1 'Here Is a Gift Card to Target' | The Billfold

‘Here Is a Gift Card to Target’

“I don’t know what’s on it.”

My cousin handed it to me. This was an unplanned gift. She was looking through her bag for a glove or a tissue and came up with the card instead. We had been talking about how stupidly poor I was through every fault of my own. The gift card was a consolation prize for losing this particular round of adulthood.

I took the card and put it in my own bag, where I promptly forgot about it except for when I think about it all the time. This was a year ago.

Feb. 10, 4:23 a.m., [sees that we are on the last roll of toilet paper] I could use that gift card to Target

April 11, 8:23 a.m., [sees that prescription is almost empty] I wonder if I could use that gift card to Target

Aug. 4, 5:24 p.m., [has basket of crap at Walgreens, stares at basket] I could buy all of this at Target with my gift card [leaves]

Oct. 7, 6 p.m., [train] I wonder, where is that gift card to Target

Dec. 3, 3 p.m., [looks at bank account, bank account empty, looks at pantry, pantry empty] At least I still have that gift card from Target [goes to bed]

Dec. 15, 5:34 p.m., [stares up at Target] But I don’t have my gift card [leaves]

Jan. 12, 10 p.m., [bed] Ha, what if I’ve been thinking about this gift card for 1 year and what if there is like, $2 on the gift card [goes to sleep]

Jan. 12, 10:02 p.m., [wakes back up] But then again, what if there is $200 on it [goes back to sleep]

Jan. 12, 10:03 p.m., [wakens] I will find it in the morning [zzzz]

Jan. 13, 8 a.m., [does not look for/find gift card to Target]

Jan. 15, 10:55 p.m., I should look for that gift card to Target

Jan. 23, 7:30 a.m., [looks for gift card to Target]

Jan. 23, 8 a.m., Okay it’s not here and I’m willing to concede it’s not here

Jan. 23, 8:30 a.m., How do I reconcile the fact that I’ve spent so much time thinking about this gift card with the fact that I will never use it?

Jan. 23, 9 a.m., Sunk cost? Is that applicable?

Jan. 23, 9:10 a.m., Namaste, definitely applicable



//photo by kevin dooley


12 Comments / Post A Comment

AdieM (#5,070)

The internal battle I have with Target-style gift cards (meaning, to places like Target, Amazon, other places where you can buy both practical stuff and fun stuff) is: should I use this buy things I NEED (toothpaste, paper towels) or should I use this to buy things I WANT (yet another target-brand t-shirt, NAIL POLISH). The end result depends on my poverty level at the time.

Allison (#4,509)

@AdieM I try to save it for fun things, but then it’s Target so I buy things from 9 different sections at once and am like “crap this is going to be $200 isn’t it?” and pull out the gift card. Or if it’s all practical stuff, well that’s money in the budget that is now freed up for fun stuff anywhere!

These debates can be crippling.

ceereelyo (#3,552)

@AdieM this is me as well – yes, it would be nice to use and get essentially things I will definitely use – the needs and stuff – for free but then I always feel that it’s not the best use of the gift card because most of the needs will run out sooner than later, so then I hide them for when I want to buy like a lamp, and use it for that. I find that I go through the same conundrum when it comes to getting a gift card somewhere, then realizing you have to buy a gift for someone, and it’s like do I buy it using this gc so it’s free, or do I save it so I can buy myself something instead?

readyornot (#816)

sponsored post by Target: gift card in mystery amounts to Mike, Logan, and Meaghan? How do they spend them?

Meaghano (#529)

@readyornot yes pls

Meaghano (#529)

Okay Logan lol this is too much. I hope one day you stumble across that big Target gift card in the sky.

Meaghano (#529)

@Meaghano OH but that reminds me. Get this. On my birthday no less than three years ago a couple of my new-at-the-time coworkers gave me a gift card to a BLISS SPA in Soho because we were spending all of our time doing customer service tickets and losing our minds. I had never been to a spa before and was like hmm and tucked the card away on the bookshelf. I found it the other night and checked the balance and there is $120 on it??? So my work friends and I were better friends than I thought, I guess (I mean, have you ever spent $120 on a friend’s bday present? I sure haven’t). ANYWAY now I am getting a massage. The end.

@Meaghano That’s AWESOME. Kinda makes me wanna “forget” about a gift card just so I can re-find it years later when it’s totally unexpected and it’s like I got the gift twice. Oh the games we play with ourselves.

chic noir (#713)


Just be weary of the little add ons they like to sneak in at Bliss. Ask how much before agreeing to anything.

andnowlights (#2,902)

Wait, now I need to know how much is on it!!!!!

Edited to add: Oh, is it for real lost? or just hiding somewhere (a “safe” place, which is never safe)?

zeytin (#4,005)

Noooooooooooooooooooooooo! Total anti-climax.

Mrs. Beeton (#320)

Last year my friends and I were playing a gambling game and someone bet a Shell gas card they had in their wallet – had no idea how much was on it, had no idea how long they’d had it. They lost it.

A couple weeks ago I was riding with my friend who won that pot and we stopped for gas. “Remember that gas card I won from gambles? It had a hundred bucks on it!”

Find that card.

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