Yesterday it was confirmed once again, that I am fast becoming a dinosaur. I was at Walmart with my very cool co-worker Laura, buying some things for an event we were doing at the senior living community we work at. At the checkout, I pulled out my checkbook, filled in the date and signed the check, then handed it to the checker along with my driver's license. Laura's eyes were huge and she looked as though I had just laid an egg.
"What's wrong?" I asked her.
"Oh, n-nothing. I just can't even remember the last time I saw anyone pay for something with a check."
"Well, I had a debit card once and within two days of having it, someone stole it and used it. I swore I would never have one again. And anyway, they treat my check like a debit card now - did you notice I didn't have to fill it out?"
"Yeah, I thought that was weird."
"Well, watch her. She is going to run it through that machine which will fill in the rest of the information. Then she will give it back to me."
"She gives it back?"
I felt a little uncomfortable now. "Yes. Why do you look like you think that's strange?"
Laura smiled. "Well, what do you do with it once they give it back?"
"I take it home and shred it."
"You have to shred it? So, let me get this straight. You have to order checks from the bank. The checks have to be stored somewhere in your home, then you donate space in your purse to some of them. You write a check every time you make a purchase, which the store immediately gives back to you. Then you have to remember to deal with the check again when you get home. Why on earth don't you just get a debit card and be done with it?"
Why indeed? I have been analyzing this question since Laura posed it. The older I get, the more I seem to resist change - which is odd because throughout my life I have historically loved a change of pace, scenery or circumstance. The truth is, I like my checkbook. A check is like money to me whereas a plastic credit or debit card is not. I tend to overspend when I can just swipe a card and be done with it. My checkbook requires thought and consideration of the expenditure at hand. True, it does consume a bit of time to manage it correctly but why should that bother me? I never saw a dinosaur in a hurry.