My bank, Key Bank, has a giant red poster hanging in the lobby that suggests it’s time for me to schedule a “Relationship Review.” I thought this was a special running in consideration of Valentine’s day, but alas, it is simply an annual service.  A few months ago, I was in there to make a deposit, and the teller said I absolutely had to meet the investment bank manager guy, who was there once a week–and yes, I looked fine, and oh, yeah, he’s single. So I met him. We flirted. We exchanged business cards. We hardly talked financial business, so I was not sure if he was hoping for a date…or a client. Later I looked at his business card and saw that his number was 1-888-KISS-2YOU, and I thought, huh, I wonder if their marketing department meant to have their Key Bank Investment Services branch contact number sound like a romance hot line. He was nice looking and he had a lot of gadgets. I told him that I had a busy schedule but didn’t have a blackberry or a watch–I just flew by the seat of my pants.  He seemed impressed, or desperate to save me, since he tripped over a chair to shake my hand. And I didn’t call him. But I remembered the phone number, and the flirting, when I saw the poster about the “Relationship Review.” I ducked into the office of the branch manager and asked her if this Relationship Review thing would improve my love life? She laughed. She said, “I’m not laughing at you, Leah, but you’re right, it does sound like that would be a benefit, one would hope!” According to Key Bank, they have “Relationship Managers” who conduct annual “Relationship Reviews” with their focused clients. Not every client, not the distracted ones who go about their life willy nilly, but the focused ones. Apparently a “Relationship Review” assesses the level of risk and how involved a bank customer really wants to be with her bank (and vice verse). If you’re looking to have a good relationship, based on Key Bank’s standards, you’ve gotta be focused. Distracted is a deal-breaker.

Let’s pretend that my “bank” is my “boyfriend,” and so I’ll call him my “bankfriend.” My bankfriend doesn’t want to be involved with a girl who launders her money, bounces checks or has bad credit.  That’s okay by me as I’m a goody-goody.  A couple of years ago, I bought my house–in part thanks to my good credit score, after I went through my credit report and corrected errors. (It took time and effort.) My bankfriend wants me to be responsible and thrifty, but also to treat myself well, like during my birthday week. I have been in a committed relationship with my bankfriend since 2006, when I started my current job, and so I’m no stranger to commitment. I don’t use the drive-thru window; I go inside the bank to make deposits, chatting up the tellers and sharing a secret now and then. (Key Bank tellers like the “kiss-and-tell” kind of customer, and perhaps that’s why their number is 1-888-KISS-2YOU.) As my bankfriend will tell you, I don’t have intimacy problems.  Whenever I go see my bankfriend, it seems that everyone is happy to see me, and they say my name with conviction and a promise…almost like a lover. It establishes a connection, this little weekly ritual with my bankfriend.  I look forward to seeing my bankfriend each week, and building on a common desire to grow my little savings account. We speak candidly and I am open about my passions–my love for my environmental writing job and nostalgia for Acadia, an adventurous past, and my new-found joy in raising a rescue dog. My bankfriend knows I’m a passionate individual–driven by my desire to protect wetlands and to write about the wet world. In short, I’m focused. Though, I’ll admit I get side-tracked with the occasional blog post about relationship reviews.