Hun, what’s this charge on the debit card for $35.66?
Oh, um, not sure, where from?
ABC United something or other.
Oh, I made a donation to a charity
Okay, what about this charge for $2.99… Fruit – what the heck is Fruit Ninja?
Oh, um, I bought an iPhone game for the boys?
Yea, they like to play it. A lot.
$2.99 at Dunkin Donuts? $6.78 at 7-11? $3.50 at Starbucks? Why the heck did we buy a Keurig? Do you really drink that much fricking coffee?
Almost every month I go through a similar dialog with my husband about my debit card charges.
And almost every month I feel like I’m being interrogated by the CIA or better yet by my parents… asking if I really told Ralphie that the mud pie was chocolate cake (not my proudest moment as a ten year old, for the record, I did go to confession to repent my sin).
I’m never really sure what I buy, so I’m always wishy-washy with my answers, which usually ends up being suspicious. But do I really need to be questioned about my charges? I mean, I’m 41 years old. I work full time, I contribute to the household, and I make a respectable salary, so why the heck can’t I spend six bucks at 7-11?
Cut to two months later, our statement comes, and the Spanish Inquisition begins all over again:
What’s this data charge for $25.00?
I have no idea; don’t we pay for our data in our phone bundle?
Yes. There’s a phone number.
Okay, I’ll call it.
At this point I have no idea if I charged anything. I didn’t feel like I’d done anything scandalous, like a call to Miss Cleo or something but I couldn’t remember for the life of me what this charge could be; early Alzheimer’s is definitely settling in at the ripe old age of 41, but does a miscellaneous $25 bucks really matter?
Apparently it does. I quickly picked up the phone, called the company, and started hammering away to find an answer, crossing my fingers that I didn’t make the charge; the first representative had no clue what the charge could be, or why I was charged, so I was patched over to representative number two.
It was a mystery, and I don’t like mysteries.
As the investigation into the charge became difficult to unfold (sort of like a John Grishman novel? Oh wait, those are always easy to figure out), I was transferred to a third representative and I started to get heated. I didn’t understand how this company couldn’t tell me what the charge was for. And while the representative tried her hardest to figure it out, my husband dug deeper into our past statements and found another charge earlier in the month for the same amount, same company.
I started to get cocky, this had to be fraudulent – two charges, the same exact amount, same company? I smell FRAUD!
As I got a little more stern, I was transferred to representative number four. Thirty minutes later and another ten gray hairs, I started to push harder while the rep tried hard to uncover this obvious fraudulent charge. I put my hand over the phone as if I was cupping a baby bird, and whispered to my husband, “Ya see, stop blaming me for charging up a storm.”
He replied: “I’m not. But you do use the debit card like you drink water. This is the exact reason why I comb through the statements; I want to make sure everything is in check. This is our money, and if it’s fraud, well, there could be a bigger issue.”
Now I’m feeling better. It’s obviously fraud and I have proved to my husband that I don’t spend our hard-earned money haphazardly. With my vindication shining as bright as the Empire State Building, I start to feel great, because isn’t it wonderful when you’re on the same page as your husband?
Until I got transferred to the fifth person; who advised me within ten seconds what those charges were for.
I thanked the individual, apologized for being, well, a brat and hung up the phone. And like a snake I slithered away unnoticed. Because apparently I spend too much fricking money on coffee, iPhone apps, and other unnecessary crap.
Husband – One ; Me – Zero
Until the next inquisition…