in money wrappers, and bringing it to the bank for large deposits.)
I love change. There is something appealing to me about having a variety of quarters, dimes, nickels, and even pennies at my disposal. The different sizes, colors, and weights of coins are romantic in a way, and soothing. If someone offered me a choice between a c-note or shiny quarter, I'd take the bill (I love change, but am not blinded by it!), but in my heart of hearts, I'd crave the heft of the coin. When people discuss abolishing pennies, I am filled with horror and sadness. All change has its place and usefulness. What would "penny candy" taste like if bought for a nickel? (OK, I concede that "penny candy" is not widely, if at all, available these days, but throw me a bone here.) Paying for anything with exact change delights me. Sure, it might annoy the less patient people waiting in line as I fumble for 67 cents, but I derive immense satisfaction from the transaction.
In the fall of 2006, I made a big, scary, and exciting change in my life when I quit my job as a senior program officer at a nonprofit financial institution to try to make it as a writer. So far, it has been a wonderful experience, but as a fiercely independent woman, I am uncomfortable about contributing no real income to my household. Whenever I fret about what 2007 will bring, I reach into the coin purse attached to my wallet and I scoop out a hand full of change. Holding a small amount of solid coins in my hand reminds me that change may come and go, but it will always exist. In the end, I'll be OK.