Deb Tawna has a thing for pennies

I hate change.

I don’t mean that in an “I want things to stay the same forever” kind of way.

I mean I hate change. Quarters, nickels, dimes – they annoy the crap out of me, and I’m convinced cashiers dole them out knowing I’ll toss the whole handful in the tip jar so I don’t have to lug them around.

The one exception is pennies. It’s not that I see them as a valuable form of currency. It’s just that I’m hopelessly superstitious about the penny.

Some idiot in my childhood taught me the rhyme that goes, “see a penny pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck, see a penny leave it lay, bad luck you’ll have all day.”

Since then, I’ve pretty much been willing to hurl my body in front of a moving vehicle to avoid leaving an unclaimed penny on the ground.

I’ve also added my own twist to the superstition. Instead of putting found pennies in my purse or pocket like a reasonable person might do, I tuck them in my bra. I don’t know why I started doing it, but now that I’ve formed the habit, I can’t seem to stop.

My husband discovered this quite by accident one evening when we were getting undressed for bed. At first, I thought he was just wowed by my feminine assets. I stood up straighter and preened a little.

He just stared. “What’s that stuck to your boob?”

I looked down, then smiled back up at him. “A penny.”

“Please tell me it’s not a tip for something.”

“Of course not,” I assured him, reaching down to peel the penny from my flesh. “I don’t accept anything smaller than a five.”

He leaned closer for a better look. “Is it supposed to turn your skin green?”

OK, so it’s not the sexiest habit in the world. Still, I figure I’ve earned myself at least a few strokes of good luck in the years I’ve been doing it.

A friend of mine has the opposite habit with pennies. If she spots one on the ground, she leaves it behind in case someone desperately needs it.

To each his own, but I’m pretty sure she’s cursed.

How do you feel about pennies? Do you pick up stray ones or leave them where they are? Please share, I’m curious.

24 Replies to “Deb Tawna has a thing for pennies”

  1. Of course I pick them up! Even if covered in melting chewing gum or worse. I also am often arrested for being drunk in public (I am not) because of how I weave and wobble when walking on a sidewalk. It’s not easy or graceful to avoid those cracks, but my Mom has remained CLEAR of spine injury traction for many many years thanks to my skill. Now, do you drop a dime to stop a crime? Hmmmm? And more importantly, can you play quarters?

  2. Snap! I do the same thing. Well, not the bra part–I put them in my pocket–but I can’t pass a penny. I live in fear of the day I’ll no longer be able to bend over to retrieve them. I’ll have to come up with some kind of penny grabber, I guess.

    1. Linda G, I’m totally going to invent a penny grabber for you. It’ll be my gift to you on the date of your first book release!


  3. Nope, I leave them for the next poor sap. I look at pennies on the ground as a reminder to count the blessings I’ve already got. So, I leave the penny for someone who really needs it.

    Better put some cream on that green spot. 🙂

  4. Actually, I don’t pay much attention to pennies and I rarely ever have change because I rarely ever have cash. It’s a sad day when I’m digging through the bottom of my purse to find enough change for a stamp and come up with nothing and have to buy a book of stamps with my debit card. Meh.

    However, about your bra comment. It isn’t weird, not really. I once worked retail and this lady walked about five miles to get to our store in the middle of summer. When she went to pay, she pulled out a wad of very wet, smelly bills. *shudders* On the other hand, bras are excellent “pockets” when you need to keep something on you…like a cell phone. I tuck it in and I can tell if someone’s calling me while I’m assaulting my ears with very loud music.

    Wasn’t this an awful long comment? I must be feeling wordy…I must write now.

    1. Danica, I stuff bills in my bra when we’re traveling overseas, which drives my husband bonkers for exactly the reason you describe. Even so, I’ll never stop doing it. Saved my butt once when I was robbed at gunpoint in a Venezuelan port town.


  5. Pennies are a hot commodity in our household. My husband has an old gumball machine we keep filled with peanut M & Ms… and it takes pennies. To my daughter, pennies = chocolate, and chocolate = all that is right with the world.

  6. I say the exact same rhyme, but only the first half. Because I’m cheerful like that.

    My bra is a repository for (a) tissues (b) my cell phone and (c) afternoon snacks, if I ate lunch at precisely the right angle. I don’t know if there’s room in there for change, too.

    1. Eleanor, bras are very handy storage places, aren’t they? I pull the padding out of any bra that comes with removable pads, and I’ve found the little pouches make great places to put cash and granola bars and DVDs.


  7. Eleanor you show off. My bra is all show and no go – except for the cottony filling! My food ends up on the floor.

  8. The way I always heard the rhyme, the second half was “if you give it to a friend, then your luck will never end,” so I always passed my pennies on, but didn’t have to worry in particular about diving onto the train tracks for loose pennies.

    1. Terripatrick, you’re right, aren’t they selling face creams now with copper? Never thought about the resultant green skin tone, but you might be onto something.


  9. I always check to see if they have the wheat symbol on the back b/c it’s worth about 12 dollars. Found two in high school but they were stolen. Long story.

    I’m curiously drawn to their dates and will play the high/low Price is Right game with my wife. Also with house prices……….maybe dog food too……….even though we don’t have a dog.

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