Stay-at-Home Dad: Member of the Club

Westchester has many exclusive places...

I remember when a good friend of mine was trying to get into one of Westchester’s premier country clubs. He and his family had to repeatedly host all these old fuddy-duddies at their home. The members of the selection committee would come for tea and end up leaving with cocktails. All this was to appraise, uh, I mean make sure that they were upstanding people whose character would fit in with the existing membership.  

Although I think he mentioned that he caught one of the old codgers looking at the bottom of an antique silver candlestick.

There are clubs for everyone here. Yacht clubs, beach clubs, tennis clubs, etc. But the funny thing about the club set is that it is never a question of where you are a “member" — it is a question of where you “belong”.  

I personally belong to many clubs, but they are a little more utilitarian. For instance, I am a big fan of the Bonus Savings club!

You can tell by all the fobs on my keychain that I am an exclusive member at many of Southern Westchester’s finest savings clubs.  The club with perhaps the greatest benefits is the A&P Bonus Club. If you shop at the ol’ A&P and you focus on buying the special card items, you can shave a ton off your total. I like to use the card at the end of being checked out and pretend that I’m on a game show watching the numbers roll back.

As great as it is to save money, conventional wisdom makes you wonder why they just can’t give the same low prices to everyone. But heck, I’m a member and those discounts are for me! If you want to shop at a place where everyone is treated the same without special discounts, go to Trader Joe's… you communists. 

The fanciest place with a members' rewards program is Balducci’s.  Their supremacy is made obvious as they separate themselves from the others by having the largest key fob. Their member rewards closely resembles Social Security, as I have been paying into it forever, and I don’t think that I have ever reaped a single reward.

The irony about these little plastic tabs that reside on my keychain is that I don’t even need them anymore. They are all backed up on my smart phone using an app called Cardstar. This cool program lets you take photos of all your club barcodes and it will store them until you are checking out at a shop. Then, you just pick the store and it displays your barcode. This works beautifully with all my key fobs. Well, except for one of them…my library card.

In a true sign of the times, the noble library card has been reduced to a plastic barcode on my keychain. Granted, it resides next to the cool True Value Hardware fob that looks like a little toolbox, but that’s not the point.  

The point is that the library card won’t scan into my Cardstar App, and because of this, I don’t want it to feel isolated as the lone fob on my keychain. So until my library card gets updated, my keychain will continue to make me resemble the school custodian.

Just without the lifetime healthcare plan and sweet pension.


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