Looking A Gift Card in the Mouth

Posted on July 23, 2010

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Life in the Boomer Lane had lunch with a friend the other day, and, at the end of the meal, her friend pulled out her wallet. It was very small and compact and looked exactly like that used by LBL. LBL applauded her for not carrying around the usual behemoth wallet that most women did. Her friend looked a bit sheepish, put her hand back in her purse and pulled out a wallet that was the size of a Daytimer and must have weighed 14 lbs. LBL asked her what the small wallet was for, and she explained that it was for gift cards and store credits. She opened it to show LBL. She had so many cards that if she could have combined all of them, she could probably have bought herself a Mercedes.

LBL also has a second wallet for gift cards and store credits. She doesn’t have nearly as many as her friend does, but it still makes her crazy that I she walks around with these cards and spends most of her time forgetting to use them. More than once, a store went out of business before she had time to use her gift card. Another time, she drove twenty miles to use a card and it turned out there was only about $1.34 left on it.

LBL also used to save Metro fare cards, with balances like $.05 or $.10 or $.20 on them. She had a whole stack. Eventually, they got totally dog-eared and she assumed that the magnetized strip became de-activated, or whatever magnetized strips do after awhile when they enter their golden years. She finally threw them out. That actually used to happen to with with credit slips, before almost all stores switched to cards. She would carry the slip around for so long that whatever was originally written on it completely disappeared and, if she ever did remember to use it at the store, it had become a blank piece of paper. The Target credit slip lasted less than 24 hours. LBL believes they use some kind of disappearing ink. She’s still ticked off about that. And she has a credit slip from the Gap that is so faded, she defies anyone to be able to figure out what amount is on it.

LBL has been told on several occasions that very few people actually use gift cards or credits. This doesn’t make her feel any better. She might declare a “Use Every Stinkin’ Gift Card” Day. She will drive to each store and the rule is that she can’t leave without using the entire gift card. She will put a lot of miles on the car and end up with a lot of useless stuff (like Starbucks coffee which she doesn’t even like), but the cards will be gone.

Is “The Great Indoors” still in business? What state is it in? Does anybody want the card?

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