Is that okay?
He always asks me that, Mr. Credit Card Machine. The reason he asks is because I keep attempting to buy things, and like the seemingly kind soul he is, every time I do he tries to warn me.
“$56.13 will be charged to your credit card. Is that okay?”
I never have the time or the nerve to tell him no, actually it’s not okay, but that’s what I’m inevitably thinking. Since you asked, I think these Whole Foods groceries should be free. And when you asked me earlier at Express if it was okay that that t-shirt cost $27.50, that also was not okay. Obviously if I had my way, all goods and services would be gratis, but just for me of course. The economy would not exist if everything was free for everyone. And no economy means no more stuff, free or otherwise.
Is that what Mr. Machine is getting at? What if all along I’ve been overlooking some deep philo-economical profundity that he has been prodding me to realize through what I thought was a simple yes-or-no? Surely he’s not stupid- he can calculate sales tax on the fly like nobody’s business. Is he trying to tell me I should be happy I’m stimulating the economy with my purchase? Or maybe he’s trying to get me to realize the value of a dollar, like some kind of small, rectangular, electronic parent, and the fact that a significant part of the blame for the current economic crisis is due to people sliding that plastic card through his orifice more than they ought. (Seeing as he works for the credit card company, I find that scenario unlikely. If the credit card company goes under, he’s looking for work as a heart rate monitor or something.) Perhaps it is just his humble way of making me take responsibility for my actions so that I cannot plead ignorance. “Don’t complain to me you’re swimming in debt, I warned you!”
What then will he say when I click “no” one of these days? Maybe he’ll say ‘fair enough’, and make me a counter-offer. Or maybe, just maybe, he’ll say, “Well done- you have discovered the beauty of saving. Now I’m going to have to ask you to put all those groceries back where you found them.”