Yesterday I felt like I had been hit by a car. It was most likely due to sleeping on the couch during my all-night poop-vigil and doing what Dr. Ken discouraged most, sleeping on too firm of a pillow. The sofa pillow is the worst culprit.
I got up from almost no sleep at all and could feel the tightness under my left scapula radiate pain up my neck. By breakfast with Lemony it was up in my head and pulsing behind my left eye.
It has been bothering me for weeks and no amount of foam rolling and stretching has helped. I didn’t have time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ken (and the prospect of driving on these frigid roads did not appeal to me) so I went to a drop-in chiropractor and got my neck adjusted.
I had a partially used gift card that needed to be redeemed so why not?
I met a new doctor who did extensive muscle testing and adjusted me all kinds of new ways, including standing. It wasn’t the usual wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am I’m used to. While pleased, I’d still rather have a full appointment with Ken.
Then I followed the adjustment with a massage at Massage Envy because a housemate gave me a gift card years ago. I recall using part of it and that there was still a balance. $27! And it’s been there since 2009! I’m glad it still had value.
I have a major beef with gift cards. It’s like throwing money away. I don’t mind getting them because I am vigilant about using them. But so many gift cards are forgotten, lost, never redeemed or the odd amounts left on them are given up on.
You can’t really buy something at Macy’s for $3.07 which means you have to buy something for $15, often something you don’t want or need.
41 billion dollars in gift cards haven’t been redeemed since 2005. 41 BILLION! I’m not contributing to that corporate giveaway, I’m using up all my cards, even if it’s kind of a pain.
And believe me, it can be. I’ve gotten gift cards that won’t let me make more than one transaction a day. I’ve had cards that lose value each month. I’ve had transactions declined because it was for the exact amount left on the card. Then there’s the activation fee, letting a card company essentially earn interest on unused funds, and having your choices of where and when to use your money limited.
Gift cards are how people give useful and flexible presents. This is a lovely and kind gesture, especially for those who want to give something of monetary value. I won’t lie, I’d rather get that (if anything at all) so I can buy groceries or necessities.
My step-mother is the most thoughtful person. She knows we have a Netflix account so she bought us a card that could be redeemed for a few months of service.
It’s a great exception to the gift card rule. That, and grocery cards. Marlo Fisken gave me a GINORMOUS one to Whole Foods to thank me for staying at my house. I can always use groceries.
But when it’s my turn to give a gift, like one year when I was put in charge of collecting money for a class present for my son’s kindergarten teacher, I gave her an envelope stuffed with cash.
Don’t freak out, I also gave her a very thoughtful, signed photo album of all the kids in her class at the end of the year.
I suppose this is considered gauche because it shows lack of thoughtfulness, but that’s an advertising gimmick. If you don’t know exactly what someone wants, what could be better than cash?
Gift cards came about to allay people’s fears that they might be considered thoughtless at holidays, but really?
Some people want to make sure that the recipient gets something special, just for themselves, rather than pedestrian items like groceries, gas or necessities, but maybe groceries are a luxury.
All I want for Christmas is for my son’s tooth to stay in, a nice walk, or a good phone conversation.
Your loved ones might like getting something under the tree, but think long and hard about who will be getting the gift.
Please, please make sure that you aren’t inadvertently giving your present to American Express or a corporate giant that is waiting, hoping for you to lose that little card.
Time to cut the crap.
I already counted these things, so the number is just two, for the gift cards I got rid of. Thank you Julie and Harmy for the cards, I put them to good use.