I've Lost Five Credit Cards In The Past Year

Ryan Fan


I can’t seem to keep track of credit cards. Every couple of months, I have to get a new one. To be more specific, I’ve lost three credit cards and two debit cards in the past year. Luckily, none of these instances has resulted in someone else using my cards for fraudulent transactions, but it’s still a major pain to have to request a new card from my bank. While each situation obviously could have been worse, my habit of continually losing my cards is a massive inconvenience.

Plus, I don’t want to say “oh it’s no big deal since nothing bad happened,” because something bad could happen. I usually lose my credit cards in inconsequential places — the car, the house, one of my pants, shorts, jackets, or more. The reason I keep losing them is I don’t usually put my cards back in my wallet after using them. Most recently, I remember the last place I put my debit card before using it and then put it into my gym shorts. I put the gym shorts in the washer and am hoping they’re there, but if not, I’ll have to get a new card regardless.

The reason behind me constantly losing credit cards isn’t a lack of willpower or absentmindedness, although both probably contribute to the equation. A larger reason is bad habits. I think I’ll use my card sooner or later so I keep it separate from my wallet sometimes, which is inevitably a really bad habit. I should stop, I tell myself after losing a credit card. But I never do.

Luckily, I found the fifth lost card in the laundry — thank the Lord. I have gotten the question “do you have ADHD?” more than once in my time. If you think the credit card is bad, don’t even get me started on how often I lose track of where I parked my car, or where my keys are. For Christmas last year, my girlfriend got me a Tile, which is a Bluetooth tracking device for your keys and wallet. The Tile is the most useful technological innovation for my fatal flaw, and yet I still lose my car and credit cards frequently.

Don’t even get me started on masks. Ever since the pandemic, I have lost at least ten masks. The usual reason is I like to take my mask off when I’m driving. If I don’t need to wear the mask, especially when I’m inside a car and no one else is in, I prefer not to. However, I won’t keep track of where the mask is while driving. It’s usually somewhere on the floor, and then I’ll have to wash it before I put it back over my mouth and nose. Other times, the mask will have fallen to the left side of my seat and have fallen out of the car.

I know what I need to do. Keep the mask on my face. Keep the cards in my wallet. Use the Tile for my keys and wallet. It is such an easy fix and I don’t know why I do it, why I don’t avert the major disruption to my day. I can’t help but think the habit is something deeper, a sign, perhaps, that I’ve been going too fast. I’ve been behaving too sloppy. The loss of a necessary possession is a sort of crash and burn and sign.

The lesson? I need to slow down. Maybe I’ll stop losing my cards as much. Or maybe I just need to be set in my routines and habits. Regardless of what I need, I hope you don’t have to call credit card companies as much as I do — I, for one, am tired of elevator music.

Originally published on The Partnered Pen on June 4, 2021.

Photo by Stephen Phillips - Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash

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Believer, Baltimore City special ed teacher, and 2:40 marathon runner. Diehard fan of "The Wire," God's gift to the Earth. Support me: https://ko-fi.com/ryanfan

Baltimore, MD

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