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Thursday, 27 May 2010

Adult ADHD

That’ll be €59.31

Well, she said while handing over a wrinkled note, here’s €20 and the rest you’ll have to take from this!

Fairley produced a large jar half full of mixed copper and silver coins, her hand on the lid, ready to unscrew and start counting.

I’m sorry but I can’t take that

What do you mean, it’s money, isn’t it?

But I can’t take it.


The cashier in this large superstore was extremely patient but she was adamant. She would get in trouble, she said, if she took a large quantity of change. Her supervisor would go mad. She just couldn’t do it.

Fairley, she’s right, you can’t ask her to take change, I piped up, but all I got for my trouble was a glare that suggested I should butt out as I obviously didn’t have a clue what I was talking about.

It’s money! Are you telling me that you won’t take my money?

Talk about a stand off at the OK Corral! Luckily there was no one behind me, no one rolling their eyes in the back of the queue, no supervisor on hand to stick their oar in and make the situation worse.

Look, I’ll give you the rest, I said, producing a hard earned €50 note, and I’ll sort your change out later.

Reluctantly, Fairley agreed as the cashier whipped the note out of my hand before I could change my mind. The money jar was returned to its hiding place deep within the folds of her denim shoulder bag. The glare was replaced by a look of incredulity that was in turn swopped for a defiantly jutting chin ‘neath pursed lips. Not a happy bunny, then.

As I drove home I kept my voice toneless, modulated, non-argumentative while hers rose like a kite in the wind. Back and forth we tossed the issue, how ridiculous it was, how no one had time anymore, how money was money whatever form it took, how I understood, how she didn’t, how crazy it all is. I promised to take the offending coin of the realm and turn it into a more acceptable form. No, I assured her, she didn’t have to separate and count each denomination, I’d be happy to do that. Actually, I’d have been happy to bury it in the garden and leave it for future generations to discover and exclaim, how cute! My golly gosh, did they actually use these funny bits of copper to shop with? Then again, I had somehow just lost €30 at a stroke so I’d perforce be using the offending loose change, in dribs and drabs, over the next couple of weeks, while Fairley resumes her new hobby of numismatics. Would that she’d collect stamps!


In Ireland, the medical profession doesn’t recognise Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The thinking is that young ‘uns with this debilitating condition eventually grow out of it and somehow turn into responsible, mature, competent, empathic, nine-to-five members of the workforce, and caring members of the community. Perhaps the reasoning is that like a snake shedding its skin, a child with ADHD loses all the complications that have plagued their early years the moment they turn eighteen. If only.

Fairley not having Adult ADHD (diagnosed when she was in her early twenties) isn’t a concept I spend too much time thinking over because it has moulded her into the person she has become: difficult, awkward, loyal, lovable, witty, clever, perceptive, thoughtful, and full of personality – a one off in a homogenised world.

Now where was I? Fifty-one, fifty-two, fifty-three…

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is the law, nonetheless: According to the Economic and Monetary Union Act, 1998 of the Republic of Ireland which replaced the legal tender provisions that had been re-enacted in Irish legislation from previous British enactments, No person, other than the Central Bank of Ireland and such persons as may be designated by the Minister by order, shall be obliged to accept more than 50 coins denominated in euro or in cent in any single transaction.

June 01, 2010 1:26 pm  

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