| Windows |

Something to Bank On

“Ooh, you lucky duck, you. Wish I had the bank on my to-do list”


met my friend Lisa in the cereal aisle. I was busy with my usual inner debate: Will the family know if I purchase the generic brand of Life? Eventually I won’t be able to pull the wool over their innocent eyes. But for now, if I still could, well, I still would.

I tossed the box of generic cereal into my cart and turned to greet Lisa.

I was busy, but not too busy to chap a schmooze.

“Hey, Peshie, guess where I’m heading after this grocery run?”

“Someplace good?”

“Someplace really good.”

“Ooh, the dollar store?”

“Nope, better.”

“Where? Just tell me, Lisa.”

“Fine. My next errand is... drumroll please… the bank!”

“Ooh, you lucky duck, you. Wish I had the bank on my to-do list. All I’ve got is the uniform store and getting my flu shot. Bo-ring.”

“I know, right? Hey, here comes Becky. Should I tell her? She might turn green with envy.”

“Nah,” I answered confidently. “She’ll feel happy for you, just like I do. Sign of a true friend, you know.”

Becky turned the corner, cart full, kids hanging on and badgering for the “good cereals.” Hey, if you take the kiddos shopping with you, you forfeit your right to sneak off with the generic brands.

“Hey, Pesh, hi, Lisa. What’s up, you women of leisure, just schmoozing for hours on such a busy day.”

“Not hours, Becky, because Lisa here has to go someplace fun.”

“Ooh, what? Is it spa day?”

“Almost as good. I have to go to the bank.”

“The bank? I wish I had to go to the bank. Want me to go for you?”

“No, Becky, you can’t sign my name for me. That’s illegal. How badly do you want to go anyway?”

Becky made a face. It was clear she wanted to go pretty badly. I could relate.

I bid the girls goodbye and wandered off to stock up on pizza bagels, thinking of Lucky Lisa.

Here’s the thing, folks: A trip to the bank is like a trip to paradise. Almost.

Think about it. Banks are quiet and hushed. Banks are deliberate and slow-paced. You wait quietly on a line for your turn, checking your phone, spacing out, planning your Shabbos menu. Banks are tidy, and best of all, everyone is super polite.

Spend a day hearing, “Maaaa, that is so not fair,” and “My booties still didn’t come. Are you sure you ordered them? I knew we should’ve paid $15 for expedited shipping!” and you will know just how lovely it is to hear, “Good morning, ma’am, how is your day going? How can I help you today?”

I always wonder if that’s a trick question. Last time I went to the bank, which was probably a year ago, I had this urge to give them my whole list; they seemed so eager to help. Ya know: hem Pinny’s pants, find the missing library book, peel two bags of potatoes for the kugel, dispute that insurance claim. But I was just too shy so I did a cop out and told them about the savings account matter I was there for.

Isn’t it wonderful just how much the bank employees appreciate you? Not only do they value your business, they treat you with the utmost concern. There’s a supportive environment there. Plus, there are nice plush chairs available. If you don’t have a pen, why, that’s no big deal; they have plenty on hand and will hand one to you with a smile.

The wise among us have figured out that you can try to intentionally ignore the Chase wall ads (“Never just numbers” and “One bank, One team”) and just focus on the carpet and the plush chairs and the coffee machine. With a little imagination, you can fool yourself into thinking that you are at a café. A café where the cup of joe is free!

As I pushed my loaded cart out of the supermarket, I wondered if I really had to get the flu shot. I’d pushed it off for a week already, no reason why I couldn’t push it off another day. I was suddenly in the mood for free pens, plush chairs, empathy, and a free cup of coffee. And this time I wouldn’t be so shy when the bank employee would approach me with a smile and a, “Mrs. Needleman, how can I help you today?” After all, I could still use some help settling that outstanding insurance dispute.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 876)

Oops! We could not locate your form.