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New Year’s Resolution Already Broken – The “New” Wallet

According to a report in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, more than 50% of Americans will be unable to keep their New Year’s Day resolutions by June. Well, I am not even 48 hours into 2018, and I have already broken one of my New Year’s resolutions – to use the Wallet app on my iPhone instead of having a wallet in my pocket.

I have had a smart phone for about ten years now, but I was told that I’m not very “smart” about the way I use it by one of the tech savvy millennials in my family. This well meaning relation explained that my phone can do so much more than just text, take pictures, and make phone calls, dashing my belief that I knew what I was doing with it.

So Many Apps and So Little Time

Okay, I realize there are many apps on my phone that I never use – and probably will never use like Watch (I don’t have an Apple Watch) or Numbers – but I was okay with that. When I received a new wallet for Christmas (from someone in my age group), I was told by a youngling that I didn’t even need a wallet anymore. There was an app on my phone that could take that annoying thing out of my pocket for good, leaving new space for – wait for it, my phone.

I never really thought twice about carrying a wallet before since it is something I have done all my life, but when I thought about it a wallet is a nuisance to carry around. It is heavy and bulky and creates a bulge in my pocket. Why wouldn’t I want to get rid of it?

I explored my phone and realized maybe I should be using something like the GarageBand or Pages app, but the first one I would tap and get into would be the Wallet app. I had made a list of several resolutions, and the first on the list was to get rid of my wallet.

Reality Hits the Fan

My father and his generation were very reticent about doing things online. I remember telling my Dad that he could do his banking, research and buy and sell stocks, and even buy a car online. He reluctantly got a laptop and I showed him how to use it, and he quickly learned (at age 85) how to send email and to search topics and read the news. Once he realized what he could do Dad loved the laptop but he did not embrace all its possibilities – refusing to do banking or his taxes or anything financially related on it.

So now when I tapped the Wallet app and prepared to get started, I kept thinking of Dad as I plunged in. The problem was as I read the fine print on the screen, I felt a deep pain in my stomach. Dad always said “Trust your gut” and it just seemed like I was giving Apple way too much of my personal information. It didn’t feel right – no matter how convenient or logical the app may be – and so I tapped “Cancel” and that was that, so much for my first resolution for 2018.

The New Wallet

Since I did receive a new physical wallet for Christmas, I decided to use it instead of throwing it in a drawer with several other new wallets that I received as gifts and that still languish in unopened boxes. I have resisted getting rid of the old wallet I’ve had for the last 15 years because changing wallets is almost as bad as moving, but this new wallet is supposedly a “security” one that will prevent malevolent individuals from scanning it to get my credit card numbers and other personal information. That seemed like a good idea to me.

Taking credit cards and other things out of my wallet brought back memories, including a little card my daughter had made me in third grade. I couldn’t believe the little notes and old bills that had been stuffed in there. I resolved that my new wallet would not be a storage place for anything other than what was necessary.

As soon as I put the two wallets side by side there was an obvious problem – the new wallet was substantially bigger than the old one. The intention of my original resolution was to free up pocket space for my cell phone, but now I wasn’t sure if this new wallet would even fit in my pocket. I tested it quickly and it did fit, but would it be the same once I filled it with all my items?

Once I got all my pictures, credit and other cards, and license and registration into the wallet, I realized that it had expanded like an excited Mrs. Puff on SpongeBob. Now as I put the wallets side by side the new one looked way bigger than the old one.

A Trial Run

I needed to go to the grocery store and also had to put gas in my car, so I got up and tried to get the wallet into my back pants pocket. I could not do so without reaching around with my other hand to hold the pocket open. As I walked toward the door I felt as if I had something large on my hip, and despite my wife and kids saying it looked fine, their poor attempts at hiding smirks and snickers told me otherwise.

I drove to the gas station and got out to swipe my credit card in the pump; I struggled to get out my wallet and had to use both hands to extract it. I felt like I was being watched and, as I looked up, the other people pumping gas turned away. I swiped my card and decided to put my wallet in my front coat pocket for easy accessibility.

In the grocery store I usually take off my coat and put it in the shopping cart, but because my wallet was in the coat I could not do that. As I walked up and down the aisles I felt very hot in the coat, and I realized the same thing would happen to me again and again going into stores or restaurants. I don’t like wearing my coat indoors and so the wallet in its front pocket was not a good system.

And in the End

I went home, put the groceries away, and then took the wallet from my coat pocket and went into my office. I sat staring at it and my old wallet on my desk. I viewed one as a trusty old friend and the other as a nuisance. I had already broken one resolution, but using a new physical wallet had not been on my resolution list. It seemed like the smart thing to do, but reality got in the way.

You probably guessed I put everything back into the old wallet. All my items slipped back into their places effortlessly, and then I closed it and put it in my back pocket with ease. I took the new wallet and threw it in with the others I had received as gifts still in their boxes, and I felt okay about it as I shut the drawer.

So what that I broke a resolution in the first 48 hours of the new year? Who cares that I now carry around an old wallet that is not tech secure? It fits in my pocket and I can extract it with one hand – that’s all that matters to me.

Because of this situation, I have made a new resolution – if something is working okay, I resolve not to do anything to make it otherwise. As my Dad’s father always used to say, “Change for change’s sake is always a mistake.” Yes, indeed!

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His books 'A Death in Prague' (2002), 'Move' (2003), 'The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories' (2005), and 'Like a Passing Shadow' (2009) are available in print, online, and as e-books. His latest books 'Heartbeat and Other Poems,' 'If the Fates Allow: New York Christmas Stories,' 'Garden of Ghosts,' and 'Flashes in the Pan' are available exclusively on Amazon. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated on writing mostly fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as a faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with 'Blogcritics Magazine' since July 2005 and has written well over 500 articles; previously co-head sports editor, he now is a Culture and Society editor. Having traveled extensively, Victor has visited six continents and intends to get to Antarctica someday where he figures a few ideas for new stories await him.

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