Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?

Money Clip
I do….

So goes the Cole Porter song from “High Society.” And while I’m decidedly short of funds, I do have a trick to feeling like a million bucks that I’d like to pass along.

I think the story goes that when a certain young actor, who was then penniless, was asked to play a millionaire playboy, he asked in return how he could possibly feel like a very rich man? The director told him to go to the bank and withdraw USD$5,000 and put it into his front trouser pocket to carry around for the day.

It worked like a charm and the young actor went on to become a famous actor who specialized in playing the gentry. (Sorry, I can’t remember who it was. Maybe it’s an urban myth. But I think I heard it on “Frrr-esh Air with Teri Gross.”)

Now, I wouldn’t even know where to lay my hands on that much cash. Nor would I be very good at carrying it on my person (for any length of time.) But I do like to carry $50 around in case I have to pick up a bar tab or cab home or tip someone helpful.

And when I do carry cash, I carry it in the sterling silver money clip seen above. It is the second one I’ve had in the shape of a paper clip (a marvel of industrial design.) The first didn’t have the monogrammable disk. (I’m thinking of having this one engraved with “Pls. Refill.”) Both were gifts from very special people, my father in the first case (it went missing some time ago) and the disarming Mrs. E in the other.

They really do make thoughtful gifts.

Carrying a money clip serves more than one purpose; it makes me think about the cash I’m using, and it keeps me from having to carry a “billfold.” Which in turn keeps me from walking around with the bulging back pocket and popped open pleats. (My “wallet” is a credit card case that holds only a few necessary cards and identification. When I did carry a wallet, it was one of those larger ones that fits inside your inner breast pocket in your suit.)

In other words, it makes me feel more elegant. And I bet it will you, too.

So until that lucky day when my man will carry my umbrella and cheque book and wear a watch for me, I will continue to use my money clip — just four smaller bills, please.

9 thoughts on “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?

  1. I like cash, too… makes you think a little more about what you’re spending! I have a RL wallet that I love. I couldn’t use it in the UK because the money sizes were different!

  2. One of my breast pocket wallets was my Father’s. He bought it when we were stationed in Europe. There is one great pocket under all the others for the old money that runs its length and width….

  3. I agree- they make wonderful gifts. However, why is it that you men lose them all the time?? I gave my husband a beautiful sterling one from Tiffany with his monogram engraved on it- that’s been lost. Then he had yet another one from Tiffany- this one a paper clip similar to the one above; that’s been lost too. So, I’ve given up on giving them to my husband. But, they certainly are an elegant accessory! 🙂

  4. Funny, just purchased a wallet quasi clutch bag yesterday and was thinking that carrying it would make me feeler that much wiser and wealthier, a spot for coins, cash, license, credit card, lipstick. One tissue. Dreaded cell phone.

    But you, Mr.E, have once again, gone all easy and elegant on me. One paper clip and cash-ola!

  5. Hello Peak, I have no idea how I lost the last one. I’m usually careful with my things. I believe that it slipped from my pocket while I was performing some sort of derring-do. At least that’s what I’d like to think.

    Mrs. PVE, I think the clutch very elegant. It certainly beats the suitcase sized purses that have become all the rage. Excepting, of course, the Aliigator Ricky Bag from RL. Mrs. E has her standards and will only carry a backpack style bag with her wallet/clutch inside….. drives me to distraction.

  6. It was George Cukor, and he said it to Cary Grant prior to the filming of The Philadelphia Story.

    Oh, and I agree as I have several clips as I seem to lose them…

  7. Thanks!

    Regarding losing clips after my third or fourth one I found a place that does monagrammed clips in bulk as groomsman gifts, so I got a half dozen for like $40.

    I also have a nice one from Tiffany’s that I’m afraid to use in case I lose it, so it pretty much only holds cab fare when I’ve got a formal in town.

    Oh, and those bulk clips? I’m down to two…

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