The call itself was not unpleasant; the person seemed very nice, and she walked me through the steps of peeling the label off the front, signing the back, and cutting up the old card. Even the way she said “for the last time, I am MARRIED!” had a certain gentle kindness to it.
We said our adieus*, I walked out to the desk where the scissors are kept, and promptly cut up the new card.
Luckily, I didn’t speak to the same woman when I called back, because such a display of idiocy isn’t all that productive in the infancy of a relationship such as ours. The new person was fairly successful at stifling her giggles, however, and she informed me that a new card should arrive in 3-5 business days.
Consider what that means: I am without credit during the holiday season in the United States of America.
Reckless spending with borrowed money is what we do! It’s what defines us as a people! What if there’s a sale on 60” HD televisions while I’m in my current credit crisis? I’ve never felt so vulnerable; so exposed … I felt naked (and not just because I was). I’ve already paid a price, in fact – I was squaring up at the pub last night around 10:15 pm, and handed N*88 my old card, knowing that I had an hour and 45 minutes before the river ran dry.
Did you know that the credit card companies base their business activities on Eastern Standard Time? Me neither.
To his credit, N*88 was very subtle about handing the card back and informing me that it had been rejected. A bar being fairly close quarters, however, it was inevitable that he would be overheard. The whispers and stares spread like a wave across the room, and while I thought I could sense some sort of sad sympathy from those I would call friends, the overwhelming reaction was pure, hateful scorn.
“Creditless cretin!” they screamed. “Debt-non-enlarging douchebag!” they spat. “Asshole!” (That last one may have been unrelated, though admittedly, not undeserved.)
And so homeward I rode, ashamed and alone, ostracized, a man without a tavern. For without credit, just what is a man? Can he even call himself that? God, these next 3-5 business days are going to be the longest of my life. I only hope that I can soon again gain acceptance in society.