During an interview on NPR I heard author Michael Chabon say that "A man's wallet is like his soul," while discussing the jump that he made as a father from carrying his wallet in his pocket to putting it in the diaper bag.
I have been thinking about this idea a lot, and as you know, Rocky has recently provided a reason for me to analyze what I've been carrying around in detail. I wonder what it has to say about my deepest
I'll start with the wallet itself. It is common in our society to receive hand-me-downs from older siblings, but with me and my younger sister, it is a system of hand-me-ups. She is always finding cool things at thrift stores and when the thing that she finds is cooler than the thing she already has, I usually get to reap the benefit. Almost always, the not as cool thing is still an upgrade for me.
My wallet is a treasure that I had coveted and it was a great day when it was bestowed upon me. It is the perfect wallet in every way.
It is the right size and shape. Everything fits in an organized clean pocket and I don't have to worry about dealing with a broken snap or a tri-fold that never really works right. Inside I have my license, temple recommend, two debit cards (one that coincides with my secret bank account that is still listed as Marci Howard just in case I need to go on the lam), and a phone card (which will also come in handy while evading the cops -- I've seen enough movies to know that I could be tracked if I used my cell.) I also have a Bi-Mart lifetime membership card that I take into the store every Tuesday to find out that I didn't win the lucky number prize, again.
There is an expired Barnes and Noble membership card that I used frequently in the luxury days before we renewed our relationship with poverty, but now I use the Eugene Library card instead. This system actually works much better because all of our bookshelves are currently filled with medieval Spanish novels and kids books. I was thinking, however, that I might be able to make room for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies if I squeeze everything together a little tighter. I've also got a
U of O recreation pass that could be converted into a membership to the school gym if I would get around to paying the money. It is tricky though because it I actually pay for it, I will be obligated to work out. Then I might accidentally get into shape, which would make it hard for me to fit into my clothes. Right now I'll continue to consider carrying the card around as all the weight lifting that I need.
I don't carry any pictures but I do have an old ticket stub from when Jill and I went to Portland to see the Mountain Goats. I have thought about throwing it away but I like knowing it is in there. There is also an emergency $20 bill in a secret compartment that Rocky doesn't know about.
I think that the time has come to part with the membership card. Rocky will enjoy it in her collection. She's also got Brandon's old Weber State IDs and a used up gift card from Target that she keeps in her purse with a package of flowery paper plates that she feels are necessary to tote around.
Her 'wallet' is also quite functional because it can be used as a hat in a pinch.
I don't think it would be fair if I went through Brandon's soul and spilled all the juicy details, but I will describe the wallet itself.
When we first got married he used to dig his cards out of an old coin purse that was hand-woven in Mexico. When the fraying turned into a hole and all his things fell out at a store one day he used a rubber band as a quick fix. After breaking several rubber bands he finally upgraded to a higher quality option, a ponytail holder. He's been using this system for about three years.
You really can learn a lot about a person from looking at a wallet, and it is probably more than you want to know.