04 August 2010

What's In Your Wallet?

Today--in my quest to prepare for school--I opened up a bank account at a bank in the town where my college resides. (My regular bank does not have a branch there, so I figured I'd better have some money stashed away for emergencies.) Overall, it was a pretty uneventful day--excepting my nifty new bank account and a somewhat deja vu moment I had at a local diner.

The place had good food, but horribly slow service, and they put lettuce on my burger after I specifically said they could put whatever they always put on it except lettuce. I saw the waitress write this down on her notepad. There was no excuse for botching that order! I didn't complain. I just peeled the lettuce off and munched away happily.

The reason I mention this is I have a random childhood memory that always flashes before my eyes when I see lettuce. It was December of 1998. I was 9 years old and my decidedly religiously apathetic mother decided that the perfect family holiday memory would be taking her agnostic German Jewish parents and my brother and me to a Unitarian Christmas pageant. You know those well-meaning family moments that are just doomed from the start? This was one of them. I remember nothing about the play except for the bored expression on the face of my grandpa, who bore a disturbing resemblance to one of my favorite authors, Elie Wiesel--I am not joking; they could have been twins--and a skit set in the Titanic's dining room. (This was when the movie was really popular.) Anyhoo, a man was sitting at a table to order, and the waiter asked him what he wanted. The guy said salad, so the waiter asked him what kind of lettuce. The man said "Iceberg!" and right then, an iceberg tore up the ship. I remember being nine and thinking a) What the heck does this have to do with Christmas, b) That pun amuses me in a horribly corny manner, and c) That was some excellent special effects for a local play. Thus, every time I see lettuce or say lettuce or hear the word lettuce, this scene flashes before my eyes. And it flashed before my eyes in slow motion this afternoon as I gazed down upon the lettuce that contaminated my hamburger.

But I digress--lettuce has a tendency to do this to me. While I was setting up my new bank account, I had to hand over my driver's license and social security card. As I was digging through my wallet to do so, I realized that I have a ton of stuff in there. I decided to organize my trusty wallet after I got home. And now here I am, staring down at all of the cards I have in that wallet and wondering what I am doing with half of them.

  • I carry a driver's license, which is nice, seeing as I have been driving for a couple of years now.

  • I carry my social security card, which is senseless because I know my SSN and also have read it's not really safe to carry the card with you.

  • I carry photo IDs for two separate colleges, one which I no longer attend and one I haven't started at yet.

  • I carry a handy little tip chart that shows the correct percentage for tipping waiters for meals that range from $1 to $200. I never use the handy tip chart.

  • I carry a Wal-Mart gift card that I received for Hanukkah last year. I believe it's been used up, but I am not sure.

  • I carry an Aeropostole gift card that I received for my eighteenth birthday in 2007. I went in the store once and never found anything I liked. I am not sure if it's expired by now or not.

  • I carry two current insurance cards for my car--I think I forgot to put one in my glove box--and two expired insurance cards.

  • I carry a campaign card some guy who was running for sheriff handed out. It has a calendar on it. The calendar is for 2008. I did not vote for the sheriff because I do not even live in that county.

  • I carry a somewhat more useful 3 year calendar card from my insurance agent. (It's still current. :D)

  • I carry a hunter orange card that affirms that I did pass a hunter safety course three years ago. I have yet to use it.

  • I carry a library card. Mine is red, but we stopped issuing red ones a few months ago. In fifty years, I believe it will be a rare treasure for that reason.

  • I carry a voter's registration card. *launches into "responsible nerd who does her civic duty dance"* After working two elections where eighty percent of the voters did not carry theirs and had no idea which precinct they vote in, I think not carrying one's voter registration card should be punishable by flogging. Don't argue with me. I'll flog you.

  • I carry a Post Office box card that I rely on because I can't remember my newly minted P.O. Box's zip code.

