Yankee dimes aren't real money

Published 11:52 am Monday, April 7, 2008

By Staff
Money is a funny thing and I have certainly given my son a lot to laugh about recently. I have used some phrases about money lately that have put some strange looks on my son's face and have even made him a little mad once I explained them to him.
I found myself asking for his help on a little project this past week. When he decided he would comply with my wishes, he asked if I was going to pay him for his help. I assured him I would. He didn't quite believe me, but I continued to assure him that I would pay him. When I told him I would pay him a Yankee Dime for his help, he informed me that his assistance would require more than 10 cents in return.
As the words “Yankee Dime” came out of my mouth, I wondered to myself why I had even used the phrase that I had almost certainly forgotten even existed.
Seriously, when's the last time you heard that phrase? I can't recall hearing that phrase after my twelfth birthday and certainly not in the nine years that my son has been on this earth.
After the chore was done, Landon began asking for his dime. When I puckered my lips and walked toward him, he looked at me really funny. After I planted a kiss on his forehead, I explained the real meaning of a Yankee Dime.
You have probably already guessed by now that my explanation regarded with a huff and one of those “you're crazy, mom” looks from my son.
I must say that I felt a little crazy. I know at some point in my life I have used the phrase before, but it couldn't have been more than a couple of times. The only solace I have in that is it's a good indication that I'm not old, yet.
If you're a little lost on the Yankee Dime theory, there is an urban dictionary out there that defines the term as a quick, innocent kiss. A peck. A child like term used by/for children in the Southern United States. (More common in countryside-raised, ‘older' southern families.)
I don't think I could have been raised more country or more southern, which explains my familiarity with the phrase.
One other thing I've tried to explain to my son is how we actually obtain the money we use to buy things.
I have found myself saying “no” time and time again in a store where my son is begging for some useless item. In exasperation, I have uttered the age-old phrase “money doesn't grow on trees” on more than one occasion.
Talk about a look of bewilderment. Landon quickly pointed out that he never once thought that money did grow on trees. He also said that if it did, he'd certainly want a couple of $20-bill trees planted in the back yard.
Now, why did I tell him that money doesn't grow on trees? Even the young mind of a child quizzed me on why I would even think it necessary to share this information with him.
Money is certainly a funny thing, especially when it seems there's never enough. I wonder if Mr. Homer could find me a $100-bill tree to plant?
Lisa Tindell is news editor for The Brewton Standard. She can be reached by e-mail at lisa.tindell@brewtonstandard.com.

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