Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Week without a Credit Card

I keep telling mu friends, that I'm very lucky that my head is attached to my neck. Otherwise, someone would have already sold it on eBay. Or Something.

And so, to uphold my glorious reputation as an idiot, I managed to forget my credit card in a restaurant, and subsequently lose it forever.

I realized that I'd lost it when I got to the Supermarket. I wanted to take out my card and put it in my pocket before I go inside the store - but it wasn't there. I got it canceled quickly enough - and tried to get on with my life. They told me it would be about 4 business day till I get a new card. What with the holidays and everything - I figured a week until I get a new credit card.

What do you do without a credit card? It's a very weird feeling of being limited. I do a lot of my shopping on the net, but without a credit card, you can't buy a thing online. I actually had to apologize to an eBay seller - I won an item he sold, but he had to wait a few day until I could pay him with my PayPal account. I couldn't pay him until I get a new card.

I had to rely on some cash that I had around the house (always a good idea) and ask my father if he can spot me some cash for the time being. When I thought about buying something in a store, I didn't just have to think if I can afford it, but I also had to worry about the amount of bills in my purse. Can I pay for this right now? And how much money will I have left for the rest of the week? I need to survive here, after all!

It got more difficult when my friend and I wanted to order pizza to my place. We had to use HER credit card, because I didn't have enough cash.

I couldn't order movie tickets on the net like I always do - I had to use my father's credit card, like a stupid teenager. My independence, at 30 years old, was suddenly very shaky.

And Checks. Yeah, those obsolete pieces of paper. I shook the dust of one of my check-books and stared at it in disbelief. WHO would accept something as flimsy looking as a check? A piece of paper with my name on it, and a sum of money. How can people actually USE these things? I payed with checks in two stores (in which I know the owners), and one of them joked and told me "I ain't taking your checks! They are sure to BOUNCE!". He would never have said that about a credit card (and MY bloody check DON'T bounce, thank you very much).

Oh, and payments? Forget about that. Pay up. Straight up. The whole thing, right now. No more delays. Everything you buy, comes of your account at that same instant.

So, all in all it was a very weird week. I felt half disabled most of the time. I am glad it's over. It's amazing to realize how much I depend on this little piece of plastic. I didn't starve or anything, but managing my financial affairs was a lot more difficult without the credit card.

Finally, I got my new card, payed the guy on eBay and got some cash out of the ATM. All is well - until the next time I misplace an important financial tool.

By the way - the restaurant never called me about the lost credit card. Maybe it fell in the garbage can, or maybe someone thought they can have a party with it. Either way, it's now a useless piece of plastic. Even a personal check has more worth.