Carded

I am not an alcohol drinker and never have been.  Therefore, I have not had the experience of being “carded” at a restaurant or store.  My only chance of being asked to show my ID these days would be to verify that I qualify for the senior-citizen discount.

I am, however, routinely “carded” in other ways.  On my key ring right now hang 12 plastic-coated, miniature-size discount cards for local businesses.  I have three times as many discount cards on my key ring as I have keys.  I think I will start referring to it as my card ring.

Of course I have trouble finding the right card when I need it.  I usually go through 11 other cards before I locate the right one.  Sometimes I never locate the right one.  Recently, as I was ordering food at McAlister’s Deli, I asked the clerk to wait a minute.  I dug through my purse to retrieve my card ring and flashed a card at her.  “That’s a Panera Bread Card,” she said to me.  In a similar situation, I was informed a few days ago that my Speedway Rewards Card would not get me a discount at Circle K.

I have considered tossing out all of these little money-saving but time-consuming discount cards.  Like coupons, they often are more trouble than they are worth.  When a clerk hands me my receipt and smilingly says, “You saved 12 cents today with your rewards card,” I want to say, “Wow!  Now I can really help my children.”

Those little reward cards are not the only cards that have become out of control.  My wallet will not snap shut anymore, and that is not because I have too much cash in it.  I have too many cards:  four credit cards, two ATM debit cards, my health insurance card, my dental insurance card, two library cards, my AARP card, an auto insurance card for each of our three vehicles, three cards containing encouraging Bible verses, and a card on which I have jotted down various passwords I use (scrambled a bit in order to thwart identity thieves).  I am a card-carrying fool! Apparently, if I want my wallet to snap shut, I will have to get rid of my driver’s license.

Speaking of cards, has anyone else noticed how expensive greeting cards have become?  My daughter’s birthday was in September, and I spent half an hour at the drug store choosing exactly the right birthday card for her.  As I headed for the register, I glanced at the back of the card and saw that it cost $6.99!  Mortified at seeing that high price, I stopped where I was and backtracked to the card aisle.  I shoved that card back into the rack and spent another half hour finding an acceptable but less expensive card.  I then proceeded to the check-out with a card that cost only $5.99.  There the clerk smiled warmly at me and asked, “Do you have one of our customer rewards cards?”

Sitting at home later and thinking about how much hassle cards have caused me lately, I heard my phone ring.  It was a friend asking, “Do you and Dan want to come over Friday night?  We’ll play cards.”

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5 thoughts on “Carded”

  1. Sister, I say amen to everything you said in your article. I thought I would also note that, due to the price of cards, I decided to make my own cards a couple of years ago. Of course, this required the purchase of a fancy Cruccut machine, many packages of expensive stickers, colored “designer” paper, a cutting device, ribbons, stampers, etc. etc. which probably have added up to at least a couple of hundred dollars and stacks of miscellaneous supplies still waiting to be used and taking up storage space. I also have myriads of cards still waiting to be sent to ‘just the right person’. If I have sent 20 of these cards in the last two years, what does that add up to apiece? Of course, I must admit that I love sitting and making the cards- it fulfills some creative side of myself I didn’t realize existed. I have no idea if people appreciate a home-made card, or if they just assume I am ‘cheap’? Ha. The worst part is that I saw a really cute animal card at the store the other day and still bought it because it was “perfect for Bob”. So much for saving money on cards. Sigh. Love, Julie

  2. Oh my gosh, when I first read this I was laughing out loud. I can relate, that’s one reason why I enjoy your writings so much, but then I thought about it a little bit and it becomes a little scary. To think we have become a card carrying society

  3. All I can say is Touche!!! I just wish stores would just give us all the best price and do away with cards, coupons, etc., etc..

  4. I agree with Belva’s comment in that I do wish retailers would just do away with the cards and coupons and just offer the “real deal” price all the time. Wouldn’t that simplify life just a little?

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