I recently celebrated a birthday, and one of my gifts was an Amazon gift card. I was so excited to spend it immediately, and I instantly knew just what to get (an e-book and lipstick, of course). It’s rare that I get a gift card that Johnny can’t lay claim on and put where all our other gift cards have gone to die — the kitchen drawer.
Maybe Johnny and I are the only couple in the entire universe who has this problem, but I’m suspecting there are some other tortured souls out there dealing with this. When we get gift cards, I like to spend them immediately on wants, and Johnny likes to save them until he can think of the perfect item to spend them on — which, if you’re wondering, is never. Any gift cards we’ve gotten for Christmas for the past few years are still wishing, waiting to be spent. We have hundreds of dollars’ worth in specific store gift cards and just straight up prepaid CASH gift cards. From time to time, we’ll talk about something we want to buy, and I’ll say, “Ooh!, we could spend some of our gift cards on that!” But to no avail. Something in him just can’t pull the trigger.
But that’s just the beginning. On top of his gift card hoarding issues, Johnny also has a hard time spending gift cards on wants. In his eyes, it’s the same as any other money we have that should be used for practical purposes. Occasionally, I’ll get him to crack when it’s a “splurge” (in quotation marks because gift cards shouldn’t be splurges!!!) that’s so awesome he just can’t say no to using our stash of gift cards. And that’s how we got our GoPro last year. He holds our gift cards so near and dear to his heart that he needs an extremely noble reason to spend them.
And so because we agree to disagree, we now have a kitchen drawer that holds a very bulky white envelope. And in that envelope? You guessed it — gift cards galore. Because they’re technically ours, and not just mine, I’ve been respecting Johnny’s strange attachment to them. But I’m starting to realize that I could spend them all, and he’d probably never even know. And if he ever asked about them, I could say, “Oh, we must have lost them when we moved. Guess that’s what happens when you hoard something for so long…” Not that I’d ever actually follow through… if they get lost the next time we move, it’s just a coincidence. Do you hear me, Johnny?
But for now, they just sit. And as inflation does its thing year after year, their value becomes less and less. How am I coping with this knowledge? By pretending they don’t exist. And maybe someday, somehow we’ll find something worthy of their spending. That’s assuming they don’t expire before then.
So we’d like to know: do you agree to disagree on your gift card spending with your SO? Or do you realize, like me, that gift cards are meant to be spent in a rush on whatever whimsical object you set your sights on? We won’t judge (unless your opinion is different than mine).