So come today, the morning of Black Saturday, I made the call.
It was a guy who answered this time, and after he asked what he can do for me, as usual, we went through the rigmarole of caller verification--name, credit card no., birthday, home and office address, home and office no.,and finally, my mother's maiden name. Then he asked what the reason was for my request for cancellation, I answered, "I simply can't afford to keep a credit card anymore." And then, the melodramatic litany, "Because I used to have a high-paying job in advertising but am now a university professor with measly wages living a pathetic hand-to-mouth existence. Because I used to enjoy junkets during post production projects in Hongkong and Singapore and now I could ill-afford to spend even just a weekend in Tagaytay. Because I used to afford to shop in Glorietta, Greenbelt or Power Plant whenever I felt depressed, whenever I felt happy, or whenever I just felt like it, and now to shop for new clothes, I go for all the Surplus Shops I could find in all the SMs." Of course, the melodramatic litany was just in my head.
The guy told me he will have to put me on hold, and as he did so, the waiting-music came on. It struck me how apt the muzak that coincided with the occasion--it was Ravel's Pavane pour une Infante défunte (Requiem for a Dead Princess). On hindsight, I remember it seemed it's always been some celebratory air from Mozart.
So when the guy came back on the line and was asking me if I was certain that I wanted the cancellation, all nostalgia washed over me, all the ten years of happy shopping in my favorite stores in my other life flashed before my eyes, and I had to keep myself from changing my mind and dramatically screaming "No, stop! Please, I wanna keep my AIG Visa credit card!!!"
But instead I said "Yes." Rather impassively.
The guy said that the account was now cancelled and then he asked if there was anything more he could do for me.
I bit my lower lip, and said to the phone, "No, that will be all. Thank you very much." And then quickly hung up before I could apply for a new card.
I think the occasion calls for some serious shopping this afternoon with my Mastercard.