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The Thirteen Coins, or, The Family Idiot

I did wonder what all the fuss was about.

During the celebrations, my aunt gave me a couple of silver(possibly plated) boxes to stick in my handbag. I assumed they had been used for keeping the rings in, but that was OK, I gave them to one of my cousins later, and that was that.

These boxes turned up in coversation again and again. Seemed that they have been lost, my cousin doesn't seem to recall me giving them to her... I don't know. I was tipsy but not so very tipsy I hope,that my mind made things up. I worried... were they antiques? Why was everyone asking about them over and over again?

I just got asked by another cousin if the coins inside the boxes had fallen into my bag. Coins? What coins? I thought they were empty.

Still, I just looked in my bag, and there were 13 of these bizarre coins, each depicting some event from the Bible. Turns out that the giving of  coins, usually gold or silver from groom to bride is a  Spanish custom. The coins are blessed by the priest, and symbolise the groom's promise to be a good provider, and the bride's promise to trust him. Or they have something to do with the 12 apostles and Christ, or 12 months of the year and the poor,or something. The tradition seems to stem from Visigothic or Frankish or Roman antecedents, I have no clue, but it's pretty ancient, supposedly dating from the 6th or 3rd century... Thankfully the coins were not that old. They were, however, a gift from my grandmother to my aunt, who in turn gave them to all her children to use in their weddings. God alone knows where my grandmother got them. For all I know, she might have been given them by her mother.  One thing is certain  - they are a treasured family heirloom, and I was entrusted with them completely unknowingly. My aunt has been tearing her hair out, and yet no-one thought to mention anything to me until this morning. I  just assumed the whole family had developed an obsession with boxes.

I think we've all been very lucky. From pounds to euros, with added Namibian and Ozzie currency, there are so many bits of random coinage free-floating in my bag I could very well have tried to use these things to pay taxi drivers or tip waiters.

 It's been a funny old week.

Edited to add: And now the boxes have been found - the Bride's mother had them. 


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 30th, 2016 08:27 pm (UTC)
Blimey. That's one of my least favourite things - not being told about something and then being expected to somehow know...
Jul. 1st, 2016 07:56 am (UTC)
In fairness, they may well have thought that I actually saw the coins at some point during the ceremony. It never occurred to them that I had no idea whatsoever. And my family never tell me much anyway!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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