Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jamie Madrox Doesn't Have That Many Wallets

This title for my third and final installment of my accessories series may be a stretch. I'm not sure if superhero Jamie "Multiple Man" Madrox's wallets multiply as he does, but it was a fun and obscure character to reference. And it really sells the point that I am a giant nerd, because that's not the most well-known Marvel pull.
Now that I've covered the title, and started some physics of superpowers debates, we can move on to my third and final wallet/purse pet peeve – Multiple Wallet Syndrome. I think my annoyance at this (and the previously mentioned accessory phenomena) is magnified by the fact that I hate large purses and having to cart around too much stuff. My female friends tease me because you could fit a large percentage of my purse collection inside one of their purses. So this large purse/ overstuffed wallet/ multiple wallet thing just does not compute for me.
I have also decided that this is a predominately Texas retail issue. When I lived in New York people tended to be a little more streamlined because you're walking everywhere and don't need any extra weight to schlep around the city. In L.A everyone lives out of their car so you leave the bulk of your personal belongings there (except for your credit card and the cell phone permanently attached to your face.) However, true blue Texans like things big, especially if it's unnecessarily large. So, at least once a week I am confronted with the customer who waits until I've rung up everything to pull out anywhere from 3-5 wallets to come up with a payment option.
And here's the breakdown of the content of these wallets:
  1. Paper Money
  2. Checkbook and ID (Texans are still hanging on to the checks – there's a future rant there)
  3. Change
  4. Credit cards/ other plastic cards
  5. Coupons

The tears really start to flow when the same customer has a coupon, a gift card, and wants to pay the balance in both paper money and coins (Because they have exact change. They're lugging around a five pound bag of change for these occasions.) That's four different wallets for one transaction. That is three too many. And, not only do I have to deal with this mess, but also the anger of any customer stuck behind them. And, when I'm on the other side of the counter the angriest customer in the line is me – but I direct my wrath at the idiot holding up the line, not the poor cashier who is also plotting this customer's slow and painful death. Probably from millions of coupon paper-cuts, or smothered under a pile of wallets.
I once timed a customer who had six different wallets/ plastic baggies used as wallets. It took her 16 minutes to pay for her $7 worth of books. In the time it took her to dig through every wallet and her purse I had moved to another register and rung up the five customers after her in line. I can't imagine she has much time to enjoy the things she buys since she apparently spends half her life trying to complete the payment process.

So to sum up my feelings on money-bearing accessories: keep it small, clean and under control.  And to prove I practice what I preach, here is a picture of the inside of my one and only wallet:

BookWench is currently re-reading the Harry Potter books in preparation for tomorrow night's midnight double feature extravaganza.  I am stupidly excited about it.  I can't wait for the final battle and Mrs.Weasley's moment of mama lion fury!  


  1. I feel overly prepared with my "Castanza Wallet".

  2. I have one "small" wallet which you have examined. What is "schlep" as in "schlep around the city"? Inquiring minds want to know.

  3. I had a small-ish wallet, and I just moved in to an even smaller wallet.

  4. Schlep is one of those wonderful Yiddish words that not only describes the action but implies how you feel about it. A schlep is usually walking somewhere a little farther than you want to walk, usually carrying something, and a little annoyed by the whole experience.

    And James - could you help your roommate out with the whole "wallet downsizing" concept?