Remember me? I’m that gift card some clueless Secret Santa gave you months ago, maybe years. You used me once, then forgot all about me. Oh, you might stumble on me now and then when you’re so bored you decide to clean out your wallet, and then you look at me and think, “Huh, I wonder what’s left on this?”

Forget it. You’ll never know. You won’t be anywhere near a Starbucks or a Walgreens at the time. You’re not going to stop what you’re doing to go fill up at Texaco. You’ll make a mental note, that’s it. You might say to yourself, “I should check the balance on a website. Is that even a thing?” You have no clue. But you won’t find out, for even if it is a thing, you know you’d be forced to register, and then you’d be bombarded by emails begging you to “Celebrate the Season of Pumpkin Spice” or “Save 20 percent on Jorts.”

No, you’ll just stare at me, ponder my mysteries, then back into the wallet I’ll go—not even a front flap, but tucked into some hidden sub-flap with the loyalty cards and the gym membership.

I’m your gift card, and I’ll keep my secrets forever. You’ll never know how much remains on me. When you do come to your Starbucks or your Walgreens or your Texaco, you won’t even think of me, because you’re a tapper now. You’re all tappers. You have no time to fuss with wallets, cards, or—scoff!—cash. With your insatiable cravings for quick food and instant gratification, you’ll only tap your phone. You’ll never think to look for me, your forgotten gift card.

And on the very small likelihood that you do think of me, maybe while idling in a drive-thru line—“Wait, I have a gift card!”—you still won’t act, because you’ll have no idea what my balance is. What if you hand me over and discover it’s only fifteen cents? You’ll have to scramble right there in the driver’s seat for other means of payment while the customers behind you fume away in caffeine-deprived fury, with their dirty looks and high probability of honking.

Oh, so you think maybe you’ll go to the counter, eh? You think you’re going to make the effort to present the card to some spotted teenager in a hairnet, and ask, “Can you please tell me what the balance is?” Fool. You’ll never do that. Look at that lineup! Imagine that hair-netted teen and her stinging eye-roll! You don’t have the nerve.

But let’s say a miracle occurs, and you do take the steps to discover my balance. Guess what: you’ll only use part of it. That’s just how it is. Then there’ll be a new balance, an even smaller one, a balance you’re even less likely to bother with. And yet, no matter how small it becomes, you’ll never bring yourself to throw me away. After all, you might use me someday. As if.

In the end, you’ll curse the person who gifted this card to you, this eternal thorn in your side that wasn’t especially thoughtful in the first place, without a single consideration for your loves and desires and preferences for other franchises. But you thanked them at the time, though you knew in your heart of hearts that a day would come when you would inflict a gift card on them in return.

You son of a bitch.