Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What's In Your Wallet?

I was fumbling in my overstuffed wallet this morning and decided it was high time I cleaned it out.  I used to clean it quite regularly when I carried it in my hip pocket.  Of necessity I had to keep it thin.  Back then I had fairly chronic back pain and a constantly sore hip joint.  At a family reunion we went for a hike and a cousin who is a physical therapist noticed a limp in my gait.  He suggested I start taking two steps at a time, when climbing stairs, for the sake of my hip and to quit sitting on my wallet as a remedy for my back.  Miracle of miracles, I was cured!  I am so grateful he wasn't I quacktopractor or I might not have taken his suggestion seriously.  Of course a quacktopractor would have overlooked the cause and required ongoing appointments to adjust my spine and the thickness of my wallet.

I can adjust the thickness of my wallet just fine on my own.  Thank you very much.

This was going to be a treat so I grabbed tall glass of milk and a bag of cookies to sustain me through this trip down memory lane.   I really like my wallet.  I've carried it for years.  I bought it from Day-Timer.  Originally, it came with a spiral bound calendar/planner that fit snuggly between the folds. It has a nice loop that perfectly fits my favorite Zebra Gel pen.  There's a pouch for credit cards and a four or five others of various sizes.  You'd think I could keep things well organized, but haven't seen what's in most of the pouches for several years.  I don't carry the calendar any more.  What little I have to keep track of I put on Google Calendar who sends me email reminders.  I like that.  I used to put things on my calendar and then forget to look at it.

Here's what I've been carting around:

