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November 01, 2011

Getting Carded

Getting Carded

By Kathy Reschini Sweeney

First off - sorry this blog is late.  Last night was Halloween and so forth.  So since I am already apologizing for the time, I will also apologize for typos since I am writing this live and on the fly.

So - when was the last time you got carded?  If you go to the movies at Lowe's in Pittsburgh, you get a free one - apparently they card everyone now.  Because I look like many things, but 20 is not one of them.

A couple of years ago, near the end of a Locks of Love project (hair everywhere, including in my face all the time) I got carded at Best Buy over a video game for my son.  A GAME.

Fake idI remember dreading getting carded - of course, that was when the card I was using was not exactly the one issued to me by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Funny how when you are 19 and cute (and who isn't at that age?) the bouncers don't seem to spend much time checking formal credentials, especially if you choose the right v-neck.  That's right.  I admit it - I used cleavage to manipulate.  Anyone who hasn't really should try it out because - and no offense to the mature and gracious Men of The Blog - other men are stunningly dumbstruck if they think they are going to see a breast or two.  Don't spend much time trying to figure it out - you end up with a Greek tragedy or some Freudian images you're simply better off without.

Then, I went throught the phase of being flattered by being carded.  This did not last.  Because once you hit 40, who gives a damn what some idiot sitting on a bar stool outside on the sidewalk thinks?  It's not like these guys are known for their observational or critical thinking skills - they usually have no discernable neck.

Elvis_social_security_card_1950Now, getting carded irks me from a Constitutional standpoint.  I get merchants requests because that helps prevent fraud, although so few actually do it, that it's laughable.  Try writing "Ask for ID" on the back of your debit/credit card and see how many times people actually look at the damn thing.  Even people who clearly have necks can be thick-headed too.  But this business of people asking for your social security number to buy cold medicine?  No. Freaking. Way.  I don't even like my doctor's tracking data that way (that's how insurance companies do it too - your health care ID number is probably a not-so-cleverly disguised part of your SSN) and they have to comply with a ton of state and federal regs.  You should know that you are not obligated to give out your SSN to everyone including the pizza delivery guy.  And don't carry your SSN card in your wallet - geez - that is still one of the primary original souces to confirm your actual identity - if someone steals your wallet and they get your SSN card - buh-buy credit rating!

And all those "Special Member" cards that get you discounts at your grocery store/department store/gas station/strip club/electronics store/gun show/movie theater - they are great as long as you know that they are tracking and selling your data.  Forwarned, and so forth.

AarpFinally, at age 50, one enters a whole new era of carding - the DISCOUNT phase.  That's right, my friends - don't scoff at those pretty, red, white and blue AARP cards - those things are little gold mines.  Hell, I don't mind telling anyone how old I am if I can get into the movies for half price - have you been to the movies lately?  They're priced more like thee-ahhh-ter tickets than thee-ter tickets. Clint eastwood aarp

What about you?  Got carded lately?








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This reminds me of the time I was asked by a young clerk (who had been giving me attitude to begin with--going thru all the pockets of the clothes I had tried on to see if I was shop-lifting, I guess) asked if I wanted the senior citizen discount--and I hadn't hit 45 yet. I must admit I told her to do something physically impossible and left my purchases on the counter.

OKay, and instead I bought some Nice n'Easy. Hmmm.....

I haven't but my husband was carded in August. In Florida. At age 62. To buy a beer. (and no, he DOESN'T look that young)

A quick note the day after Halloween because I forgot to add it to the comments yesterday. Please read the latest entry on my blog...http://3harpiesltd.org/jwp if you liked, loved or got a good laugh about Night of the Living Dead.

For age, not since about 1984. For ID, all the time. I really appreciate when a merchant asks for my ID when I use my credit card. I carry my passport in my murse, and I whip that out whenever I can, just for fun.

I went out with friends last weekend. I was the oldest. 49. They were assorted ages with me, 30, 44, 36, 38. Everywhere we went, they got carded and I didn't. By the end of the night I was just plain pissed off about it. Trust me, these folks dont' look any better than I do. I am hoping is was my 41/2 inch heals that just intimidated the "NO Neck" at the entrance. Which puts me at about 6'3" ish. He can't even reach that high to see my cleavage, if I had any.

