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End of a Beautiful Love Affair – Sorry, Starbucks


What’s a girl to do?  Devastating betrayal.  Sneaky, behind my back antics.  Dare I say it – cheating?

Where did things go wrong?

It’s not me – it’s them.

So late last night, just as insomnia was losing to OHMYGODI’MTIRED, my husband comes hurriedly into the bedroom on his phone and asks if I’ve reloaded my Starbucks card.  Unless I’ve done some sleep reloading, no, I haven’t; but just to be on the safe side, I pull my phone over and check my Starbucks card balance on my iPhone app.  Nope – no changes at all.

A normal person would have wondered why my husband was checking Starbucks card balances at midnight, but with my feet all warm and snuggly underneath a sleeping cat, and my pillows sufficiently cooled off from the few minutes I sat up to check my card balances, I drift back off to sleep.

This morning, I roll over and see my husband, who would normally be snoring, staring at me.

“Someone charged $400 on our credit card through our Starbucks card.”

Wait, did he just say he bought me a $400 Starbucks card?  Dude is so going to have a happy anniversary weekend!

Oh, wait, no.  No one’s getting lucky.

Someone hacked into our Starbucks account, and reloaded one of our Starbucks cards with four $100 charges.  Then, the money was transferred off of our Starbucks card to an unknown Starbucks card (well, unknown to us).

Thank goodness my husband gets notified immediately when a charge hits our bank account.  He was able to call Starbucks, and while there wasn’t anyone in the security office to help us, they took all of our information to have someone handle it as soon as they came into work this morning.  He then called our bank, and they immediately cancelled our bank cards; cancelled three of the $400 charges, assuming they were duplicates made in error, and promised to follow up with the last $100 as soon as we got more information from Starbucks.

Starbucks called us back early this afternoon, and they also took aggressive steps to rectify the situation.  They were able to cancel the card that was on the receiving end of our balance transfer, reversed the charges made on our credit card, and even put back on our card the small balance that we did have on there that was stolen in the balance transfer to the stolen card.

I did a quick internet search, and I found quite a few cards available on eBay in the $400 range – some with the exact wording but different sellers.  I also found articles online about a possible security breach detected with the iPhone app that was supposed to be an issue only if your cellphone was stolen.

Just be really careful and monitor your Starbucks cards – especially if your card is automatically reloaded.  And please don’t buy your Starbucks gift cards from eBay – get them at Starbucks.  If something seems too good to be true – like $80 worth of free Starbucks – it probably is.

It’s scary.  You feel violated, unsafe, and worried.

Let’s just hope I can pick up the pieces and move on.  If you see me buying WaWa coffee, you’ll know the pain was just too much.

The Tale of Charlie McCarthy

You know how you hear stories told time and again, throughout your child, and those stories become the fabric that makes the quilt that is the story of you?  This is one of my stories.  Well, not mine exactly, because it didn’t happen to me, but it is a story that I heard so many times, I think I had it memorized by the time I was freshly hatched!

My dad was a little boy, and Christmas was coming.  My grandmom, his mother, asked him, like mothers everywhere do, what he wanted for Christmas.  My father gleefully answered that he wanted a Dolly Darfy.  She asked him a few more times, and each time, she got the same answer.  My dad wanted a Dolly Darfy.

Christmas was quickly approaching, and my grandmother searched everywhere for the mysterious Dolly Darfy.  Store clerks looked at her as if she had two heads.  Neighbors suggested a boy shouldn’t be playing with dolls.  Row after row in shop after shop, the Dolly Darfy remained elusive.  And when she’d go back home, tired and frustrated, she’d ask my dad, “Wouldn’t you like a baseball glove, Johnny?” “No, I want Dolly Darfy!”  “How about some roller skates?” “No, Dolly Darfy.”

Christmas came, and under the tree, there were all sorts of wonderful gifts, but the sadness on my dad’s tiny face told the whole story – there was no Dolly Darfy.

At some point after the holidays, my grandmother had my dad in tow while doing some shopping.  She let him wander over to the toy department of a local shop, and she heard him yelling excitedly, “Dolly Darfy!  Dolly Darfy!”  My grandmother rushed to see one of these mysterious Dolly Darfys, and when she arrived at my father’s side, there it was.  When a three year old asks for a Dolly Darfy, he means Charlie McCarthy, the famous Edgar Bergen ventriloquist dummy that was wildly available as one of the most popular toys that Christmas.

As I said, I heard this story often.  It was told every Christmas in our house, just like “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” is told in other homes.  We heard the story at practically just about every gift giving occasion.

And then there was eBay.  I searched for months, trying to find one that might have been available when my dad was a kid.  Even eBay couldn’t help me there.  When one would pop up over the many months of searching, it became much too rich for my pocketbook.

I finally settled on a Juro 1968 version of the much told about doll, and excitedly purchased it for my dad.  I can feel the heat from the radiant beam that crossed his face even now, all these years later.  I don’t think Ann, my stepmother was as pleased that I found yet another item to collect dust in the house, and the grandchildren, well, terrified just about covers their feelings towards poor old Charlie.

And now, he lives with me.  My stepmother, long tired of dusting the old guy off, wrapped him safely in plastic and brought him to our house.  I sit on the fence, debating whether or not he’s a keeper.  The story and the memories are so real, I don’t even need to hold Charlie in my hands to feel the excitement my dad felt when he was a small boy.

But while the internal debate rages on, I sure do like looking at him, remembering the joy he brought to my dad, even after 60 years.