The Tooth Fairy’s Dime

I believe I was six when I lost my first tooth.  I don’t remember a lot about it except like the ones I lost after the first one, it became so loose I could twist it around in my mouth.  If that happened to me as an adult I would freak out.  I mean, your tooth hanging from a cord twisting around on your gum?  Ew.  Anyway, I messed with it and messed with it until it finally just fell out.  Like the tidy person that I was and still am, I threw it away.

My uncle J heard about my tooth falling out.  He asked me if the Tooth Fairy had picked it up.  I’m sure I must have said, “Who?” or “What’s a Tooth Fairy?”  No one had told me about the Tooth Fairy.  Surely my parents knew my tooth was loose.  Maybe they had forgotten to tell me?  I don’t know, but Uncle J told me that if I put my tooth under my pillow at night, the Tooth Fairy would come in the night, take it, and leave money under my pillow.

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A bit skeptical, I figured it was worth a try so I fished my tooth out of the trash, told my family about it, and stashed it securely under my pillow before I fell asleep that night.  But not until I had touched it at least twenty times to make sure it was still there.  I worried it might get lost during my sleep.  Would the Tooth Fairy know about my tooth being there?  Did he or she know where I lived?

Thrilled.  I was beyond thrilled when I checked under my pillow in the morning.  Not only had the Tooth Fairy found my house and my tooth, but there was a shiny Mercury dime in its place!  Okay, a dime isn’t much nowadays, but back then, you could buy two candy bars at the school snack bar with a dime.  Or you could save it and when you got a few more, you could buy a pretty darn good toy at the dime store.  I suppose the dime store could be compared to today’s dollar store, but there’s nothing like the peculiar, wonderful smell of a dime store.

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Occasionally while driving through a small town I will spy an old five-and-dime storefront, but the store itself usually has morphed into a more modern business.  But back to the Mercury dime.  I learned from my daddy that the dime had a picture of the mythical Mercury character known for his speedy delivery of messages.  The only thing that interested me about the dime, though, was its purchasing power.  I wish I had kept that old dime but at least I have the memory of my first visit from the Tooth Fairy.

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What about you?  What did you get from the Tooth Fairy?  Did you frequent five-and-dime stores?

Until next time,

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