It's only mine because it holds my suitcase.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dear Citibank. . .

It's just not working out between us. A few years ago, when first we met, you were a different credit card. You were slimmer for one; I know it's not fair to play on your self esteem, but it has to be said. When I first saw you, you fit into a slim size 7%. And you promised it wasn't going to be an introductory thing either. I wouldn't say it was love at first site, but I was in the market and you were available. A little too available maybe. I suppose that, even back then, I might have seen this coming.

A year later you and I had been on a few dates, to Fry's mostly, but I took you out to some nice dinners too. I honestly wasn't too surprised when you wrote me and announced that you were now a size 10%. I wasn't too peeved either. I kept you around to help me maintain credibility with the other credit providers, and besides, even at 10% you were only costing me a couple bucks a month.

Then, last year, the crisis hit. You and I had been on one or two dates the year before, mostly because you indulged me in my preoccupation with expensive optics. When the shit started hitting the fan I thought maybe you'd come by, tell me you still loved me. Perhaps even announce that you'd lost some weight. After all, I hadn't once forgotten our anniversary, even though it seemed to move around unpredictably from month to month. That was a little bit suspicious, by the way. It was as if you were trying to make me forget and then. . .then what? Anyway - come by you did, but not to praise my loyalty or punctuality. No, you came by to announce that you were now a size 20%. Twenty! You looked like a blancmange!

I have a confession to make. I keep you around not because of the services you provide, but to remain attractive to the other credit cards. And who knows? Maybe someday I'd want to convince a mortgage to come home with me and you know how picky they can be. So I figured "What the hell?" and kept you around. Twice a year or so I'd take you out to dinner and the rest of the time I'd dutifully write you a check on our anniversary. Always for about twice what you asked because &mdash let's be honest — I know that if you ask for X and I only give you X you'll find a way to make me regret it.

And then times got a bit lean and I couldn't take you out to dinner anymore. But still I never forgot our anniversary and I kept you around. You didn't seem to mind, although I didn't hear from you very often. I figured maybe you needed some time alone with those nice men from the FTC who kept coming by to look at your kitchen. You know, where you did the cooking.

Things went on for a while like that, neither of us paying the other much attention. Business was getting better though and I remembered that I needed to use you ever so often to stay appealing. Also there was a particularly nice piece of glass I was interested in, so I decided to take you out on the kind of date we hadn't been on in years. It was exhilarating and we both got what we wanted. You got attention and a reason to bug me for a little bit more attention every month, and I got the respectability I apparently need and a nice piece of glass to boot.

That was two days ago. I just got home and saw your letter in the mail. I almost didn't open it. Most of the time when you write you're trying to sell me insurance or offering me minuscule discounts to Paul Anka concerts in states I'd never dream of considering thinking about entertaining the possibility of visiting. I don't know why I decided to open this one. Maybe it was the way the envelope didn't have a single starburst on it; not one exhortation encouraging me to urgently open the letter. Not so much as a single exclamation mark. It was almost as if you didn't want me to open your letter.

But open it I did. And I guess I really shouldn't be surprised to read what you wrote. You're a size 30% now. I guess you were waiting for the right moment. Waiting for me to show just the slightest sign of weakness. Well. You sprung your trap. I suppose you think you have me by the gonads. Oh sure - I can opt out of your massive increase in girth, but where would that leave me? You'd be forever surly until you went away completely and I would never again enjoy the few benefits you did offer. No. That's not the way. Here's the deal. When you open your mail tomorrow, you'll find that I've paid you off. Completely. No more anniversaries. No more nagging. And thirty percent of nothing is — let me think; times three, carry the zero — nothing. You overplayed your hand. You tried to trick me. And now you're going in the box. Don't get me wrong. I'm not letting you go. I still need you and the respectability you provide me in the eyes of the other credit cards. It's just that you'll never get another penny out of me for the favor.

Welcome to credit card purgatory, bitch.


  1. That was the most amazing letter I have ever read!!! I had just composed my own from the same prospective but, unfortunately, I can not pay them off. If I could I would. Financial rape is a bitch!! Where is Obama when you need him!!