In the spirit of Halloween, I come to the blog today with the shortest of short stories, but of a tale I know all too well, the perils of online shopping. What this story lacks in classic horror, gore, blood, and cheap frights, it makes up for in original fears, like over drafting on your bank account and realizing that you’ve chosen comfort over style. Please enjoy. (Side note: this is the dumbest thing I have ever written in my entire life, and I once wrote my own Arthur adaptation in the second grade titled, “Arthur Goes to The Beach!” and I put stickers in between each sentence)
“Complete your purchase, you still have items left in your cart!” touts the annoying e-mail in my spam folder as a notification to my own decisiveness. Nothing is more telling of my inability to the pull the trigger on a decision, or the internet shopaholic that can’t quit commit to the addiction that lives within me than my G-Mail spam folder.
“I know, I know.” I mutter to myself as I delete without reading. I know the contents. An over-sized oatmeal terry cloth sweater. I personally hate the “basic white girl” term, but you have to admit that the words “over-sized oatmeal terry cloth sweater” pretty much points the flashlight at one kind of person. You know who needs a terry cloth sweater? No one. You know who wants one? Me. Who knew that terry cloth was meant for more than just bath robes? I sure didn’t. Before I know it, I’m fantasizing over the endless outfit combinations that I could pair it with, and my inner dialogue kicks in with it’s pathetic rationale. Hey Me, it’s Me. Listen, did you consider that it’s long enough with leggings. Oh god, that’s even more basic. And it would look great with duck boots. Mallory, who ARE you??? Oh, imagine it worn with cable knit sweater socks and flannel underneath! Were you born in L.L. Bean catalog? Good lord.
My inner dialogue is fighting it. Hard. I don’t know what led me to this point in life; moonlighting as a rich New England prep school student, but here we are. The older I get the more I want to look like I spend a lot of time outside, but without actually doing anything. I think the term for this is “Athleisure”, but I think that was a term invented by Gwyneth Paltrow as a synonym for lazy. I can’t be certain. All I know is that come Fall, if it’s over-sized, I’m wearing it. Want to know the worst part? The sweater is $60! Who do I think I am, a legitimate lifestyle blogger? What’s next? After I buy this will I then be too good for white flour? Parabens in my shampoo? Non artisan made cheeses??? I have to draw the line somewhere.
The shopping cart tab continues to sit adjacent to the tabs of things I should be working on. I should just hit the “X” and get over myself. Buuuut what if somewhere in between now and shutting off my computer I come up with a completely rational reason for buying it? I’m a pro at that. Give me a few minutes and I’ll have a perfectly reasonable excuse as to why I’ll need this in my life. And as if on cue, the inner dialogue returns. Hey Me, it’s Me. Listen, we can totally justify this. How about with the fact that it’s starting to getting cold outside! No. it’s not you idiot. You live in Texas and seasons aren’t real. I don’t have enough sweaters? HA HA HA Because I don’t have a sweater in this color?? Okay okay. Now we’re on to something. Neutrals go with everything. This oatme- You’ve gotta stop saying oatmeal. It’s beige. Just call it beige. This beige color will go with so many pieces you already own! You’re right, Me. You are so right. But… No buts, shh *makes shh noise with pointer finger*. You’re making me uncomfortable. I’m sorry, I’m just really trying to sell you on this. Okay, just stop talking to me like a Bond villain. Got it. Fine, let me go grab my debit card.
And then I see it.
The shipping and handling costs. Leave it to me that S&H will always get me. Nearly 10 bucks for standard ground delivery? Why can’t everything be under Amazon Prime? Unless this is delivered with a brick of gold and handed to me like I’m accepting an Oscar, then I don’t think so. Who cares?! 10 dollars is just 10 dollars! Are you the one paying rent and their student loan auto-debit at the end of this month? Shut your mouth. Just dip into your savings! For a sweater?? Are you high?!
As I log out out of my check out account and close out the tab, I breathe a sigh relief that I live another day having defeated online retail. I know as the holiday season approaches, I will only become more vulnerable, but I’ll find the strength somewhere. As I ready to close my laptop and refocus my life and priorities, my relief is interrupted by the ping of my G-Mail notifying me that I have new message in my inbox.
Hmm, nothing in my primary box, it must be…
It’s in the spam folder. In all caps, “SALE! 20% OFF TODAY ONLY!!!”
Hey Me, it’s Me. Listen…