Can You Buy a Memory?

Can you buy a memory?

I think I was about 8 years old. I remember clutching my allowance in my hand and walking three blocks to the “five-and-dime” store.

I can still see, in that store, a shelf lined with glass piggy banks, that for some reason, captivated me. Maybe it was the pretty glass or the pig shape, or perhaps the price of the bank is all the money I had to spend that day. But I remember handing over my dime to the clerk and happily heading home with my purchase.

I used that bank for years. I remember turning it upside down and shaking it until coins came out, either to count my money or to go shopping with it.

I remember my brother breaking my piggy bank, accidentally, and going back to the store just hoping they were still selling them. They did. And I bought another one.

What happened to that bank, I don’t know. At some point in my life, I guess I didn’t think I needed it anymore and gave it away.

Last year, at a flea market, I saw a glass piggy bank, just like the one I used to have. I snatched it up immediately. It now sits on a shelf in my bedroom, and I put “found” money in it. That is, money that I find in the dryer, on the sidewalk, anywhere it’s not supposed to be. That’s different, to me than just dropping extra change in. “Finding” money brings back a childhood joy, and putting it in my piggy bank doubles that joy. Every time I drop a coin in my bank now, these memories come flooding back, and I smile.

So can you buy memories? Yes, I think so. At least in this case I did.

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Comments (19)

  1. Barbara Hewitt

    I love your story Karen. I hadn’t thought in the terms of buying a memory, but I know that there are many things from my past that if I see, taste, hear or smell them, they bring back lots of memories from my childhood. Regardless of whether it is a tangible thing like your bank or a “trigger” those memories are sweet and do make us smile!

    July 28, 2020 at 4:18 pm
    • Karen

      Hi Barbara, It’s too bac we can’t buy those tastes, sounds, and smells, isn’t it?

      July 29, 2020 at 6:08 am
  2. Barbara Cannon

    It wasn’t until I reached my 60’s that a childhood memory brought a smile to my face. Maybe I am a late bloomer! Last year my aunt passed away. She was a wonderful woman, down to earth, and loving. A few months ago, I started remembering things about her, and I realized I had a huge smile on my face. As I age, I seem to remember more – maybe from having a little more free time. Your story was lovely, and I have fond memories of the five and dime store. My grandmother got her hair done every week, and she gave me a quarter to spend at the five and dime. Such fun to go alone and see all the treasures and pick one out for my own!

    August 1, 2020 at 10:22 am
    • Karen

      Sometimes we just need distance, Barbara. I’m glad some of your memories are bringing you joy now! The “five and dime” store. I wonder if that’s the equivalent to today’s Big Lots?

      August 2, 2020 at 5:32 am
  3. Kay Morrison

    Enjoyed your piggy bank story. My bank was a metal one that looked like a cash register. You had to put about $5.00 in it before it would reopen. It took me a long time to put that much change in my bank to reopen it.

    August 1, 2020 at 11:08 am
    • Karen

      I can just envision that little bank. I don’t recall ever seeing one that regulated when you could open it, other than with a key. How interesting!

      August 2, 2020 at 5:31 am
  4. Mary K

    I have entered the memory stage to bring me happiness. I have no wants, no desires and I’m happiest with those little memories. Dove soap was Grandma S’s big farm bathroom with the footed tub, Chantilly Lace was Grandma G’s sweet smile and chicken candy dish. Those little glass pigs were in my Dad’s top drawer till my rascal brother broke them all and absconded with our savings. So many memories and so little time to scrap those sweet memories….

    August 1, 2020 at 2:21 pm
    • Karen

      Thank you for sharing, Mary. It’s funny how those little things pop into our memories more and more, isn’t it? I hope you are able to get them all down on paper to pass on to your family. XO

      August 2, 2020 at 5:30 am
    • Theresa Banks

      Love this story! I had the same bank! I think the idea of “found” money in it is AWESOME! I’m going to do that with my grandson!

      August 2, 2020 at 8:51 am
      • Karen

        That is awesome, Theresa! See Sherry Pennington’s comments too!

        August 3, 2020 at 6:18 am
  5. Liz in Tx

    Talk about a memory! I had that exact piggy bank!! I don’t remember giving it away, but maybe I did. I have some things in the attic, and it might be there. I bought that piggy bank because I loved the clear, brownish color. I thought mine may have had a slight iridescence to it. I remember buying a memory. I read a Scholastic book called Ready Made Family back in elementary school. I thought I had kept it, but I never found it. About 5 to 10 years ago, I remembered the book, so I searched the internet, and I found it at an used bookstore. And I bought it. I think it was $5.00, and I think my mom paid $.50 for the one I had had.

    August 2, 2020 at 6:36 am
    • Karen

      Yes, Liz, there is a tiny iridescence to the bank. 🙂 How totally awesome that you have already “bought” a memory! I love that!!! LOL on the price difference. I paid $1.00 for my piggy bank last year and 10 cents originally, so that ratio increase is the same. How intereesting!

      August 3, 2020 at 6:20 am
  6. sherry pennington

    LOL……I have that very same glass piggy bank 🙂 Mine holds memories as well. On my grandson’s last visit he had his eye on it and asked me if it was special. I told him it was and that it held all my money safe when I was his age (7 yrs) He was awed that it was that old….. His words, not mine. He was pretty tickled when he got back home and his mom unpacked his suitcase and found the little glass pig and some coins to get him started !!

    August 2, 2020 at 5:46 pm
    • Karen

      OH, Sherry! First of all I love that you still have your piggy bank and that you were still using it. What an astute question from your grandson, asking if it was special. And what a sacrifice to give up that bank to give your grandson the same joy you had as a child. I totally understand. What a treasure for him. Thanks for sharing.

      August 3, 2020 at 6:17 am
  7. Heather Whitman

    Love the story! Thanks for sharing!
    I was so amazed to see that little bank because I have one exactly like it. I’ve had it since I was a child, so going back a few decades. I keep it in the laundry room, on a shelf and it gets whatever change shows up there. lol Similar idea to yours. 🙂

    August 4, 2020 at 6:11 pm
    • Karen

      Oh, Heather! This just brings a big smile to my face! I’m so glad you still have yours and still use it!! I love it!!

      August 5, 2020 at 6:11 am
  8. Pam K

    What a special memory!! & what a flea market find!!!

    August 4, 2020 at 7:30 pm
    • Karen

      Thanks, Pam! I couldn’t have been more surprised when I saw that piggy bank on the flea market table!

      August 5, 2020 at 6:10 am
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    March 3, 2022 at 6:11 am
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