Thursday, September 28, 2006

Money Clip Status

Over the years I've bought my share of money clips for guys I know. Silver ones mostly. In a Tiffany box if possible. They usually cost between fifty and a hundred dollars. It seemed like a useful, semi expensive, yet thoughtful gift that didn't require any knowledge of sizes or sleeve lengths. 

Naively, I thought guys used them like women used their purses. Fancy ones for night time. Something casual for work.  I imagined them swapping out one for another depending on the occasion. That sort of thing.

Later, I would check to see if my money clip was put into service and I was always disappointed. Now, having moved beyond that phase of my gift giving, I confess to still checking out what kind of money clip a man has on those rare occasions when I can get some guy to reach for the tab.

For a long time, I had it in my head that money clips were kind of like cowboy buckles in a way. Big and showy was better. Most of the ones for sale were shiny and silver. And most seemed to make a statement of sorts. With initials. Or a big coin or an eagle or some other masculine fiduciary symbol.

But that was then and this is now. Over the years I noticed a strange phenomenon that begin to emerge. Money clips became passe. They disappeared from use by the men in my world. Replaced by rubberbands. 

Heads of ad agencies, judges, doctors, SVPs of marketing -- men I knew who seem to be making a nice salary -- one after another would whip out a stack of credit cards and not a little cash all bunched up and held together with a rubberband.

Guys in Armani suits and Italian shoes. Driivng BMWs and, yes, even Ferraris. Wearing Cartier and Rolex watches. They all used rubberbands.

There seemed to be some inverse ratio of financial success and rubberband money clips.  Although I don't move in circles with people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, I'm thinking they're using rubberbands, too.

Usually the process seems to be to wrap the money around their cards and then use a rubberband to hold it all together.  The rubberband has to be large enough to go around twice. And it's usually one of the puke brown colored ones that you can purchase by the dozens in a huge plastic bag from Staples. Or here online:

I'm willing to bet that the guys who use rubberbands don't check for frayed ends or nicks so they can switch an old one for a new one; they just wait for the old one to break. Then track down their stash from Staples and replace it.

Maybe it's just an upper middle class white guy thing. 

Somehow I don't see Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan using rubberbands -- besides they probably have people who take care of that stuff for them. I wonder about celebrities like K-Fed and Justin Timberlake. The president. Dick Cheney. Do you think? Wouldn't it be funny if they all do the rubberband thing too? Okay not laugh out loud stuff.

But amusing to consider, nonetheless.


suzypwr said...

Can designer rubber bands be far behind?

It seems to me they should be stealing their daughter's pony tail holders. They last longer. Maybe they don't wrap twice around a big wad.


dr1hguy said...

I'm glad someone else noticed. I've carried a money clip for years (I hate carrying or searching through a bulging wallet) and had recently become alarmed about the pandemic of rubber band-bound wads of cash. I thought it was a conspiracy to make me crazy. Thank goodness it's just bad taste on the part of the American male population.

mosie1944 said...

To let you know how it is on THIS side of the tracks... I've never met a man who used either money clips OR rubber bands.  

jevanslink said...

That's because any hardworking man worth his pair of jeans knows there's a pocket already provided for his moolah.    Mrs. L

screaminremo303 said...

A money clip is a waste of time. That's what a wallet is for.

lanurseprn said...

I've seen guys use money clips....I thought they LIKED them, too??  Hah...silly me!

z7snowflake said...

that is an unusual thing and an interetsing thing to ponder

rebuketheworld said...

I love money clips too..there is something carefree and masculine about it,,,Its like his money doesnt rule him unless its in a tight nitch wallet,,lol..OK, so its over the top...but it still feels true,,,- Raven

cberes1 said...

My Lou used a money clip...always.  A simple, somewhat plain, silver one with his initials.  He loved to keep it filled with bills and whip out something for the boys when they headed out .. "got enuf money" was a mantra for him, something to do with being raised by a greek immigrant who couldn't speak english and left home at age 8 to work I suppose...?  Even when he was very sick, I had to keep the money clip full so he could continue his routine of giving our sons some extra spending cash.  Something I, of course, at times disapproved of since I felt he spoiled the boys.....God , I miss that money clip's sitting empty in his jewelry box.

swibirun said...

My wife never gives me any money, so I don't have to have a money clip.....


mombzbe said...

My Dad used to use a money clip, occasionally,  back in the day.

I think he switched to a wallet full-time when he realized how much easier it was for me to empty it....