Posts Tagged ‘wallet’

Rubber Band Wallet

I saw an old Chinese man at Costco pushing his wheelchair-bound wife through the checkout line. His life seemed complicated, with language and aging challenges, a partner who needs extra care, and a cartload of bulky Costco items to haul around. But he had simplified his life in one astonishingly practical way.

He had a rubber band wallet.

It was a single, fat blue rubber band holding together all his credit cards and IDs and photos. I thought, in the new cash-free economy, this rubber band wallet seems like a pretty clever idea. And I was reminded of a man I photographed in China in 1991 who made a business out of transforming old bike tires into shoes. I was also reminded of my father, who fixed exhaust systems with coat hangers and installed a phonograph in his car before 8-tracks or tape cassettes or CDs existed.

I love seeing people solve sophisticated problems with unsophisticated solutions. And yes, the man at Costco was most likely just cheap. Like my father was cheap. But the ability to stay in the game when you are dealt a poor hand is admirable. And I think it can be an addictive way of looking at the world. I have a few shot bike tires in the garage, and right now I am looking at my shoes.

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