March 25, 2004

Sarah: The Vending Machine Blues

Today I was purchasing my beverage of choice from the vending machine located in my apartment building, and I suddenly remembered my junior high days. Although my mom made our lunches for school from first grade all the way until we graduated (spoiled, I know), and they were always quite fabulous, I would occasionally purchase candy during the lunch hour. There were these certain cherry flavored candies that I just thought were the most delicious EVER. If you kept them in your mouth long enough, the sugary flavored outside would melt away and you'd be left with the gummy center! Anyway, the point. There were several boys who would spend the majority of lunch time gathered around the vending machines begging for your change. Their goal was apparently to collect enough money to make a purchase of their own. I never understood this. Why don't they just bring 65 cents to school? It's not that much! Instead, they opted to spend their time out of class asking their peers for enough change for a soda or some other item. I, like many of my peers, became an expert at guarding my hard-earned pocket change. After I inserted my cash, I would punch in the numbers for my selection. Then I would immediately cover the change slot with my hand. If I did not do so, my change could be stolen or, possibly worse, handed to me by one of the aforementioned beggars, who would then, with my money in his hand, ask for my change. Did I give the money to him? Did I snatch it back out of his hand and hurry back to the lunch table where my friends were seated, clutching my worldly possessions? This was a major moral dilemma for a 14 year old, and one that I faced all too often.

Posted by sarah at March 25, 2004 04:35 PM
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