We have a running joke that I cannot count large amounts of cash. By "we", I mean my husband and every teller in my bank. No one bats an eye anymore when I hand over a pile of cash (and as a waitress by night, I do mean a PILE) and am several dollars off one way or the other.
It's not that I am unable to count. Math was never my favorite subject but I did very well until I hit the black hole that is Algebra 3.
It's that I have a hectic, crazy life and my brain constantly runs at warp speed.
Here is what it looks like when I try to count 176 singles:
Me: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Starshine: "Look at me! I'm Darth Mal!"
Me: *looks up* "Well, that explains the use of black and red markers on your face. Very nice. Now go wash."
Me: "Where was I? Did I already say 10?" *starts over*
My Brain: "You don't think it's possible he colored that marker on more than just his face, do you? Like, oh I don't know, perhaps the wall? The bedspread? The cat?"
Me: "Starshine! Where were you using the markers?" *counts to 20 and puts it aside so I will know I've hit 20.*
Starshine: "On my face!"
Me: 21, 22, 23, 24, 24 "Yes, but what room of the house were you in when you colored your face?"
Starshine: "The water's too hot!"
Cell phone starts to ring.
Dog spots a jogger and begins frantically howling to go outside.
Me: "Turn the faucet to the right. Towards the shower." 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. *answers phone while opening the back door for the dog. Has hectic conversation with hubby that lasts 4.7 seconds.*
Daredevil: "Can I have a snack?"
Me: "Yes, get some fruit or a granola bar. Starshine, you should be finished by now, why is the water still on?" *stares at stack of money and scrolls back. 30?*
Daredevil: "I don't want fruit or granola. I want cheese."
Me: 31, 32, 33 "I can't cut cheese for you right now. Get something else. Starshine! Turn off that water!" 36, 37, 38, 39
Daredevil: "Can I cut it?"
Me: 40, 41, 42, 43 "Sure." *catches a glimpse of Starshine heading through the dining room, completely covered in soap suds.*
Daredevil: "Cool! I get a knife!"
Me: 47, 48, 49 "Starshine! Why are you covered in soap?"
Starshine: "You told me to turn off the water."
Me: "Well, not until you've rinsed off the soap. Go rinse." *stares at pile of money and tries to remember how much is there. 50? Sounds right.*
My Brain: "Is today the day the bug guy shows up? Or is that tomorrow? Maybe I should pull some chicken out of the freezer for tonight."
Me: 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, *notices Daredevil is standing beside me with a hunk of cheese and a butcher knife.*
Me: "What do you think you're doing??? Put down that knife."
Daredevil: "But you said I could."
Me: "No I didn't. Or if I did, it was a mistake." *stares at cash. Where was I? Oh yes, 50.*
Daredevil: "Can you cut it for me then? Please?"
Me: 51, 52, 53, 54 "Give me a second to finish this and I'll do it for you." 55, 56, 57
Starshine: *screaming* "I have soap in my eyes! I'm blind! I'll never see again!"
Dog barks to come back in.
Cat begins the preliminary horking sound that leads inevitably to the act of vomiting up a furball.
Cat is on my couch.
Me: "Hang on Starshine! Daredevil, drop the knife and wait for me!" *yanks cat off couch and onto hardwood floor in the nick of time. Nearly lets dog in before good sense and the memory of what dogs WILL eat kicks in. Runs to Starshine's rescue in the bathroom.*
Scientist: "Mom, some guy is on the phone for you."
Me: *wipes out Starshine's eyes and sends him on his way, grabs papertowels to clean up after the cat and gives the Beady Eye to Daredevil who is hovering over the knife.* "Who is it?"
Scientist: *waits until I shove the papertowels into the trash before handing me the phone.* "Some guy who wants your opinion on something."
Me: *gives my opinion on stangers calling my house to ask me anything at all* "Scientist, let the dog in please." *faces cash. Where was I? Oh yes, 70.*
My Brain: "You still didn't pull out the chicken. Better do it before you forget."
Me: *grabs chicken out of the freezer and slices cheese for Daredevil just to get some peace and quiet* "Hm, 71, 72...no that can't be right. 61, 62?"
Cell phone rings again.
Starshine and Scientist get into an argument on the stairs.
Doorbell rings as some neighborhood kid wants to play inside this madhouse.
Me: *stares at cash and gives up knowing if I start over, another long line of distractions will just interrupt me again*
And that is why I can't count piles of money. Thank goodness for bank tellers with handy money counting machines.