It used to be when the cashier at the grocery store asked if you wanted paper or plastic, she was referring to the bag in which to put your groceries. Now, it's about payment type.
The debit card has become the means of survival in the concrete jungle. No one takes checks anymore, so unless we keep a mad stash of cash, it's that piece of plastic that allows us to live our daily lives without hassle.
So when that debit card is suddenly missing, it's a little Cinderella – "Don't Know What You Got 'Til It's Gone."
And yup, it happened to me this week.
I was frantically running late Monday morning for my five-hour commute to work from a weekend in New Orleans, but I hit the road in time to make it to the office by 1 p.m.
I was rolling along on I-55 when I decided I needed a sausage biscuit. Ironically, I don't eat fast food, but it was that craving for chemically processed bread and pork that saved my behind from a major fiasco.
I got off the interstate in Amite City and looked over to my small purse to pull out my large red wallet. It wasn't there. And it contained my debit card and a couple of twenties in the event of a roadside emergency (aka, the sausage biscuit).
I practically did a donut wheeling into the first gas station I saw and called the significant other that I had left just an hour or so earlier. During that conversation, I remembered placing the wallet in his glove compartment for safe keeping while going to the Elton John concert.
Then I realized the true pickle I was in. There are no branches of my bank in Mississippi on the way home. Fortunately, I had not yet exited our great state.
Unfortunately, the closest branch was 30 miles away – in the wrong direction. Fortunately, I had enough gas to get there and I keep a spare driver's license in the car to make the withdrawal.
I doubled back, got the cash, filled up the gas tank and got my sausage biscuit, thankful for the flaky bread and spicy meat dancing on my tastebuds that saved me from being stranded — yet irritated because my scatter brain had added another 90 minutes to my trip.
Tuesday morning, I got up for my morning gym session and reached into my purse to fish out my iPod. Laying on top of the wadded receipts, sticky notes and tubes of lip gloss was my debit card.
I just sighed as that is typical for me, headed to the gym and sweated it out to some 80s hair bands.