  • I carry a handwritten ID card that lists my name, address, phone number, and emergency contact information. I have no idea why that's in there because I have so many other cards that list my name and address.
I also carry a bunch of business cards with me. I have my mechanic's business card, though I never call him because my grandpa--my other grandpa who does not look like Elie Wiesel--knows him and does that for me; I have my hairdresser's business card, but I never call her because I stop by her shop when I want to book an appointment; I have two bankers' business cards--one of which I just added today; I have my vet's business card, but I always forget that I have it and look his number up in the phone book, though it is programmed in my cell phone; I have two different attorneys' business cards, though I never use them, either; I have my insurance agent's card--she sure hands out a lot of stuff, doesn't she?; I have a business card from the local pawn shop because I like to compulsively swipe people's business cards; I have a friend's business card from Sears because he told me if I ever had mechanical problems and needed help to call him. If I ever have a problem, all I have to do is call, and I'll have a tall blond knight in shining armor show up! Well, a tall blond knight in a polo shirt and jeans . . .

But the one thing that really puzzles me and that I barely remember putting in there is a large folded index card that literally lists the phone number of every relative I am in contact with. It also lists all of my then friends' numbers. There are two of them. I haven't spoken to either one in nearly a year--nothing personal; I just don't see them anymore--and neither of the numbers are accurate because one friend is now divorced and lives in another state and the other is just married and moved away. The card also lists the numbers for the local tow truck company, my eye doctor, a doctor who my grandma goes to but who I have never been to, the electric company, the post office, the library, the city police, the county sheriff, and--get this--Wal-Mart. I have no idea what possessed me to write this out, let alone carry it around with me for years. I feel sorry for whoever finds this card and tries to figure out who would feel compelled to write down the local Wal-Mart's number.

After I was done, I decided to blog about my wallet. I then promptly restored all of its contents to its rightful place, including the creepy card with mostly outdated numbers. You never know when you'll need to call Wal-Mart . . .

What's in your wallet?


  1. Your wallet sounds a lot like mine... xD

  2. I love your wallet :)
    Mine has money and... that's it. My library card is on a keychain, I don't have any credit cards or anything, and I still live with my mom so she is the one with all the important numbers. But, I believe I may add Walmart's number just simply because I feel compelled to do that after reading that you did.

  3. You have an amusing wallet. :D I keep mine pretty cleaned out because I'm a neat freak like and my wallet and purse are some of the few places on this earth where I can control the level of order.

  4. wow. there's a lot in your wallet.

  5. Mine is definitely as crowded as yours. Although irritatingly the driver's license in Ireland (where I am) is too large for my wallet and I constantly forget it - and technically could get into trouble for not carrying it when driving (oops).

    Also - no photos? I've some of my loved ones. Plus organ donor card (very important in my mind) and not 1 but 3 library cards (mine plus my kids). And loads of tiny notes about books I want to get, so if I come across them I can pick them up. I never refer to these notes :-)

    Grace (from CC)

  6. Zella, this made me LOL so many times. xD
    First of all, I have a similar story to your lettuce story, but it is rather sadder, and involves chocolate chip cookies and learned food aversions.
    Secondly, the part about all the business cards is brilliant. :D It reminded me of all the numbers I keep in my cell phone address book, I cleared them our recently-- there were over 50 numbers, but I only ever use 7 of them anymore, most of the numbers (ranging from the pizza man to my doctor) I had never even used.
    Aeropostole is a silly store, all of their clothing is ridiculously overpriced.
    And YAY for tall blonde almost-knights. xD When I need something fixed I usually just pull it apart myself, and if that fails I bring the pieces to my dad.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I contain the following in my wallet:
    1) My school identification card
    2) My debit card for school related purchases
    3) My expired library card that shall promptly be renewed in the next couple of weeks
    4) My United Health Care insurance card in case of emergencies at school or elsewhere

    As is quite evident, almost every aspect of my social life is inexorably connected towards my academics. Inconceivable!
    To add, I absolutely loathe Abercrombie and all prep-related apparel institutions, as they have become too collectivist. I gravitate towards more intellectual apparel. :D

  9. @Nick: Haha It's good to know I am not alone! :)

    @Bruce: That would be awesome! We could start a trend. We'll need a catchy name for this . . . *puts on thinking cap*

    @Jean: I wish I were a neat freak . . . It would make my wallet so much less bulky. Sadly, I am a pack rat. Not that you would ever have guessed that, right? ;)

