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Bras should never be a cash vault — summer or not
Sarcastically Southern
cash vault

I don’t know about y’all, but this heat puts me in an automatic bad mood. The humidity makes my hair all frizzy. The heat makes my makeup feel like it’s sliding off in one piece. I’m pretty sure my shoes and feet smell and let’s not get started on the boob sweat. 

If your female friend, family member or coworker is grumpy and it’s over 80 degrees, you can just go ahead and assume that’s it because she is tired of wearing a bra.

Honestly, I don’t know what it is about the heat that just makes me so grumpy. I like the cooler months way more than the hot months. Maybe it’s because I’m fair-skinned. I associate the hot summer months with painful sunburns or repeated sunscreen applications and it just makes me miserable. (And yes, I’m aware, you can sunburn in the cooler months, but I very rarely do!) 

What’s crazy to me is that when I was younger, I would go outside and spend HOURS on the softball field or in a non-air-conditioned gym practicing cheerleading and I’d feel fine. Now, some odd years later (and some added pounds later), if the thermostat in my house is above 73 degrees, I am ornery.  

As someone who worked retail for 10 years, I can tell you that one of the worst things about the hotter months is the creativity with which some people store their money. That’s right. I’m talking about bra or sock money. 

Why anyone would want to store their money under their breast or in their socks is beyond me. You always think that it won’t happen to you. That no one in their right mind is going to reach down in their shirt and pull out a wad of money. But then, one day… it happens. And you’ve got to fix your face very quickly before they catch you looking at them in disgust.  

The first (or maybe it was just the worst, so it sticks in my mind better) time that it happened to me, a lady pulled out a large wad of cash. And when I tell you the money was wet, folks, I mean, the money was limp from the moisture. I could not make myself touch that money with my hand. I couldn’t. I honestly didn’t care if I was going to get in trouble or get fired because that was just not something I was OK with. 

I reached below the counter and pulled a few paper towels off of the roll we kept stashed to clean the counters and wrapped my hand in one. The customer was so offended that I would do that. I politely explained to her that I didn’t want to touch the money since it had been in her bra. She said a few ugly things to me and put her money on the counter, making a comment that I’d have to touch it to pick it up. 

Luckily, she gave me exact change. So, I input the amount paid into the register, printed her receipt, bagged her items and sent her on her way. I took one paper towel and used it to push the money off the counter and into my other paper-towel wrapped hand. I then placed it under the counter to dry out.

At closing time, I took the money and counted it into my totals. I paper clipped it together with a note on it warning the cash office employee what had happened. Was I aware at the time that 99% of the money in my cash drawer had most likely been boob money at one time? Yes. Was I able to get the thought of that limp, damp money out of my mind? Nope. It didn’t matter to me if every bit of the money I’d touched that day had once been exchanged for entertainment across the South Carolina border (if you catch my drift), I could not get the mental image out of my head. 

And no, it didn’t matter to me who the person was who had pulled the money out of her bra. I don’t recall what she looked like. I do remember that I distinctly remember it seeming like she had been out in the yard all day—so maybe she was dirty and grass -covered. I’m not sure. Either way, she could’ve been dressed in a three-piece business suit with heels and pantyhose and I still wouldn’t have wanted to touch that money! 

I have several friends in banking and they have said that this isn’t an uncommon thing. WHYYYYYY? Why do people do this? And don’t tell me it’s because they don’t want to carry a purse. I swear, one of the girls who did this at the fair buying tickets had a purse with money in it, but still paid me with bra money. 

And I know what everyone is probably thinking… Well, Ashlee, have you ever done it? Yes. I will admit it. BUT when I did it, I stuck the money at the top of the bra under the strap… not fully into the bra cup, so I didn’t have to move body parts out of the way to retrieve it, just some fabric. 

My mom always told me that money was nasty. I never knew HOW nasty until I worked in retail. For years after that encounter, I continued working at the same store, eventually being promoted to cash office associate. WHERE I COUNTED THE MONEY FROM THE ENTIRE STORE BY HAND. None of those fancy money counters for me. I counted it all myself. Which meant I touched every single bill that came through there at one time or another. And that sweaty bra money was never far from my mind as I counted the money each day. 

If you’re one of the few people who prefers cash transactions and you needed a sign that you should sign up for a debit card, this is it. Or I guess maybe the mercury on the thermometer is it.