Post last updated: January 22nd, 2019

The young cashier at the butcher’s shop made a remark about my shiny penny collection as I dug in my wallet. It prompted the guy in line behind me to give me his shiny penny. I tried to demur, of course, but he was insistent. It was so seldom he could make someone happy for a penny.

Outside in my car, I sat for a moment. I needed to let my brain slow down before I tried to drive off. I was amazed that the cashier remembered that shiny pennies make me happy. It meant that I had dug in my wallet for ugly pennies enough times for her to associate me with shiny pennies.

Why would this make my brain spin? Simple. My penchant for bright, shiny things was becoming memorable. How long before someone gave it a name like Old Crowitis and assigned the disorder to senior citizens? My fellow senior citizens have a lot to worry about – body parts going bad, outliving their money – without me adding weirdness to the list of things attributed to old folks.

Old Crowitis creeped up on me slowly. It started with shiny, copper pennies and my sister’s bling. Not being hip, I don’t think I knew what bling meant when Priss started showing up in t-shirts and sandals adorned with metal brads, rhinestones, and sequins. Priss was already afflicted with Old Crowitis. I, on the other hand, kind of wanted a bling shirt but not if I had to go shopping for it. My shopping occurred when I was with a friend who wanted to “just pop into” some store we were near. If it weren’t for my friends, I’d never get into any serious shopping trouble. My Hawaiian shirt with magenta sequin flowers was acquired during one of these friendly shopping trips. It didn’t cost a lot of money and I was bling-happy for several years.

At the beginning of 2014, my Old Crowitis sped up when I acquired this handbag with lots of metal brads and fringe. Oh my stars, the fringe! I was beside myself. I was in love. Once again, I was with friends but I was suffering through some lean years and they bought the handbag for me. Truth be told, I would have eaten cat food for a month to acquire that handbag.

2014's fringe handbag
2014’s fringe purse

The fringe handbag was made of “PETA-approved cruelty-free vegan” fabric. This probably means imitation leather made from polyurethane. I absolutely hated it. The shoulder strap deteriorated and by the Fall of 2015, Priss and I were out shopping for a new handbag I had seen in a magazine. It had beaded fringe and better quality imitation leather.

2015's beaded handbag
2015’s beaded handbag

I still couldn’t part with the original fringe handbag and its tattered strap. The new, beaded handbag went in the closet. This probably wasn’t a good idea because I think it was emitting Old Crowitis signals that ate into my brain. By 2016, my fascination with bright, shiny things went off the rails.

I began to buy beads, charms, and beading tools with the idea of sewing bling onto clothes since I couldn’t find any to buy that were already blinged-out. In craft stores, rhinestones and sequins literally stopped me in my tracks.

This was followed by cheap rings and watches with dazzling cubic zirconia. Lunch dates with other old crows were made for the express purpose of wearing all our “jools.”  The other old crows always had real jools but I was fine with my fake jools until the gold-plating wore off the ring in the first two weeks. This was so unacceptable to my Crowitis, I ended my online purchases of costume jewelry coming out of China. In short order, better jewelry was purchased and, once again, only because I was out with a friend who was shopping. This purchase fired up the “outliving my money” thoughts and, finally, the shiny penny incident at the butcher set off clanging alarms in my brain. Alarms that whispered  — you might have a problem.

Please understand that I have not confessed all of 2016’s bling events but I’m starting to wonder. Is there a 12-step program for old crows?


14 thoughts on “OLD CROWITIS”

  1. Once again, you have made my day. Keep up the good crowitis. If that’s the worst you ever come down with, you’re in good hands (pennies).
    Hugs, Pat

  2. I have carried the same handbag for two years. No, four years. It’s purple so I carry it winter and summer. It’s a Kipling bag. I bought it at Macy’s for under $50 on sale with a coupon. I also have Kipling bag I bought right before I left Baggage For Less. It’s maroon in color and I can’t even remember how long ago that was. I would dare you to think they weren’t bought yesterday. They are both pristine in color shape size and wear. Of course, they contain no bling cause I don’t do bling. Too many thugs on the streets for me to risk a purse snatch. The only thing a thug could get from me of value now would be my hearing aids and I don’t see a big secondary market on the street for them. I feel safe. My $8.54 cents are safe inside my Kipling. I have more money for what’s really important in my life. Rubber stamps and supplies plus postage. Yep…I am really happy to be inconspicuous in the city.

    1. Loysetta – Have you got insurance on those hearing aids because I think you could get mugged for them. As I understand it, Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids and someone out there might really be desperate for them. And those rubber stamps? I think that was the REAL beginning of me going off the rails.
      P.S. – I told you I’m not hip. I don’t know what a Kipling bag is.

  3. I do not believe there is a cure. From what I can see, it gets worse!! Being a gypsy, of course, I have no problem. As a wee babe, my diaper pins were silver with my name engraved. I didn’t have a chance. Bling has been in my life for a very LLLLLOOONNNNGGGG time. Mama even said I was gaudy. This only spurred on my excitement for shiny jools. Embrace it and do what you can. I saw a sayin’ that I use quite often…when it comes to dieting, if you can’t lose it, decorate it.

    1. Gypsy – Shame on yo’ Mama for characterizing you as gaudy when she started the whole thing with those silver engraved diaper pins! I suspected it wasn’t gonna get any better because I keep finding new ways to incorporate bling in my wardrobe but how long before I do something really C-R-A-Z-Y like mirror a whole wall in my house?

  4. Ooo, those are some fancy purses! I’m not much of a clothes shopper, and I don’t fancy much bling, but I have to admit a weakness for pretty purses. At least collecting shiny pennies is a cheaper habit than collecting most other things!

  5. Ah yes, fellow crow – I too have many of these symptoms. I remember your first fringe purse. I’m sure you can repurpose that bag into a plant holder, or some other useful decorative object and give it a second life. Some many years ago when we put in our pond and the little rock patio for viewing – I dashed off in the middle of Mr. Cottage laying those heavy slabs of stone in the cement, or mortar, or whatever that material is, so that I could grab a handful of shiny coins to include in the design. I was so proud of my contribution. AND when the sun hit those coins they sparkled and were so dazzling. Now, these many years later the coins are dull – no more bling, but I still like looking down and seeing them. What do you do with your shinny pennies? CAW CAW CAW

    1. Caw, Caw, Kimmie! I keep my shiny pennies in my wallet where I get to admire them every time I spend money. Sometimes they get spent but I always seem to acquire more right away. Have you tried cleaning your pond pennies with the original Dawn dish soap and a wet cloth? Try that the next time you have a day where you feel like a hunnerd bucks. My million dollar days seem to be gone.

  6. Once again, you are blaming me for your Crooked Moon leanings. I have evolved past most bling except for shoes! I love my bling shoes to the point that my sweet daughter has asked upon occasion how many bling shoes I have. I went clothes shopping this weekend and purchased nothing with bling, although I did look at a pair of fringe covered boots in honor of you! Oh, by the way the fringe boots were at Kohl’s and flat so you might be able to wear them without tripping on the Crooked Moon.

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