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Monday, August 7, 2017

Don't Look A Gift Card In The Mouth

    My wallet must weigh about seven pounds right now. You’re probably thinking, “You’ve sure got an awful lot of coins in there for it to weigh that much.” A logical thought, but it’s not coinage. No, the reason for the weight of my wallet is all the plastic that’s in it. Besides the usual bank cards, member cards, and insurance ID stuff, there is also an impressive stack of gift cards in my clutch wallet. I have enough right now to build a raft.

    People just love to give gift cards these days for one thing or another. Win a door prize? Here’s a gift card. Sing at a funeral? Here’s a gift card. Your family has known you your entire life and they still can’t figure out what to give you for your birthday? “I know! I’ll get her a gift card!” Nothings says “I don’t have a clue about you” like a gift card.

    Gift cards were fun for a while.  Receiving one was a nice surprise, something out of the ordinary - “Oh boy, a gift card to Chili’s! Does anyone know where a Chili’s is?”   But no more. Gift card giving and receiving happens so often that now we’re actually relieved when we don’t get one. Someone gives us an actual gift instead. Or better still, cash.

    CASH! I love getting cash. I can pay bills with cash. I can eat at any place of my choosing with cash, not just the four restaurants where the gift card is accepted, and two of which don’t exist in my city.  There are some restaurants I just don’t dine at unless I’m forced to by a gift card. The last time I went to an Olive Garden, I used five gift cards and a credit card to pay for my meal. I wanted to get rid of theses gift cards so badly that I even paid for my brother’s meal. Well, mostly - he had an Olive Garden gift card, too. My receipt was long enough to paper the dang bathroom.

    After that dinner, I was almost completely free of the weighty wallet problem; only two gift cards remained. In less than a month, however, I received two more gift cards. I even found one in my glove compartment for Krispy Kreme Donuts just yesterday. There’s no telling how long it’s been there.

    My burgeoning wallet is up to five gift cards and counting. I should be grateful, I suppose, and just eat out more. Revisiting an old adage, don't look a gift card in the mouth.

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