I haven't gotten carded in a long time. Sigh.

Part of my job is using the data from those shopper's cards - in my case, the grocery ones. It's called "consumer data", and it's used to find out where you buy stuff (toothpaste - grocery store? drug store? Target? a vat of it at Costco?); how often you buy it; at what price you buy it, and what else you buy with it. Have you ever seen those ads that say "Buy 1 package of Rice-A-Roni, get 50% off a pound of kumquats"? Seemingly random, but usually based on shopper card data. You get coupons in the mail from your grocery store for your favorite cereal, but your neighbor gets one for Preparation H? Shopper Card data.

I have a separate keychain in my purse just for those cards. What can I say, I'm a sucker for target marketing.

Laura - fascinating! I would love to hear more of the inside scoop on this!

Susan - don't kid yourself, honey, you look great and you DO have cleavage, thankfully more than Jack, even on Halloween...

Josh! You know better than to carry around your passport! That's as bad as your SSN card! Still, I can just see you whipping it out for grins.

Judy - it's weird when they card like that. Makes me wonder.

Nancy - screw the bitch. Next time, take the discount. ;)

Another thing I've learned about shopper cards: You don't actually have to give them your digits to get the discount. I have one with CVS (drug store) that does not have any of my personal data attached, but I still get discounts when I use it. Of course, there is no compilation or target coupons involved then, but it's still worth it.

The last time I was truly carded was about five years ago. Steve's niece from California was visiting while my oldest daughter and her husband were still living here, so they decided to take her out downtown. The niece had never been to Cincinnati without her mother, and she'd never really seen the city in all those years. I went along to drive her back to our house. (Good thing, too; she got positively stinko.)

We did a bit of bar-hopping along Main Street, which has a high concentration of cool places. At one bar the bouncer insisted on carding me, even though I was not drinking, and I was clearly over 21. I was 55, for heaven's sake.

He was a humorless jerk, too, by the way.

The first time I got carded I didn't have a card to show. I wanted to see the movie Breakfast Club. It was two weeks past my 17th birthday and this was before PG-13 ratings, so a little pot and an F bomb put this movie into R status. Now, I'd been seeing R movies - uncarded - since I was 13. I saw An Officer and a Gentleman with my church youth group. (I am not kidding.) But that day the pimply-faced despot at the desk wouldn't let me in because I couldn't prove I was 17. So I walked across the street to another theater and saw Just One of the Guys - also R rated, and much raunchier.

My favorite shopping card is my Staples Rewards card. With special rewards and extra discounts, the other day I picked up seven reams of specialty paper, a box of Sharpies and some sheet protectors and left with a $19 credit. Of course, that was for work and we buy a lot of supplies, but still.

Haven't been carded since I was 14 years old. Which was a blessing in Las Vegas...:)

Karen- "Humorless Jerk" - that is such a fitting description for so many people, isn't it?

Sandi - I totally forgot about the pre- PG-13 rankings. Breakfast Club was rated R? Geez, you see racier stuff than that on TV these days.

William - good grief. A teenage boy loose in Las Vegas. The mind reels!

Molly the queen and I were carded this past summer. We were in Kansas City and the hotel was in Kansas. In Kansas to buy a drink at a bar, everyone must show ID. Buy a six pack in a store, not so much.

The last time I was carded by choice, I walked into a gentleman's club to close to the bachelor party just ahead of me. Door guy took one look and said sorry, sir.

I used to have to card people at selected R rated movies. Embarrassing.

I did learn in my long years of food service, NEVER EVER OFFER THE SENIOR DISCOUNT AND NEVER EVER CARD THE SENIOR DISCOUNT. Getting screamed at because you mistook 49 and holding for 55 or having to play 'don't I look 60?' is not worth the $1.45 off the bill.

I'm not even 20 :( Being carded is cruddy no matter what age you are, but it has to be worse when you don't have the proper card to show them.

It was a red letter day when I didn't have to take my mom with me to the Red White & Blue to get the senior discount.
Half off at the thrift store is a BIG deal when you're a costumer.
I just don't go out enough to get carded I guess. I do use my CVS card for Loreal 9GR Nancy!

