Sunday, October 19, 2008
“Caress the detail, the divine detail.”
Some rascal recently had an extensive party and although it was entirely at our expense, we were not invited. Spouse discovered, quite fortuitously, some unfamiliar charges on his usually dormant credit card- one that was tucked safely inside his wallet- that amounted to one thousand dollars. Somebody in the State of New York had enormous fun with the crookedly acquired details of the card, purchasing nothing but gasoline and alcohol over a period of days and in copious quantities.
We had in fact been in New York at the beginning of the month, passing through on our return journey from Michigan.
Spouse called right away to cancel the account, dispute the charges and ask why the company did not detect anything out of the ordinary.
Typically, if we use the card in a way that deviates from our particular habits, or spend more money than usual, a hold is immediately put on the card for our protection until we can confirm that it is indeed our activity. When Mater visited last year and attempted to use her credit card, we were held up for some lengthy, humiliating time at the checkout, whereupon Mater had to make a desperate international call to inform her credit card company that it was her, she was visiting and shopping, that her routine had altered, and please could she take her goods out of the store now?
But when Spouse queried the lack of diligence, they were ready, of course, with a mechanically flat response.
"You were in New York a few weeks before. So we thought you were still there."
Still there, they thought, living out of a gas station, existing exclusively on gasoline and beer, having abandoned not only our home and our work but also our ingrained pattern of determined and rigid frugality.
It is all in the detail: all they had to do was observe, and notice not so much a change in pattern as a tremendous great walloping dent.
Fortunately, one of us was paying attention.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 10:46 AM