High Finance

Mom cashed in a small Roth IRA and Bill and I took the check to her bank to deposit into her checking account.  She wanted $50 in cash back, which I got in fives and tens.  When we returned home, I fetched her purse so she could put the money away and gave it to her, along with the fifty dollars and the deposit slip.  My daughterly duty done, I left the living room to dump my purse and check my email.  A minute later Mom called out rather plaintively, “Patty.”

I walked back into the living room and stood in front of her, watching as she stared with a furrowed brow at her hands while she shuffled several bills.  She finally looked up at me and asked, “Did you get me $50?”

“Yes,” I replied.  “I got you four 10s and two 5s.”

She glanced down at her lap where a couple of fives and a ten lay, then at her hands, which held five or six ten dollar bills, a five and a couple of ones.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

“Positive,” I said.

She shuffled the bills around some more, then finally looked up at me with a smile.  “It’s okay,” she said.  “It’s all here.  I just got the tens mixed up because they’re the same color.”

“The same color as what?  The other tens?” I asked, somewhat confused.

“No, the other money,” she explained, jamming the cash into her wallet and refocusing her attention on a Cops rerun that was blaring away on a Spanish channel.

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