A message to the woman in front of me at the grocery store this weekend: I didn't mind your whining child. In fact, I thought your baby was kind of cute. And I didn't mind your huge load of groceries; I thought it would be the fastest line (I was wrong). And I applaud your use of coupons -- something that requires planning that typically escapes me.

But my nerves snapped when you pulled out your checkbook and laboriously wrote out the check for your purchase, which caused the sales clerk to call a supervisor for approval, who required a look at your driver's license before finding a pen to put her initials on the check. And I also resent the fact that, instead of moving along, you decided to responsibly subtract that check from the balance in your check register.

My mind screamed: "Use a debit card instead of a check!"

I wanted to approach you -- as I have approached others several times -- and ask why on Earth you don't move into the 21st century and use your debit card. It would take one swipe in the handy machine and a second or two to insert your personal identification number, leaving you with nothing to sign or subtract.

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