PIN-up

My good friend BFJ and I have just had another lovely spa weekend. Well, not a whole weekend, really, just a half-weekend. But it was great anyway.

BFJ and I always have a terrific time together and many adventures, some of which I have written about here, here, and here. This time there was a giggly, drunken phone call at 10 pm to her husband to thank him for paying for our dinner – and more importantly, our many drinks. This would, of course, be the dinner that he had no idea he was paying for prior to our phone call. But she had their joint credit card, and since he’s the one who pays it every month, he technically bought us dinner. And drinks. Lots of drinks.

BFJ had booked the hotel room with her own personal credit card, so she ended up paying for that. Usually, we split all costs, but this time we figured that our spa treatments would be roughly equivalent to the cost of the room (and our room service breakfast the next morning), so we decided that I would pay for both our spa treatments and she’d stick with paying the hotel bill.

We were both having hot stone massages and facials. Mmmmmmm. I’m never so relaxed as when I’m face down on a massage table, drooling on the floor, while someone rubs warm oil (and in this case, warm rocks) on my back. It really is a fabulous feeling! I highly recommend it.

Anyway, two hours later, we were dressed and ready to go at the spa’s front desk. BFJ was checking out some of the products that had been used for her facial, and I handed over my credit card to pay our bills. The woman at the desk handed me back their handheld credit/debit machine, with my card placed in the slot. She’d already keyed in the amount, as they do, so all I had to do was okay everything, enter my PIN, and we’d be good to go.

Except I couldn’t remember my PIN. Again. Every effing time I try to use that credit card, I can’t remember my PIN. I can picture the piece of paper on which the PIN is written, the piece of paper tucked into a file in a drawer of my desk. I can picture the exact file, its colour and the other items in it. I can even picture where it is in the drawer. What I can’t ever picture is the actual PIN.

I thought I had the four numbers, but maybe not the correct sequence of them. I punched them in. Error. I tried again. Error. The machine said I had one more try. I don’t know what happens when you try three times in vain – maybe your credit card self-destructs. In any case, I didn’t risk it. I had to cancel the transaction and pull out my debit card, which I hadn’t wanted to use because I wanted to pay at the end of the month, after I got paid myself. But I had to do it.

I miss the olden days when credit cards didn’t come with chips in them, and you just had to sign your name on a carboned slip of paper to purchase something on credit. I even remember further back when the merchant had to physically phone the credit card company for a quick check on you and your card before the transaction could go through.

Now that I’m officially middle-aged and forgetful, NOW I need to remember a new set of numbers. Just perfect. If I was 20 or so, no problem. But at my age, I’ve got so much stuff in my head that it’s really hard to put more stuff in, especially numbers (not my strongest point) – and then remember them instantly when called upon.

And what the hell IS my PIN? When I got home, despite all that wonderful visualizing that I was doing in the spa, I couldn’t find the damn piece of paper with the PIN written on it in the file. So I have no idea what the PIN is any more and I can’t use my credit card except for on-line transactions where I don’t need it.

I’m obviously meant to use cash only. Except I’d probably put it down somewhere and forget where.

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12 responses to “PIN-up

  1. I have little slips of paper stuffed in my wallet with assorted PINs on, and then I have an impossible time finding them when I need them. Yes, it once was much simpler. Oh, can I choose who I want to have rub hot oil on me? I’d really like it if that were the case.

    • mrwriteon – There’s a pretty Ukrainian gal who does a mean massage not too far from your place, up at the Kingfisher Spa. She’s good with the hot oil – but maybe not the way you mean?

  2. I have no trouble with my debit card pin but have put the others in a note on my mobile. I have to remember what order they are in as I can’t put the name of the card, but if I fail there are only (!) 3 so I should get it right before my card is frozen!

    • Alienne – That’s a really good idea. I may have to do that – if I ever figure out what the damn PIN for my credit card actually is!

  3. My credit card was just recently renewed with a chip. Every time I use it I need to think before I enter the damn PIN. I’m beginning to think I need to get all the PINS tattooed on my arm. Crib notes for the old and feeble minded.

    Sucks to get old.

    • Jazz – That’s pretty much been our refrain for a while now, hasn’t it: “sucks to get old”. We need to find a new mantra, maybe something about the wisdom of age? Nah – it really does simply suck to get old, there’s no way around it.

  4. I remember the PIN for our joint account credit card by making a little 4-note jingle with the numbers as the words. Makes it easy to remember, especially if you are musically nerdy like me and have 1 = C, 2 = D, 3 = E and so on. Mind you, this only works up to the number 8 so if you’ve a 9 or 0 in your PIN then I can’t help you. Have I just come over really weird?

    • Mrs Jones – I had to read your system twice, but yes, it does make sense to me. I have just enough musical knowledge for that. Unfortunately, I also have a 0 in my PIN – somewhere – I’m pretty sure – so it wouldn’t work. But that really is the trick, to find something that works for you.

  5. Hello Pinklea! BFJ here and I must say that I’m still basking in the glow of our wonderfully foolish and relaxing weekend – oh yes, 1/2 weekend. Let me tell those of you who have been following Pinklea for a while, I am blessed to have this woman as my BFF as she is non-judgemental, unpretentious and the best listener in the world. She “GETS IT”. Love ya!! Till the next time!

    • BFJ – It’s about time you found me! I only told you about my blog about 3 years ago … were you busy or something? But thanks for your lovely words. You’re an amazing friend and I love you right back! xo

  6. Oh I can so relate. Hate having to use another PIN. I got a new credit card for one that doesn’t even expire for another year and a half and stupidly called in to activate it. After giving out all my secret names and numbers so this guy knew it really was me, I then had to choose a PIN. Turns out my two fall back PINs are no good because one has a number in sequence and the other has a double number. So now I have a 3rd PIN to remember. I have started to pay in cash more and more. Seems easier, really.

    • VioletSky – Funny you should say that: financial experts are now suggesting that we actually should be using more cash as opposed to credit or debit, simply for security reasons. You might lose cash, but at least you won’t lose your virtual identity at the same time.