Kathy, no worries. It was my own innate sense of Right and Wrong that kept me off the streets of Las Vegas.... and in the bars of Las Vegas...:)

Last time I got carded I was 36 and bought beer in Colorado. I've never kissed a woman, but when she asked for my ID, it was very close.
Florida has a lot of fraud, so if I use my insurance card at a doctor's office, I have to show a picture ID. Not as much fun as buying beer in Colorado.

The last time I was carded trying to buy beer was at a Virginia Slims Tennis Tournament. Chris Evert and Martina Navratalova were on the bill so that plus VS sponsorship tells you the era. I had left my purse with a friend so just had money and no ID. I was in my late 20's or early 30's and couldn't believe it. I had to go back to my seat get my ID and return. Since it was a tennis tournament I had to wait for the court change to get to my seat wait for the next one to get the beer ....

What slays me is we're told not to carry SS and/or Medicare cards but guess what your Medicare # is. If you don't carry it and forget to stick it in your billfold when you go to the doctor some places will not let you keep the appointment even if they have it on file.

I really get irritated when I get email "suggestions" based on my previous purchases.

We try to buy our coffee (we go through two pounds of Guatamalan Dark per week) on Tuesday, Senior Discount Day at our local grocery. Steve is legal, I'm a year short, but they don't ask for ID.

Ha! on the directed marketing and senior discount.

As many people here know, my ex-wife is older than I am. When we were first seeing each other, I was the hot 24-year-old, and she was the lecherous 31-year-old, although, really, I was the lecher. For fun, I sent in a coupon for a free sample of Depends in her name. I remember her opening the little package, and angrily throwing the contents at me. I bet she remembers it, too. For years afterwards, and maybe even now that she is 56, she claimed that she was getting directed ads from AARP and other seniors groups, and she attributed it to my sending in that Depends ad.

I thought it was funny then, and I still think it's funny. She didn't think it was funny then, and she doesn't think anything I do now, or perhaps ever did, is or was or ever will be funny.

Missouri drivers' licenses for a couple of years switched to SS# -- seemed logical to someone, until the uptick in I.D. fraud. I requested a change, but too late (or it could have been the theft of date from Red Cross). After spending over a year cleaning up my credit record (and then getting one last problem from DISH, which they refused to correct without my giving them even more personal info), I've become wary of giving out my birthdate and SSN. Facebook will not be putting my birthday on a little sidebar . . . but my friends knew without it . . .
I do have "see i.d." on my credit card, but most places now have the customers scan their own.
A friend was carded when she ordered a virgin daiquiri -- she was 30 but did and does look very young.
I have read that some servers who card older people get bigger tips. When they young man at McDonald's said I didn't look as if I qualified for senior 25 cent coffee, I congratulated him on his charming ways.

Some people have clearly kissed the Blarney Stone, and can get away with saying charming things, like the young man at McDonalds.

Just as clearly, Josh has not.

Josh, m'dear, you're lucky you didn't get that Depends stuffed down your throat!

Carded. . .I vaguely remember the concept. And the heart-pounding and sweating that went along with it.

Karen, I laughed when I read about how you were carded when you weren't even drinking! I had that experience, too, way back when I was 26. I was out with some friends and we stopped off at a pub. We ran into my youngest sister and some of her friends, and we decided to share a table. This was back when CT had briefly lowered the legal drinking age to 18. My sister was about 18 and a half at the time. My sister and her friends and mine each ordered drinks; all I wanted was a cup of tea. I was carded, which astonished me! I repeated that "all I asked for was a cup of tea." Too bad; I still had to show my ID. My sister was NOT carded, and she was only a few months into being old enough to drink. In fact, I was the only person who was carded, and I was the only one NOT drinking alcohol.

Now, about senior discounts: My hair turned white fairly early. By the time I was 42 I was sick and tired of getting senior discounts, even if it meant lower prices - I was too insulted! So many young people think that if you have white hair, then you are old! I started coloring my hair at that point. I guess you could say that that has sort of backfired on me because now that I DO qualify for a senior discount at many places, I must ASK for it! Around here, it doesn't make that much difference in the price of a movie ticket, but I do get a decent discount on the Port Jefferson NY/Bridgeport CT ferry, and the Amtrak discount isn't bad, either.

