The main zipper on my favorite (and only) wallet jumped the tracks the other day, and I think I know why: too many punch cards. Nope, it’s not too many credit cards (and certainly not cash) that have caused my favorite brown leather four-compartment wallet to bulge at the seams—it’s those darn punch cards and reward cards that every place of business seems to be giving me these days. And I can’t resist a bargain, so I can’t resist those cards. I mean, if I buy 5 pairs of pointe shoes for my ballet dancing teen daughter, I can get one pair free? Never mind that it will probably take 4-5 years before the card is filled and she will be in college by then— by golly, at $50 a pair, I’d better get some kind of gold star for purchasing them. And that little signature and checkmark they put on the card gives me the tiny sense that I’m getting some kind of a deal—even though I’m probably not.
I’m also a card-carrying member of the JC Penney Watch Battery Club, the Ulta Beauty Club, Borders Rewards, OfficeMax MaxPerks, Blockbuster Rewards, Tom Thumb Rewards, Delia’s Frequent Buyers, Corner Bakery’s Cup of Joe Club and the “Cool Rewards Club” at Cool Cuts 4 Kids (Gee, can I put all those memberships on my resume’? Well, a stay-at-home mom’s gotta have something!) I’m a Freebirds Fanatic and also carry “loyalty” cards for Which Wich, Great Harvest Bread, Albertsons, Hallmark and CVS. And not only do I have a card from Sandy’s Dancewear for pointe shoes, I have one for Jazz/Lyrical, Ballet shoes, and Tights.
Oh, sure, I could keep them in a drawer or file at home and only take them out when I need them— but seriously, what busy mom can remember that? It’s hard enough to remember where I put my keys, and remember to take along my environmentally-friendly cloth shopping bags when I go shopping, and remember to then grab them out of the car once I get where I’m going. Remembering to also grab the right punch cards just isn’t going to happen. And besides, I don’t always know when I’ll need them. When I’ve tried keeping them at home, I end up at Smoothie King with the kids for an impromptu after-school snack, without (horrors!) my Smoothie King Frequent Buyer Card, and I can’t stand not getting credit for my purchase, and so what happens? I get another punch card. “Just combine the two to get your next free smoothie,” says the nice dark-haired lady behind the counter. Great. Two-for-one.
And so, the stack of buyer cards keeps growing, and my wallet just keeps getting fatter. Maybe I should get one of those business card holders to house them, and throw that in my purse. Or get a purse with an extra compartment. At the very least, get a new wallet with more room. It looks like I’m going to be forced to do that, anyway. While I miraculously fixed that broken zipper (and for any of you who have tried to fix a broken zipper on a wallet, you know that is no small feat), the next day, even though the zipper teeth stayed in place, the fabric surrounding it ripped away from the rest of the wallet. Must have been that new Whole Foods Vitamin Card I just got…