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Life Lessons

How Much Shit Should You Have In Your Wallet? An Investigation

1:36 PM EDT on June 29, 2023

I made this money you didn’t, right Ted? We outta here.

I was out with a close friend a few weeks ago when I had to take out my wallet to pay for something. The second my friend saw it, he was like, “Whoa holy shit Drew, you’ve got the Costanza wallet!” I got defensive about this, because HEY MAN FUCK YOU FISH, but also because I believed that everything I carried in my wallet was necessary to keep on my person. I am not a money clip guy, nor am I one of those perverts with a folding phone case that doubles as some wallet/day planner. I need a proper wallet, and I need to put a lot of vital documents in it.

Or do I? This morning, I took another look at my wallet—which is quite old, because someone I love gave it to me when I graduated from college, and I don’t want to part with it—and thought to myself, OK yeah, it’s kinda thick. But I don’t keep my wallet in my back pocket, so it’s not like it’s gonna give me scoliosis. I can keep it in my front pocket and bulging out for all to see, because I’m well past the form-over-function phase of my daily accessorizing. But the question of thickness still nags at me. Jabs from close friends stick in your craw like that. Goddamn Fish.

To that end, I decided that I should do an inventory of my wallet, pictured above, and share it with you, the reader. I’m sure this won’t prove damaging to my privacy or my self-esteem in any way. Here now is what’s inside my treasured billfold:

  • Cash
  • Driver’s license
  • Two credit cards
  • ATM card
  • Insurance card
  • Dental insurance card
  • Car insurance info
  • State medical cannabis ID
  • Expired AAA club info
  • A poem my late grandpa wrote for me from 1991
  • A single Egyptian pound note
  • Four very old, wallet-sized photos of my wife and kids
  • Safeway club card
  • WGA card
  • Library card
  • My wife’s business card
  • DC Metro SmarTrip card
  • Organ donor card
  • Cochlear implant patient ID card (very thick)
  • Two NYC Metrocards
  • My COVID vaccine card, which I haven’t been asked to brandish in over two years
  • Paper receipts, but only if I’m on a business trip and expensing crap

OK, so the bolded shit can go. I accept those items as needless padding (wife's biz card was tossed with her blessing; WGA card was consigned to my desk). But I might need any one of those other items when I’m out and about and emergency strikes. Or if I need to save three dollars on groceries. So now, it’s my turn to ask YOU a stupid question, Defectors: What belongs in a wallet and what doesn’t?

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