    @Amarantha: Yeah, it's pretty full. I really, really need to weed it out. At the very least I could get rid of all of the expired stuff. ^^

    @Grace: You make a good point about lack of photos! I do need some pics in my wallet. Hmm . . . This shall be remedied. That's neat that you have an organ donor card! Here in the U.S., they ask you when you get your driver's license if you want to be a donor, so in the corner of my DL it notes that I am a donor. (A cause I strongly believe in too! *high five*) :) Hehe I like your book notes. :D

    @Feathery: Glad you enjoyed it! :D Oh no! What happened with the chocolate chip cookies? I agree 100% about Aeropostole. I didn't like any of the clothes and the prices appalled me. Yayay for knights indeed! As a mechanically challenged person, I need to be rescued on occasion! :D

    @Math: I like tbe focus your wallet displays! Mine is such a mess. I would hate to be psychoanalyzed on the contents of my wallet. :D I am not a fan of brand name clothes, either. I buy most of my stuff from thrift stores and garage sales. I prefer to spend my money on books. I will pay for a certain brand of jeans--Lee's--but that's because they are the only kind that fit me. Most jean companies apparently do not like short girls with hourglass figures. *whines*

    Thanks so much to all of you for reading and commenting! :)

  10. I can understand Elie Wiesel looking like your grandfather. He does look like he could be related to you.
    In my wallet is:
    ~Library card (I never use this as my librarian knows me enough to just type in all my details needed)
    ~My bank key card (which I never use because I'd rather pay with cash than EFTPOS)
    ~My driver's licence (Which I only got yesterday when I did my driving test)
    ~A Visa giftcard with no money left on it
    ~A card listing my name, address and next of kin (but no phone number for either)
    ~Several photos of my family and a school photo from when I was in year four
    ~An expired VIP card for Macdonalds
    ~A school leave pass for partial absence from the 30/4/09 for 1-20 to 2pm (apparently I went out for lunch that day)
    ~A jewellry store business card
    ~A collection of cinema tickets that I have collected since Pirates of the Caribbean 3 in 2007. The Child ticket cost $9.50, proving the rip-off our local cinema is.
    ~4 McCafe frappe loyalty cards. All out of date.
    ~A Macdonald's MeTime card that will allow me a 10% discount when I get around to putting a photo on it.

  11. hey, you're missing a photo album section! :D half the girls I know have a photo album with them in their wallets. Sorry, maybe that's just stereotypical of me. Or maybe its just my school. :P

  12. I keep just my school id card and my library card in my wallet. I know what I don't have a lot of in my wallet though, and that's cash. :P

  13. a lot of people have library cards in their wallets. I don't think my library even gives out card. You tell them your name, and you get books.

    I literally grew up in my library, so they all know my sister and me. So even if they gave out cards, I probably wouldn't need one. (the air conditioner at home didn't work for a couple of years, so we spent our days at the library. They had air conditioning...and books)

  14. @Penguins: Thanks! Maybe it's the face shape? I inherited my grandpa's face shape and chin . . . I love your wallet! Congrats on getting your driver's license! :)

    @Sky: Hmm . . . A few have noted my lack of photos. Maybe I should gather a few up before I leave for college, lest I look like a sad orphan. My wallet lacks money, too! :D

    @Amarantha: Does your library use key chain cards, maybe? The library where I work at gives each patron both and most people use their keychain cards. But it's a small town, so we often just type in people's names and don't take their card. We have a lot of people seeking AC this summer! :D

  15. Good post, z. I like the Walmart #. You just never know when you might need it.

  16. Thanks, Eric! :)

    Indeed! You never know when you'll need to make an emergency return or check on their Oreos and Twinkie inventory. ^^

  17. I don't carry one. My essential documents are where they should be. Like my driving license and master cards are in the back pocket of the vanity mirror in my car, debit card (No credit cards for me, thank you) remains at home, other things in my briefcase.

    And I don't like that bulge in my hip-pocket.
    By the way, what's the size of your WALLET? Or do you call your sling-bag as wallet?

    Dump some of them and travel light.