I do think it's weird that I'm asked for my date of birth when I'm picking up blood pressure lowering prescription meds, or allergy nasal sprays!

KIDDING ME? The senior version of carded--I go to a movie, ask for the senior ticket, and no one bats an eye.

Can't they at least act surprised or dubious???

Deb, the reason they ask for your DOB at the pharmacy is so you don't get someone else's meds. There could be two people with the same name, but the odds are pretty good they won't also have the same date of birth.

My SIL, who is seven years older than I am, used to get insulted when offered senior discounts. I told her to embrace her inner crone and just take them, for heaven's sake. Why argue with some kid who can't tell the difference between 40 and 70?

I was carded last month while visiting Chuck-E-Cheese with my granddaughter. I was told that management requires everyone be carded (even grey haired grandmothers) and the staff has had to deal with many an angry ID-free parent.

Kathy, big hugs and kisses. I started NaNo this morning with no particular plan in mind so the story started itself in a tavern I worked in years and years ago. What a lot of memories you've all kicked started for me!

I'm ridiculously short and kind of blond so that the gray showed up nicely as highlights. I was routinely carded up to age forty. How I miss it! Except for the time a Safeway clerk would not let me buy cigarettes because I didn't have ID with me. I was forty six. But hey, the rule is and has always been that if asked you must show it even if you happen to be a hundred and four. Early barhopping was never an option for me, most twelve year olds look more mature than I did at twenty one. And I have the unfortunate affliction of blushing always a dead giveaway.

Not only have I not been carded lately, I have at least 6 times boarded an airplane with the surname on my ticket not matching the surname on my drivers' license--because no one noticed! I'm talking TSA not noticing. This happens when there's a discrepancy between the professional last name being one thing and the married name being another, and someone else--as in, publisher--booking the ticket.

So I guess that whatever else I may look like, cleavage or no cleavage, I don't look much like a terrorist. For which I am grateful.

Kathy, you write better blogs on the fly than most people who have hours at their disposal.

I haven't been carded in a long time, simply because I don't go to places where getting carded would happen.

What did happen recently that still makes me laugh: I was out for dinner with my nephew. Now I am a pretty average looking almost 52 year old woman and my nephew is a gorgeous (think Orlando Bloom + Johnny Depp) looking 24 year old. While being seated I was asked if my husband would like the wine menu!

He blushed, jeez, I know I don't look quite my age but married to a 24 year old, HA. Too funny. I thought about calling him my trophy husband but I figured his face would burn off!

I did use the cleavage thing to get into bars underage back in the day, although I didn't have much cleavage to speak of.


I had a nice response to comments and I FORGOT you have to do the DAMN CODE thing to get it to post. And now I have to leave for a meeting before class tonight.


Anyway - great comments - as always, the comments are better than the blog itself.

Good luck to all the NaNoWriMoBananaFannaFoFanna participants!

Harley, I seem to recall Sarah having an issue some years ago with an airplane ticket or something like that (the border in Canada?) due to her published name being different than her (married) name on some official document or another. A problem my ex never had, since she never changed her name, personally or professionally.

Deb, I have that issue here. There is another Pam Purtle in the St. Charles County area. We have followed each other around the county for about 15 years now. We use the same eye doctor, gastroenterologist, OB/GYN, hair dresser, you name it. I was new to a cardiologist and I repeatedly told them they need to verify my birth date because they may have the other PP in their system. "Oh, no. You are the only one" and they blew me off. Until the appointment where they were to tell me exactly what caused my little 'episode' in February. They started talking about my stents, surgery, etc. I stopped the nurse and told her I needed to see the Dr,the physician's assistant and the office manager. When she tried to find out why, I told her that she just needed to get those 3 people in my exam room ASAP. It took a bit to extricate the Dr and the PA from their patients, but they finally came in...rather pissed off. That is until I explained that they had my file mixed in with the other Pam Purtle. The office manager got really snotty until I asked her to look at my driver's license and verify the DOB. She got very quiet and then the Dr and the PA got pissed. They had to do some searching because some of my records had her DOB and my SSN and others had my DOB with her SSN. It took them quite a while to get it straight. The MD was over the top apologizing and giving the office manager dirty looks. I really like the doctor and didn't want to have to redo all of the tests I had to take. So they got everything straight and I am repeatedly asked for my DOB. And I noticed that they ask everyone that comes to the window for their DOB now. Don't know if that office manager is still there, but I always get really good service, lol.