  • A fishing license receipt from 1999.  I suppose I kept it as a back up in case I lost the license.  I wonder how many times I went fishing that year?  The receipt says I bought it in late June, right after Free Fishing Day.  My Dad was sick and I spent a lot of time in Wyoming for the balance of the summer.  He died in late September.  I wonder if I ever used it.  In those days fishing licenses expired on December 31st.  I probably didn't get my money's worth.  These days the license is good for a year from whenever it was purchased.  Much better deal!
  • A Lowe's receipt for a bundle of shims from October 2008.  There's no way I'd consider returning shims to the store.   I wonder why I put it in my wallet?  There's a phone number on the back.  Maybe that's why I kept the receipt.  I looked up the number up in the reverse directory, wondering who I was supposed to call.  It wasn't listed.  I wonder if I ever called it.  Did I miss out on something, or forget an important assignment?
  • My Temple Recommend.  I'm pleased to report that it is current and good for another 22 months.  Looking at the signatures I remember the evening and following morning that I met with the Brethren to have it renewed.  They don't keep the same schedules they used to and being gone to the Detention Center for so long, I'm pretty out of touch with regular church routines these days.
  • A 1998 penny.  There's no explaining that one.  I've never kept coins in my wallet and that certainly wasn't a rare collectible or anything.
  • A stack of family photos from a visit to a photographer from around Christmas 2001, maybe a little after the first of the year.  Our grandson Jeff looks to be around 4 to 6 months old and is as cute as a button.  There's one of him alone,  one of Sweetie and I, one of the four girls, one of Jeff's parents and one of the whole clan.  There's another from a year or two earlier of the entire family. My we all look young!  Megan thinks I need an update in the wallet photo department because at age 6, she ought to be in grandpa's wallet too.  So do I.
  • Three quad-fold reminder cards of the larger For The Strength of Youth.  I suppose I thought I was going to have them to hand out to at risk young people at some point.  I don't think I ever had occasion to do that, or a least forgot I had them when they were needed
  • A tri-fold reminder card of the Young Women Values.  Like the others, it is worn, faded and tearing at the hinges.  And since they fairly recently added Virtue, it is out of date.  It sounds rather funny to think that Virtue wasn't always a Young Women Value.  Of course it was, just a bit more implied than it is today.
  • A 2007 Vernal Temple schedule.  Which makes me sad.  Until recently, it still would be accurate as to the day to day operation.  Only the closing dates would be different.  Now though, the Temple is closed on Mondays and the 6:00 AM sessions no longer exist.  That was my favorite time to visit the Temple.  I am sympathetic to the concerns they had for sweet older workers who had to drive all the way from Tabiona, Duchesne and Altamont needing to be dressed and ready for a 5:30 prayer meeting.  Folks were getting up at 2:00 AM to make it on time.
  • A Teamster's Health Insurance Card.  What a blessing, to have the same benefits we had before retirement for the balance of our lives!  And to think I never joined the Union.  You might think me ungrateful.  I looked into it once and when I read the oath of allegiance and then considered the Teamsters' track record I thought I might as well join the Gadianton Robbers.
  • Two books of First Class Forever Postage Stamps.  I think these have been in there for two rate changes.  Thanks to email, and online bill payments I don't use stamps all that often.  I think I have about ten more books in my desk too.  At the rate I'm using them I may never suffer a postal rate change again!  Don't tell Kristi.
  • Two twenty dollar bills.  One from 2006 and one from 2008.  No they haven't been there that long; that's when they were printed.  I wonder if they have cocaine residue on them?  Filthy lucre!  I once read that it's a real confidence booster to keep a $100.00 bill in your wallet.  I tried it, but then I realized how frequently my wife and daughters asked for the exact amount that happened to be in my wallet at the time.  Fearing that they did this by Zen rather than more conventional methods of inventory, I didn't even dare hide it in an obscure pouch in the back.  It didn't boost my confidence at all.
  • A debit card.  It's from Mt. America Credit Union who has lately had the customer service culture of a Bank.  What a disappointment.
  • A credit card.
  • My driver's license.  Holy Cow!  It doesn't expire until 2013!  It says I'm a donor, which I take to refer to my organs rather than taxes.  I guess I give taxes more freely than organs, which I'll only give up over my dead body.  No, that isn't right either.  My body can't be dead, only my brain.  Hey, they probably can start harvesting any time now.  It lies about my weight.  Hopefully, that will be more correct in 2013 so I don't have to lie again.
  • A Smith's Rewards Card, so they can charge me more, then make me think they're so generous by giving some of my money back.
  • A GNC discount card.  It expires in 5 months and I haven't even been back since the initial visit in which I paid for it.
  • A Cafe Rio Diner's Card.  Two more meals and I get one free.  I have been back there.
  • An American Red Cross First Aid Certification Card.
  • An American Red Cross CPR Certification Card.  Hope I never need to use what I've learned.
  • A Staples Rewards Card.  This one is free.
  • A National Park Service Annual Pass.  I buy one almost every year.  I've never wasted the money.  On this pass I've been to Arches twice, Canyonlands three times, Zions, Dinosaur, Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef!  It expires in a week.
  • A Library Card.  Mostly I piggy back on Sweeties, though since she hooked up with Book Mooch, we don't borrow from the library all that often.
  • A Blockbuster Membership Card.  Don't use it much either since DVR and Netflix.
  • An Ace Rewards Card.  This one gets used a lot.  Plus they often send a discount card with I gum* to the Rewards Card so I don't forget to use it.  It come's gummed* to the flier.  (*Gummy glue that resembles a booger and is equally hard to flip off your finger.)  Better prices, service and products than Lowe's.
  • My DOT Medical Examiner's Certificate.  This is expired as is my need to carry it.
  • An Address Book.  This one is very portable.  The size of a credit card it is accordion folded between two magnetic covers.  Really handy but way out of date.  When I put it in my wallet Kristi lived in Hall's Crossing, John and Jen in Glenwood Springs, Lee Ann and Gary in Anderson, Eric and Annie in Goose Creek, and Alyson in England.  We're about the only ones still in the same place.
  • A Movie Gallery Card.  They're out of business.  Netflix?  Red Box?  Boom gone bust?  All of the above.
  • USAA Auto Insurance Card.
  • A Uniform Donor Card.  Is this redundant?  I think I'll keep it anyway.  I've tossed so much stuff that the card pouch is no longer snug and I'm likely to lose something if I don't have at least some filler.
  • Steve Cowan's Business Card.  He's no longer with Gulf Stream and I'm no longer with Sundance.  My back is aching just thinking about all the energy I've wasted toting this around.
  • Pastor Kirk's Business Card.  We each walked alone into the 711 Cafe one lunch time and wound up sitting together.  We had a great visit and enjoyed getting acquainted.  He's Pastor of the Kingsbury Community United Church of Christ.  He pointed out that his was a church of sinners as opposed to Saints.  I pointed out that he needed a less Catholic definition of the term Saint.  
  • The Business Card of J. Gordon O'Brien of O'Brien's Music Store.  O'Brien's is the oldest store on the oldest street in the oldest city in North America, or so they claim.  When we were in St. John's, Newfoundland we stopped in there.  I was hoping to find a concertina or small accordion.  Gordon talked me out of it fearing it would be out of tune before I got it home.  The reeds are set in wax and the summer heat in the car could melt it.  So instead, I bought a Bodhran which I've yet to learn to play as the tipper is pretty tricky to operate.  Having spent the money I owed Sweetie, so she got a terrific tea set in Cape Breton that has so totally justified the dust on the Bodhran that neither of us feel bad.
  • A Voter Registration Card from 2006.  It lists me as unaffiliated, a situation I still celebrate as I bolted from the Republican Party for abandoning me.  The intervening four years have only affirmed my decision.  Plus, I have a great answer when the call asking for money.
Well, if you're an archaeologist, scrounging through the strata of today's dig, you might have a better understanding of this old fossil.  As, for me, it was quite a trip down memory lane.  I'm a bit sad to have a much thinner wallet.  Not because I'm poorer but because it is no longer thick enough to stay put in the nice little slot in the dash of the Yukon, where I've parked it for the past 100,000 miles.

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