Wednesday, January 05, 2005

credit card trauma

The problem.
I have credit card trauma. Seriously. I'm not sure that I'm ever going shopping again without cold hard cash.

The Explanation.
My husband gets referalls through his job that translate into cash for us. As an engineer with SBC he is encouraged to sell phone lines, accessories, blah blah blah. Well, these "rewards" are then transferred to something resembling a credit card. Really, it's more like a Target gift card, because they sure as hell don't tolerate overages.

The Fiasco.
I'm happily shopping (KID-FREE) in my local H-E-B yesterday for lunch stuff, coffee filters, fruit loops, puffy cheetos; you know the usual stuff. I'm enjoying my rare opportunity to actually read labels and walk slowly; I'm not chasing after my racing shopping cart or picking up a display of 430 cans of creamed corn spilled all over the aisle or even visiting the bakery more than three times for free samples of oatmeal cookies. I'm just minding my own damn business, buying some food. As I complete my grocery store trek with a large bag of Kibbles and Bits, I make my way to the checkout escalator thingy and lay out all of my junk healthy food. The sweet little red headed boy smiles at me and asks me how my morning is going as he swipes my oreos across the red flashy thingy. (I'm sure that this item will come out as the leading cause of pupil cancer in the next 10 years or so. ) As he continues scanning my food, I begin to sweat a little bit because I remember C's warning that there was only $98 left on our "reward" card. My hands get jittery and my palms get sweaty and my left eyebrow starts doing its little twitchy dance. I HATE being short of money. When he finishes and my total rings up to be $66.15, I breathe a deep sigh of relief. Because OH MY GOD, I don't want to have to put back the nine rolls of reduced price Christmas wrap and white chocolate covered Oreos. Smiling like a wicked child who has just found a stack of Playboys, I swipe my credit card and immediately stick it back in my purse for FUTURE USE. I have atleast $30.oo left to blow!

The rest happened in slow motion.

DECLINED!!!! the little lcd screen on the credit card machine reads.

"No, no, no" I frantically chant to sweet redheaded boy. "This can't be right. My husband TOLD me that we have $98.00 on this card. HE TOLD ME SO."

"Scan it again!" I practically yell at the poor kid.

DECLINED!!!! the little fucker of an lcd screen said again.

At this point, I just put my hands over my face and slump over a little. The poor little sweet redheaded boy is looking around frantically thinking that I'm going to have a nervous breakdown at any second. I almost did.

But, I pulled myself together. I stood up straight, grabbed my useless "reward" card off the counter and stated loudly that my husband was NEVER seeing me naked again.

The Solution.
  • Never shop again without cold hard cash.
  • Never look directly into the red flashing scanner thing.
  • Never trust "rewards".
  • Be very wary of any numbers resembling "666".
  • ($66.15 - coincidence? I think not.)
  • Never let my husband see me naked again. Or for atleast 72 hours.


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5:45 PM  

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