The other day my wife Michelle informed me that we had an appointment at a bank’s main office, which is about a half hour’s drive. “What’s this all about?” I asked; “And why do I have to go?” I should explain that she handles all financial matters in our marriage. We’ve always had separate bank accounts, but over the years, she has gradually taken over both. I used to take my paycheck to the bank, sign it and record it in my checkbook, but over the years most businesses, including my employer, have gone to “direct deposit,” and I became less involved. Soon household bills were being paid via computer and the internet. That’s when Michelle took over our finances. “I’m closing an account,” she explained; “it has a zero balance and we never use it, but both our names are on it, so you will have to sign some forms.”

On the appointed day, we sat in the bank lobby while a teller found all the forms needed to close an account we never used. We dutifully filled them out; then the teller told us that we would be getting some other forms through the mail that we would have to sign and return to the bank’s headquarters. As we were leaving, I asked the teller, “What would have happened to the account if we hadn’t officially closed it?” She answered that it would have been classified “inactive” and lay in banking Limbo for Eternity.