When I was 19, I went to see the Burt Reynolds version of The Longest Yard. A friend of my younger cousin was working the window of the theatre and decided to be snotty. She carded me when she knew I was old enough to see an R rated movie.

Just a couple of years ago, at age 54 or so, a little shit at the grocery store carded me for buying some beer. He had this little smarmy smile on his face. I smiled and told him I didn't know whether I should be flattered that he could think this silver haired, wrinkled old woman could be under 21 or pissed off because he was being a smart ass. The head cashier, who I have know for a very long time, snorted and patted him on the head.

Quick response, since I'm both hip deep in NaNoWriMo and about to leave for work.

I haven't been carded anywhere since I was about 25. On the one hand, it's one less pain in the ass. On the other, it is a bit of a junkpunch to my self image as a boyishly charming fellow.

I loved being carded at 36--I suspected that the guy at the door was just aiming to make a happy customer glad she visited the bar, but it was fun and made me feel great.

This didn't involve a card, but maybe 10 years ago, I was riding a local bus, and as soon as I made my way down the first couple of feet of the aisle, a young man stood to offer me his seat. I was horrified, and he was shocked when I was not glad. If this (Santa Monica) was the south, I would not have thought twice about it--men used always to rise and offer their seats to women of any age on the bus or train, there. But, here? It could only mean that he thought I was old. Yikes.

All those other cards? Laura, I'm a source of much frustration for you: I have a stack of affinity cards or loyalty cards or discount cards . . . gathering dust in a cubby in my desk, where I always forget to collect them before shopping. Add that pile to my handbag, that I'm continually emptying to keep light? No way.

Favorite time I was carded--I was so flattered. Then I found out it was "Card everyone for ID" night and it was just . . . oh.

Pam, there's another Mary Garrett in St. Charles also -- maybe we attract doubles here. Walgreens always asks customers for address for verification, and one day when a grumpy customer asked why, I asked if I could field that one, and told him. At the library, we emphasize my middle initial, after an unfortunate mix-up of reserves (though Larry, with a definite gift of blarney, said that as far as he's concerned, I'm the only Mary Garrett).
Laraine, I don't carry those cards much either, but I carry way too much other stuff. I just emptied out a pile of miscellany and (taaaa da!) found the B&N gift card from the P.D., the paper that fired their all-time best columnist, in time to buy Elaine's new book on their dime! (Now I hope I can go to the book signing -- the manager thought she might have latex balloons in the shop that day for the book fair :-(
Now, copying this before trying to post, in case Mr. Typepad gets snarky . . .

http://blog.storynet.org/ I did not know this was coming -- what a great surprise for me, takes me back to the fun of the NSN Conference in L.A. and the really, really good sound engineering by John McGee and others ;-)

Pam, I really feel for you. One of my sisters has the same first and last name as at least two other people in the area. One of those women has led a rather colorful life. She and my sister were born thee days apart in the same year- my sister was born on the sixth and the other woman was born on the ninth of the same month. The other woman's very poor credit record has often appeared in my sister's records, there have been numerous mixups regarding medical records, and the worst thing that happened was that my sister received a phone call one night from someone from the court demanding to know why she failed to show up in court that day to testify in a murder trial! Apparently the other woman had witnessed a murder in a barroom brawl. My poor sister was shocked, and then she realized that he was looking for the other person. She explained about the constant mixups, he asked some questions and had some advice about how to avoid more problems in the future. That woman has since died, and my sister breathed a sigh of relief!

THREE days apart! Not THEE days apart!

That woman has since died, and my sister breathed a sigh of relief!

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