Sunday, January 9, 2011

With a Capital "K"

I don't know if your bank does this, but every six months or so we get new credit cards in the mail to replace the perfectly good, unexpired ones we already have. Even though they are perfectly good and unexpired, if you don't activate the new one you will soon find yourself standing in line at the grocery store with two three screaming kids, fresh out of cash and a mysteriously declined credit card.

Nothing makes you look like a pillar of the community quite like the cashier having to interrupt you shrieking at your kids to tell you you're going to have to find another way to pay for the three sizes of diapers and giant bottle of Colace. And even though they pretend to believe you when you say "Oh, I must have forgotten to activate my new card," they are TOTALLY JUDGING YOU.

We pay for day-to-day things with cash, so I don't run into this problem a LOT. However, we have been a little distracted recently and haven't been to the bank since the beginning of December for more cash (yes we still go to the people bank, we're retro).

So today at 4:45 when I finally looked up from preparing for my new class and the breastfeeding marathon I've been living for the last three weeks, it was clear that there was no way I'd have time to go out to the store (with all three kids since Ryan had someone coming to look at my old car), come home, and cook dinner before everyone started freaking the freak out. We decided to head for the Freddie's drive-through, so I threw on a long coat over the super klassy extra-large long-sleeved Old Navy t-shirt and freaking maternity capri leggings I was wearing and herded everyone into the minivan.

We had already ordered our delicious, cooked-to-order burgers when I remembered that my card had been declined Friday when we were at the grocery store--Because of the totally unnecessary new card, NOT because we are delinquent dirtbags. So, applying the power of magical thinking, I handed my card over to the cashier and whispered a little prayer. It didn't work. "Your card was declined," she said, then smiled awkwardly. "OHH, that's because of the..." I trailed off because really, who cares. But why oh why couldn't I have AT LEAST been wearing some real pants for this transaction?

I upended my purse on the passenger seat and managed to come up with thirteen dollars in bills and seven dollars in dirty, dirty change among the rubble. Once I picked the pieces of hair and the larger crumbs out of the change I handed it all over with the confident smile of someone who pays off their credit card bill every month. The cashier handed me our greasy bag of goodness and we agreed to disagree about the state of my financial affairs. And my fashion sense.

10 comments:

Sarah said...

LOL @ delinquent dirtbags and 3 different sizes of diapers and colace-- ha!. This whole post was hilarious.

Kim said...

Too funny! And no worries about maternity capris -- I didn't get dressed for months after Zoe was born, and that was with only two kids!! :)

Alyssa said...

LOL! At least you managed to scrounge up the cash, right? And don't worry, I only have 1 child and I'm still wearing pajama pants every day ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed that you had that much loose cash in your purse. I have change, at most. And I've done the credit card thing. For some reason I'm always totally embarassed. Stupid perceived authority :) -abby

Katie said...

Ha! You always make me laugh! Um, and my youngest is almost 2 and I still wear scroungy pajama pants through the drive thru. I was hoping for some pajama jeans for Christmas but it looks like my husband decided to ignore that one on my list... ;-)

Rima said...

That used to happen to me all the time with my debit card from the Lithuanian credit union. But in my case sometimes it was because I had no money, other times because the Lithuanian credit union's satellites were down.

Amy said...

Honest to God, I never have any cash at all, so I would have had to drive the screaming kids home without the food. So yay for you in your preparedness.

Kyla said...

They totally DO judge you...or me at least. Remember that lady in my school cafeteria who told me I REALLY needed to learn to handle these things on my own and not let me husband do it, or something to that effect. GAH!

Glad you had cash. We use our debit card for nearly everything, so I would have just had to abandon those delicious burgers.

AJU5's Mom said...

I forgot to activate my new debit card when the old one expired (our bank has it so that the new one isn't valid until the old one expires, and I stupidly tried to go shopping on the first of the month). I got bad looks then and had to just go home...
And I would definitely talk to your bank. There is no reason they need to send so many cards AND make you activate them when the others should be still valid.

Susan said...

LOL, I really don't think you could have described that situation any better than that. It cracked me up, though from your point of view may not have been funny (at least not at the time). Good thing you had change in your bag, I'd have only had lint, and empty candy wrappers if I'm lucky a used tissue, but no real cash.