The New Stuff

“Check cashing” was…


Friday, what can I say? It is a day of pressure or anticipation for most. Last day of the week with goals yet unfinished, a day of earning’s report or paycheck deposits in the bank, do they still get called ” paycheck” because it is not a ” check” but a transfer of virtual currency numbers into a virtual bank? Still spendable, and visible, and efficient we are told, but without a”paper soul.”

In my youth “Friday” night was ” banking and shopping night” in the town I spent a lot of life in.
Dad and Mom worked hard, often to tired to be a parent to us kids, struggling to keep us fed, clothed,and supplying other necessities of life at that time.

But Friday was kind of a mini holiday for us kids. We would get to hang with Dad on main street that bustled with traffic and other people taking a ” Payday” mini-vacation on Friday Night.
The ritual was simple, Dad would find a parking spot on “the main” as close to the bank as possible. We had only had one bank and often the owner/president would be out in front greeting people, making lite cheerful chat as the citizens strode past often making remarks about a getting a new car or a loan was slid into the chat so easy people did not notice the marketing behind his kind words; so he thought. He was a master of deception.
Reaching for his wallet holding the paycheck, Dad entered the bank with a look of determination on his face. This piece of paper dictated the lifestyle of next week. He made a effort to hang on to this proof of purpose until the last minute, picking up a pen and with a flourish, signed his name taking one last glance at the face of the ” Check” earned with ” sweat on the brow” labor. He was a proud man, and this was his hour, his day, to strut a little, claim the reward for a job well-done.

With the check cashed, stepping out of the Granite Temple of the town, Dad would always hesitate at the edge of the sidewalk, ponder things, letting the feeling of a fat wallet warm his perception of life he did not have on Thursday.

Holding on to the little pleasure derived from ” cashing” the check, he would step of the curb with a spring in his step stating, the phrase we waited for because we knew some of the money would trickle down to us big eyed kids; “let’s go shopping” was music to our ears. Like my Dads passing many years ago, so has the ritual of “Friday check cashing” and all the ritual of rewards passed into history. I am lucky if I step into a bank once a month, some do not even have a building, just “O’s and “1’s” on a phone. Virtual currency is here to stay, pushing out the ritual of check cashing. Our society has, for the most part, eliminated that ritual, but the ritual of “earning” is still very much in the forefront of  financial survival. Earning a living is the foundation, but that definition is changing also as the paradigm shift ripples  the present and meanders  into the future. Virtual currency is causing the ripples.

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