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Curing ‘bulging billfold syndrome’

January 8, 2016
By Joyce Schenk , Westfield Republican

I've noticed lately that my purse has been gaining weight.

Although the transformation has been slow, I realized yesterday the bag I once swung onto my shoulder with ease, now requires both hands to lift.

So this morning, I dumped the purse's contents on the kitchen table to see what has caused this unexpected weight gain. It didn't take long to locate the source of the problem. It was my bulging billfold. Somehow, while I was busy with other things, this key player in my life had gone from ordinary to obese.

Among the many items contributing to the situation is that collection of various forms of identification all of us find necessary to carry these days in order to prove who we are.

And, in every pocket of the wallet, there are also cards, notes and random supplies I need to have on hand. The selection seems to grow steadily as my life becomes more complex.

For instance, my current inventory includes a packet of postage stamps, discount cards from various stores, a collection of medical insurance cards, a couple of credit cards, cards to several area libraries, memberships in several organizations, my bank's ATM card and, of course, my Driver's license.

After reviewing the inventory, I realized most of these items are of the "must have" variety. They are not reduce-able.

Next, I turned to the money section of the billfold. Sadly, the growing bulge had nothing to do with currency.

Unlike Donald Trump's carry-along collection of cash, mine seldom sees the likes of a twenty-dollar bill. If there is any folding money in the currency slot, it's limited to ones and fives. Only rarely a ten joins the others, but never stays long enough to become cozy with its lower denomination cousins.

No, my on-board money is generally of the jingling variety. And this, I discovered, was at the heart of my bulging billfold syndrome.

Mind you this overload is totally unplanned. Usually I carry a few quarters and a couple of dimes to take care of an occasional vending machine or parking meter.

But, when the little coin pocket is closed and hidden away in the dark confines of my purse, a wild sort of coin celebration must take place. The result is always the same. Dozens of pennies and nickels somehow creep in and begin pushing and shoving, trying to find a comfortable corner to set up housekeeping.

Even though I make the effort from time to time to empty the coin pocket and return to my basic supply of quarters and dimes, the weeding-out procedure never solves the problem for long. Evidently, coins have a very active social life when no one is watching.

So, once again, during this latest wallet weight-reduction session, I purged the contents of the coin purse. Still I know there's little chance this will be a lasting cure. Past experience tells me those wild coins can't resist partying when the billfold is closed.

It's enough to make the Jefferson nickels and the Roosevelt dimes blush!



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