Ah, the spring of 1996. I remember it well. I was a freshman in college, ready to take on the world. That particular season holds dear memories for me. I rushed and joined my sorority. I turned 19. Oh yeah… and I got my first credit card.
They say you always remember your first (wink, wink) and I definitely do. It was a Visa. A beautiful, wonderful Visa card and it was mine. My name was emblazoned on it in big bold letters, so it must be true! And the nice people who approved me for the card, gave me a limit to the monetary wonderfulness so that I would be smart with the card. Not spend it on stupid purchases; just for emergencies, got it.
Ah life, how you mock me. Stupid purchases and emergencies somehow became synonymous and interchangeable. Where there was one, there was the other. I had to survive didn’t I? Books for school, gas to go to school, food to eat at school; that was just the beginning. Then it was clothes, shoes, movies, CD’s, social events, you name it. And let’s not forget my lovely sorority. It costs quite a pretty penny to be in a sorority or fraternity. The dollar signs began to add up rather quickly.
That glossy shiny card became the bane of my existence. And let’s not forget the slinky. Oh, did I not mention that part? Oh yes, my sisters and I signed up for our credit cards at a booth just outside our campus bookstore and received our free gift. A pink and purple slinky. I cringe, even writing that. But I digress…
I’d like to think that I have grown financially as a person since that heady Spring of ’96. That girl who rocked to No Doubt on her way to class still likes an old Gwen song now and then. But I don’t buy music on credit. Unsecured debt, a completely abstract term to that college freshman of long ago, is very much a term I know and understand. The woman I am now, cannot fathom the exorbitant amount of money that was spent on sorority life. But the girl I was, relished every moment.
And life is like that. Full of experiences that sometimes you just shake your head at. And the Spring of 1996 is like that for me. A season that changed my life personally and financially…but please don’t ask me what became of the infamous slinky. I have no idea. And I cringe writing that too.