When I was very young, younger than three years old by my guess, I collected pennies in my panties. This was an age in my life and in the larger modernizing world of "rubber ducky" underwear, for the netherworld time between diapers and being fully potty-trained. So my panties were really these horrifying rubber or plastic semi-diapers with stiff elastic in the legs.
Times have changed and maybe now toddlers wear something that doesn't look like these unpleasant garments. Perhaps what gets worn today is not rinsed and reused until the rubber gets waxy and the elastic sags. I can't say, since I have no children and have never been around infants or toddlers for longer than an hour here or there.
I have no memory of this behaviour; I rely on stories (and the related snickering) that came from family members who were old enough at the time to pass on this charming tidbit when I was old enough to be embarrassed by it. Thus, I have to wonder what drove my behaviour. I was too young to appreciate the value (merely marginal at the time, back in the 1960's) of the pennies, so let that forestall any allusions to my innate, sprang-from-the-womb prostitute tendencies. But oh, how my family loved to laugh about me waddling around with whatever pennies I'd collected, falling out of my panties. (Did they leave pennies laying around on the carpet and low tables just so I would find them and shove them in my britches? Probably. What might have passed for entertainment in my family could be broad, and odd, by turns.)
I wish I could ask the child I was why I felt the need to stick those shiny copper discs into what passed for my underwear at the time. Having seen plenty of family pictures of me wearing only those horrid little rubber pants, I presume it was usually the only place I had for storing stuff acquired on my travels around the house: it was that, or in my mouth. (Would that have been worse? Better? Sticking dirty coins in my mouth?)
Was this early pre-hoarder genetics expressing itself? (My paternal grandmother would have been able to have her own "Hoarders" episode at one point.) Was I already actually somehow aware of the value of money and planning to cache the pennies and put towards candy or other small purchases? (In 1970, one could buy candies for a single cent.) I imagine it was nothing that impressive; I liked the color. I likely didn't realize I was collecting the pennies, I was just carrying along the things that captured my attention and so I saved them for later. Whatever "later" means to a 2-year-old. And when one has no pockets but does have panties ....
Ironically, forty years later I think I'm still "saving stuff for later," although not in my panties. Nowadays those rubber britches are instead at least two bags whenever I leave my house. That inborn curiosity is often running amok, with my thoughts going in a hundred directions, and my multi-track mind cataloging quotes I enjoy, books I want to read, blog topics I want to explore, and so I carry around what most would consider pointless crap: from the various journals and note-taking pads and papers I use for writing and making lists and jotting fast-vanishing thoughts, to a laptop and a file for papers that I keep in hard copy ... it's pathological. But it's part of who I am, part of my "preparedness" and always only a moment away from capturing a thought or a creative urge. If only I can dig out the right page or journal on which to make notes.
Maybe keeping the really crucial bits in my panties *would* make sense again. Talk about easy access.