I hate math. I detest balancing a checkbook so I haven't used one for decades. I carry hard cold cash. I see absolutely no redeeming qualities in a debit card. I know exactly how much I have and when it’s gone it’s gone. Balancing pages and pages of the bank statements is fine for other elements of society who have nothing better to do but not for me.

One day, however I was forced to use the cursed thing. Kristjana sprained her foot and needed an ace bandage. She couldn’t walk into the store and since I had no money on me, she insisted I use her debit card.

“Kristjana I have never used a debit card.”

“Mom, you use a credit card, it’s the same thing. You swipe it and use my pin number. Even you can do this.”

“Uragamagagagrrr.” I cursed her and grumbled all the way into the store. It didn’t matter how simple the task, when it came to me versus machines, machines always made a fool out of me.

The bandage rang up to a whopping $6.87, $7.28 with tax—amazing that a large segment of society used a card for such a simple expenditure. What if they had a flat tire or needed a tow or were at the beach and the ice cream truck came by and they were attacked by an ice cream craving?

I swiped the card and punched in her password. That was easy. Suddenly a screen jumped out at me. How much money did I want back, $20, $40, $50 or $100?

Sirens stared screaming in my brain and my internal voices scrambled to make a decision. “Kristjana doesn’t like to carry cash. Why do I have to get cash back? What if this made her overdrawn? She never told me this would happen.”

The mob of people in line stared at me like I was an idiot who had never used a debit card before. I picked the lesser of all the evils and punched the $20 key. The till rang up $27.28. The alarm bells in my head screamed again. It was only supposed to be $7.28. Then I remembered I was getting $20 back.

 Technology is hard on my nervous system. I wanted to go back ten years to the dark ages when people carried cash, gold nuggets or grain. I grabbed the $20 and the bandage then slunk out of the store.

“Now you have cash.” I said to Kristjana as I flopped into the passenger seat and handed her the package and the money.

“Mom, why did you get $20?”

“The machine said I had to.”

“Did you not see the ‘no cash’ button?”

“Kristjana, people were staring at me. I did not have time to read the thing like a novel. What’s wrong with carrying a few dollars anyway?”

“I can’t believe you can't use a debit card.” She passed me the $20. “You take this. Buy something for my dog.”

I might not know how to use a debit card but I am smart enough to know that I am $20 richer. I smell a business opportunity.

Please respond and tell me I'm not alone, even if you have to lie :)


Connie said...

Wow, your follower numbers are climbing, good job.

As for the whole debit card thing, I resisted for quite awhile and my kids always made fun of me. Now that I have one I don't know what I would do without it. The only problem is now I NEVER have cash on hand and sometimes just a couple of dollars for something would be better than using a debit card. I am sorry but I have to say you are alone on this one.

I still think you are terrific though!

Anonymous said...

Your funny mom


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