Alas, dream came true

Published 12:38am Saturday, July 20, 2013

I should have known it was going to happen.

Sunday night, I dreamed I was attempting to navigate the world without my debit card.

I wasn’t a person who liked to carry cash even back in the day, when debit cards were only used at ATM machines. Now, there’s even less reason to have the green stuff in my wallet.

Apparently, I am not alone. There are 521 million Visa and MasterCard debit cards in circulation in the United States, according to statistics from Visa.com and MasterCard.com. The annual transaction volume is in the billions.

Predictably, they are used more by the young than the old. Seventy-four percent of monthly college spending is with cash and debit cards. Only 7 percent is with credit cards. (Source: Student Monitor annual financial services study, 2008) By contrast, only about have of the adults 65 and older use a debit card each month.

And so it was on Tuesday, after two after-hours assignments and in a rush to get back to the office and put the paper to bed, I stopped at the Winn Dixie. I am certain I got out of my vehicle holding my keys and my debit card. Five minutes later, two items in hand, I no longer had a debit card.

Some would say my dream was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Quietly, I retraced my steps, and convinced myself I must have left it in the car. So out I went, searching anxiously. In the car, in my purse, under the car, at every step I’d made in between. No card. My panic level was rising and it felt as if my sanity was seeping away. So I took a deep breath, paid with a credit card, and dashed home to give Honey the items he needed.

Thirty minutes later, I had cancelled the card. Friday, I found time to make it to the bank, where a new card was issued while I waited.

Things have changed in the seven years since I opened my account. Now, one has to choose a design for one’s card. The options range from flags to sports to food. Much as I use mine, I immediately opted out of the one featuring chocolate; I’ve already proven this week that the power of suggestion is great.

In the end, Lois Johnson kindly printed me a bright yellow one that I can use beginning Sunday. Hopefully, it’ll be hard to lose.

In my dream, it was difficult to negotiate the world without the ubiquitous card. In real life, it just takes a little more planning. I actually can’t remember the last time I cashed a check before yesterday.

Now, if we can just avoid this prophecy thing from the next night’s dream (suffice it to say Honey forgot he was supposed to cater a party and left it to me to apologize when there was no food) everything’s gonna be all right.

Sweeter dreams, y’all.

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