The story of two $5 bills

This is the story of two five dollar bills.

Well, they didn’t start as two five dollar bills. On my birthday my parents gave me a birthday card with some money in it since I was paying off the credit card I used to pay for all my recent tattoo work. Inside the birthday card was a pair of twenties and a ten. For those of you who are somewhat mathematically challenged, that totals $50. My parents are generous enough to still give me something on my birthday at the age of 26 and for that I am thankful. Anyway, this is the story of the first of the five dollar bills.

But you weren’t given any fives. I know this. I’m getting to it. You’ll just have to be patient! I carried that money around for a couple of weeks because I hardly ever use cash. I went to get coffee with a buddy of mine. I ordered my standard black coffee and paid with the ten which was broken into a five and a few ones. I stuffed all the ones into the tip jar for the baristas for two reasons. 1) I hate carrying cash 2) I love to tip good/quick and friendly service. Starbucks has dispensing a tall black coffee down to a science. Go figure. But out of the change I was given for my $1 and some change cup of coffee I was given a $5 bill.

Fast forward a few days. It’s a Sunday and this particular Sunday the Royal Rumble was on pay-per-view. Say what you will about the merits of a 26 year-old guy who still watches pro-wrestling, it was worth it to get to see CM Punk in action with the title at stake. I went over to my parents to watch it to escape the troll factor of my roommates because I like to watch my wrestling in peace and I so rarely get to do that at my house. I told my parents I’d give them the money to cover the cost on their cable bill if they’d let me hijack their TV for a few hours. They obliged and actually watched it with me. When it was over and Sheamus had been declared as the winner of the 25th anniversary of the Royal Rumble, I got up to go home so I could rest a while then go to bed. I handed my mom the $45 I still had in my wallet from my birthday (minus the $5 for the coffee and tip). My mom took $40 and gave me back the $5 for some reason. But I know better than to argue with her in such matters and pocketed the $5.

When I got home I started getting ready for bed and noticed there was another $5 sitting on my DVD player which is generally where bill money gets placed. I don’t rightly recall how it got there but it was there regardless. So, I took my lone $5 and joined it with the other $5 and they became a pair of five dollar bills.

The next day I pocketed those two fives in case I should get hungry or need something from the vending machines at work. In order to do that I would have to use the change machine which will dispense up to $5 in quarters. But for over a week it was broken. The big orange service light glowed in defiance of those who would attempt to extract any quarters from the depths of its mechanical bowels. Then the service guy finally came and fixed.

I started working out again after a few months of laziness. The newest routine had me burning calories at the rate that, should I eat something to being full I would be back to eating again within 2-3 hours. And I’m not talking, “Oh, I could eat something,” hungry. This is more like a, “If I don’t get food soon I will have to eat a coworker” hungry. So, I went to the break room to get change to get a Lunchable from the infamous “Wheel of Death” machine. But, to my dismay, the machine would not accept either of the five dollar bills I had in my pocket. They were both the newly minted $5’s with all the fancy coloring and watermarks and whatnot and the machine just would not accept. So, back in my pocket they went and stayed there, unused and unwanted.

That is, until yesterday.

Know this. I am not a fan at all of Valentine’s Day. For as long as I have been alive and old enough (note, I did not say “mature enough”) to have a girlfriend, I have never had a date or girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. I’m not really bemoaning that fact since the holiday seems to mean nothing but more money and attention spent on the female side of the relationship which they probably actually deserve for all the stupid crap we guys do on a regular basis. Then again, I did once describe relationships as “two people being stupid together”. What was I talking about? Oh right.

Valentine’s Day. Some might also call it Singles Awareness Day. I call it February the 14th.

I was talking to a group of friends in the library at school yesterday and the same friend whom I got coffee with above was involved. We have some mutual friends which is not that odd considering we go to the same small college. One of which happens to be my roommate. It came up that there was some possible trepidation about V-Day for this particular roommate because he recently wrecked his car and his job had failed to pay him on time. So, it was entirely possible they wouldn’t be doing much on such a day. This friend of mine said he might get them a gift card to the Olive Garden. I thought that sounded like a fair idea and that if he did that I would be willing to throw some money in. I realize this may seem hypocritical, not to support a holiday but endorse someone to celebrate it but you have to know that as much as I loathe Valentine’s Day and everything surrounding it, I love my friends and I want them to be happy. So, I told my friend I’d get him some money somehow.

And then I remembered the two fives in my pocket. I pulled them out and gave them to my friend who, from there, went and obtained a gift card with money enough from the both of us to cover a meal there.

I tell this story because I actually had to think about how I ended up with two five dollar bills in my left pants pocket yesterday. And I felt as if the whole thing was somehow orchestrated. I don’t believe in coincidences. They’re never just what they appear. I don’t know how I got one of the fives and the second one I had because my mom didn’t want to accept the full cost of a pay-per-view that was, by right, what she was owed. The malfunctioning then downright hateful change machine that held me from spending either of them and, of course, my almost religious use of my debit card instead of paying cash. Those are all very interesting and subtle facts that tell a pretty interesting story. At least, to me.

To my roommate and his girlfriend, I wish a Happy Valentines Day. The rest of you will have to fend for yourselves with me.


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