Our credit card number has been stolen at least three times in the past six months. I blame it on my husband who regularly leaves the card at various scuzzy food joints. He blames it on me for shopping online. It's probably both or neither or just the fact that credit card theft is on the rise.
I will admit that our credit card company is very cool about our repeated problems. They not only don't make us pay every time someone down in Pensacola Florida goes to Walmart with our card, but they also have become proactive. They recently stopped an attempted purchase of gas at 3 a.m. in a gang-infested neighborhood of Los Angeles because, as they euphemistically put it, it "was outside our normal purchasing habits." We are asleep at 9 p.m. and the closest we get to gang-infested 'hoods is when we drive by them on the freeway praying that we don't need to stop for gas.
I don't ask how our credit card company knows we go to sleep early, and I won't ask what would have happened if that really was us trying to buy gas at a station we don't routinely frequent. But I'm glad they flagged the attempted purchase and the one that was attempted at another station in the same 'hood 15 minutes later. They put our card on hold so that the bad guys would give up and leave our credit card number alone.
Too bad they didn't bother telling us though. Yes, the credit card company is supposed to call you when they put a freeze on your account. They didn't call us the time before this either, but we thought that was just because we were out of the country traveling at the time and maybe they tried but couldn't reach us.
Anyway, they froze our credit card and didn't tell me. Which is how I came to get stuck in a parking garage late that night with no cash and no working credit card. I might add "and no parking attendant" either. You can't reason with an automated wooden arm gate. You can either drive through it and watch the splinters fly and the alarms sound, or you can call your husband and ask him to bring you some cash and then listen to him rant about how you need to stop shopping online. I picked my poison and waited for my husband to drive over.
But like everything else in a day that is "one of those days," it didn't end there.
While I was trying to get my credit card to work and subsequently my husband to come, a line of three cars had formed behind me -- all hoping to exit and needing me to get out of the way. While this wasn't in one of those neighborhoods that my credit card company deems outside my normal purchasing habits, it certainly was filled with drivers best-described as short on patience. Did I mention that the parking garage exit was sloped? Yeah, I needed to back up, going uphill, once the three cars decided to cooperate. And somewhere in here, the child in the car announced how he had to go pee, as in "really badly" had to go pee.
Now I pride myself on being a person who stays in control in times of stress. And in fact, I largely did -- even when I hit the pole in the parking garage as I drove in reverse uphill with a kid about to go pee and drivers honking and my husband yelling into the phone about my online shopping and my credit card not working because someone who I don't know tried to buy gas in a station in a gang-infested neighborhood.
But sometimes, don't we all just have one of those days?
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