A heavy wallet (for all the wrong reasons)

I suppose I could call it kainolophobia Ė the fear of anything new or novel Ė or perhaps even neophobia Ė also defined as the fear of new things. Maybe Iím a prosophobic and I fear progress, or Iím suffering from metathesiophobia and I fear change itself.

At this point, I could care less ... Iím simply tired of carrying around a wallet that comes complete with its own growing assortment of plastic, rectangular accruements.

Wondering what in Godís creation Iím talking about? Well, Iíll tell you ... itís all these credit card-like, money saving, store membership cards that have become so popular over the last decade.

My only question is why? Why is it necessary to carry a card for each and every place of business one might visit throughout oneís entire lifetime? It just doesnít make sense. Because nowadays, it doesnít stop at credit cards or debit cards, does it?

No, in this and age one must have with them at all times, not only the aforementioned debit and/or credit card(s), but also a card for every drug, grocery, video, home improvement and clothing store; every gas station and pizza place (or other restaurant), not to mention every form of identification imaginable (driverís license, Social Security card, college ID and so on).

It seems the world has gone card crazy and Ė personally Ė Iím running out of room (and patience).

I used to have four such cards in my wallet, which included my library card, no less. Now, I have close to 15, and thatís only because I refuse to accumulate any more, unlike many people. Which is a good thing, because squeezing any more of the cursed things in my wallet wouldnít leave much room for anything else ... say cash, for instance.

What can I say? In my 30-plus years thatís all I ever really kept in there, not that itís ever held a generous supply. Now, however, itís a different story. Just walking into the gas station to fill up the tank (pre-pay, no less, donít get me started) and Ė you guessed it Ė Iím asked for my personal membership card. Which means, of course, I have to dig through all the other cards in my possession, ultimately watching in disbelief as (once again) my entire wallet decides to empty itself onto the floor.

Been there, done that.

I suppose I should go out and purchase myself a new, fancy, oversized wallet just to remedy that scenario, one thatís repeated itself over and over again, no matter where I happen to be spending my hard earned cash. The only problem with that? I buy a new wallet ... oh, letís say ... every ten to 15 years or so. In fact, looking back, I think Iíve only ever owned four (maybe five) wallets over the course of my entire life.

What can I say? I simply canít see spending money on something that ... a) no one ever really sees, so itís not like Iím making a fashion statement or anything ... b) costs a small fortune (for a decent wallet, at least) ... and c) comfortably takes on the shape of my rear end over the course of its lifetime, 99.9 percent of which is spent in my back pocket.

Maybe I should just break down and pick myself up a man purse of some sort; I hear theyíre all the rage in Europe. Then again ... no thanks, I think Iíll pass.

Regardless Ė and despite the social and political ramifications of such a thing Ė maybe itís time for some consolidation. For example, a pain-free, optical operation that installs a retinal implant in each and every taxpaying American. That way, the next time you want to save 50 cents on a loaf of bread or take advantage of that buy-one-get-one deal; save up some bonus points for free gas at your local station or provide your date of birth for that six pack of imported ale, itís easy, you simply peer into a state-of-the-art, one-of-a-kind scanner made for just that purpose.

Personally speaking, that sounds more than a little creepy, but it would save on space.

And hereís another idea (the wheels are just a-turning up there), maybe these stores Ė particularly the ones where you can only save money if you have a membership card Ė could go back to the old way and simply hold a sale. You know, advertise a product, any product, at a discounted price, for a limited time, and watch as customers come streaming through the door to pick it up.

I realize that sounds too good (and easy) to be true, but, believe it or not, it worked just fine for my parents (and their parents ... and their parents before them). Ah, the good old days.

Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunbrian.

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