Posted by: jility | February 18, 2011

Turning Spare Change into BIG BUCKS!

How do you turn 7 quarters, 2 dimes, 2 nickels and 6 pennies into $185.93?  Well, I am about to reveal that secret. Remember that you read it here first!

There is a reason women nag men. One of the many great lectures given at the Dr. McDougall 10 Day Program I attended a few years back, was about human nature and why we do what we do. It was a fascinating lecture by Dr. Doug Lisle (author of the Pleasure Trap and other great things) and he put it in terms that were so simple and so basic,  it made more sense than all psychobabble I have heard in my entire 64 years on earth! That lecture changed my life and how I look at myself and other people. It explained everything from sibling rivalry to jealousy to jabs we take at one another to why some of us are fat. Dr. Lisle also explained basic human motivations (actually, the same motivations that drive ALL species!).

One of these motivators that drives us to do what we do and how we do it is conservation of energy. For instance, it was conservation of energy that prompted early man to become a keeper of livestock rather than a hunter. It was conservation of energy that made some smart man or woman suggest that they gather the seeds they liked to eat and plant them around their living space rather than spend all their time out searching for them. Conservation of energy pretty much drove everything man did to improve his quality of life from the wheel to the car to the internet. It takes a lot less energy to click the mouse than to go to the library and search hundreds of books.

So what does this have to do with nagging or change? Well, nagging takes a lot of energy. We already know that it is in our nature to conserve energy so if it weren’t necessary, we wouldn’t do it! If the men did what they knew they should be doing in the first place, we wouldn’t have to nag. No wait, make that if they did what they knew they should be doing or did it in the first 10 times we ask, we wouldn’t have to nag as much as we do!

Now, if you have been with your partner 10 years or less, most likely, this will not apply to you. In the first 10 years, the man is still trying to impress his partner and the woman still thinks that his procrastinations (along with all of his other bad habits) are cute. By about 18 years into the partnership, the wife begins to wonder why she has put up with his bad habits and procrastination for that long! During this time, the husband is entering the early stages of the “Idontgiveashitzheimer’s” phase of the relationship and doesn’t even notice his partner’s agitation or, he doesn’t care.

A typical evening during meal prep might go like this:

“The garbage is full.” No response.

About 10 minutes later:

“Boy I couldn’t cram one more thing in this garbage can.” No response.

Another 10 minutes goes by:

“GODDAMMIT!!! THIS F#@%!^G GARBAGE CAN IS OVERFLOWING!!!” This may or may not get a response.

Now, is the above nagging or just a frustrated partner trying to get her garbage emptied while she continues to prepare the world’s best meal? How could it be nagging if there is no direct request to remove said garbage?

Finally, not wanting to be accused of being a nag or listen to the huffing and puffing of the disturbed party, who is incredibly busy watching TV, woman removes aforementioned trash can from under the counter, pushes the garbage down, ties it up and replaces the bag. Male ignores actions, then later, without saying a word, gets up (as if it were his own idea), grabs garbage and takes out to the can.

So that was an example of how to nag without nagging. The next is an out and out example of nagging:

Male takes off clothes in bedroom and drops said clothes on the floor. When it is time to do laundry (which male WILL do on occasion), male doesn’t empty pockets. The conversation might go like this:


“Are these clothes on the floor clean or dirty?”

Male’s response:

“I might wear them again.”

Well what happens is that ALL the clothes on the floor are declared “wearable again” so the male doesn’t have to deal with them and pile grows in leaps and bounds.

I ask over and over that Sir Cussalot might possibly empty his pockets before discarding pants on the floor but, even after nearly 40 years, my requests fall on deaf ears. Consequently, I end up going through his pockets before I do wash. Sadly, Sir C rarely performs this ritual when he does the wash. I don’t say much because I am just grateful when he does the wash at all.

I bet you are still wondering what all this has to do with turning $2.11 into $185.93.

Well, I am FINALLY about to tell you.

If I had a nickel for every time I pulled loose change, clean but shredded course maps and poop bags out of the washing machine…

The other night we were lying in bed and the washer was running. When it came to the spin cycle, it began to make a terrible noise as it tried to spin the water out of the wash.

“Now THAT ain’t good,” I said as I listened to the whine of the laboring washing machine.

So Sir C says, “It’s probably going to die and cost us a fortune to replace the $*$% &@$%& and they will never get it out because the F#@&!^G wood cabinet was installed after the washer…”

Right, we will never have another washer and will have to go to the Laundromat forever (just shoot me now if that were the case).

So, I went online and set up an appointment for a GE repairman to come take a look. The technician showed up around 9 am the next morning. He took the motor apart and removed 7 quarters, 2 dimes, 2 nickels and 6 pennies. The visit cost us $185.93 plus what it is going to cost to eventually replace the motor that was damaged by the coins.

And THAT, my friends, is how you turn $2.11 into $185.93!

We really don’t enjoy nagging but sometimes is is just a necessary energy expense.


Helen Grinnell King


  1. Helen, this was a delight to read! I always love reading your blog, but this one was the best!

    • THanks Barb.
      Sadly, Mel has said NO MORE BLOGS at his expense. I need to give him some time to coold down LOL I had a really good one too!

  2. It was supposed to read minus 185.93 but got hyphenated instead.

  3. I am not usually a stickler for details but I think you mean “how you turn 2.11 into -185.95

    I’d milk that one for all it’s worth.

  4. HILARIOUS Helen!!! Did Sir Cussalot learn a lesson? Trying the Corned “Beef” and Cabbage this week. Thanks for posting it. Vicki

    • Thanks Vicki! GOod to hear fom6r you. I lvoed that corned beef. It was super! Be sure to strain it well or cook with the spickling cpices tied up.

  5. Hmmm so is this what I have to look forward to? I’m only 3 years in!!! Very funny story 🙂

  6. Great story !!

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