You can always get what you want — delivered
October 25, 2018
An email alert pops up in the corner of my screen with the subject: "are you forgetting something?"
It's alerting me to the items in the cart I had selected online and then decided against buying because maybe I didn't need another six pairs of yoga leggings. After all, I have a drawer filled with them in every color and pattern you can think of, including enough floral prints to make you dizzy just looking at them.
It seems like every other day Ryan walks in with an armful of boxes he collected from the parcel box at the bottom of the street when he comes home.
"It's Christmas!" I always cheer. "Santa brought us gifts!"
The frequency with which this has been happening lately is a little bit alarming. It's Christmas every other day in the Margo household, and I would suspect at almost every household who has the Amazon app downloaded onto their phones. Online shopping has become an addiction, a service provided that makes it a little too easy with one-click shopping, free shipping and returns to resist the urge. It's always Amazon time when you have Amazon Prime.
Remember the days when you would physically have to get up off the couch, walk out the door, start your car, and then drive somewhere to go shopping, like to a mall? This was an event that would happen maybe once a month at the most, unless of course you're from New Jersey or some other suburban place where hanging out at the mall was a thing. Where I grew up, we hung out at the skating rink in the winter and the pool in the summer. But that's another story for another day.
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I have always been a big shopper. I never had buyer's remorse. If anything, I had the opposite, when I would deeply regret not buying something I had liked. I can still remember a shirt I tried on at this super cool boutique in the East Village when I was in New York City many moons ago. It was white and black striped and made from the kind of soft cotton that drapes just so. It had a V-neck and a huge bow on the front that attached to the top of the shoulders, with the knot just below the V of the neckline. It was so totally my style, but it was a couple hundred dollars maybe and just seemed like too much money to spend on a shirt — but to this day, I still think about how much I regret I didn't buy it because I have never seen another shirt like it.
That was back when a trip to NYC would constitute a shopping spree (OK binge) of the umpteenth degree, maxing out my credit cards and making me sweat just a little as I exited the store with my large-handled shopping bag made from the thickest stock with ribbon handles and the logo of the store embossed on the side (shopper's high). I can still remember walking halfway across Manhattan just to go to the Marc Jacobs store to find these wedge boots I saw in a magazine. It turned out they didn't have them in my size, so I ended up buying them at Boogies.
Anyhoo, living in Aspen was hard enough but now, even though I live smack dab in the middle of nowhere, I can buy anything I want whenever I want. Worse, these retailers have me by the balls, I mean the purse strings.
Like, I'm sure you've noticed how when you view an item, say on Zappos, you are then taunted with said item on every other website you look at when an ad for that very item pops up in the margins. (In case you were wondering what "cookies" are.)
Or the aforementioned email that comes flying into your in box as soon as you close that browser window on the site you're almost shopping on, using some self-control and thinking twice. "You've left something in your shopping bag!" the email screams. "Buy it now, items are selling fast!"
The worst is the colored box below an item you're viewing that declares "Only 3 left!" so you are forced to imagine women just like you all over the country, poised over their screens, about to click on the checkout button. Now you want to buy it first, before they do, because you are now engaged in some kind of pretend race with imaginary people. Here's the thing: they are probably lying about this limited inventory. Did you ever think of that? It's not like there are inventory police out there floating around the internet ether.
Exasperated, you purchase your fifth pair of hidden wedge Sorel boots even though you've bought a pair every single year and they are now piled up in the back of your closet because you couldn't possibly find enough occasions in Basalt, Colorado, to warrant wearing a different pair of boots every single day. In fact, because you live in a small mountain town where your daily life consists of going to yoga, Whole Foods, playgrounds, and climate change, you live in platform flip-flops 10 months of the year.
Don't think this is just a woman problem. Every other day I get an email from Amazon to let me know that the 12-pack of Firestarter logs or the lithium light bulbs have shipped, not to mention the portable toilet Ryan bought for our Big Sur camping trip.
As I'm writing this, an email just popped into my inbox from Fabletics, advertising a two-day sale for jackets for $25. This should be good news, except I just paid double that for one of the jackets that just went on sale two days ago.
Maybe it's time for me to think about checking out — not my shopping bag, but from online shopping altogether.
The Princess does have a lot of cute athleisure outfits. Email your love to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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