We veteran Christmas shoppers have seen it all.
We’ve fought kamikaze traffic and circled malls 250 times, searching for parking in the same zip code. We’ve donned body armor to survive elbowing crowds. Defied Klingon clerks who wanted to beam us to Kronos.
During one holiday shopping trip, two scary grandmas in my line battled about who was ahead. Would they take out everyone else, too?
Enter online shopping, the answer to desperate prayers. Especially in 2020.
No traffic. No higher-than-Santa’s-sleigh gasoline costs. No sore feet — unless we type with toes.
I generate Christmas atmosphere for online shopping by concocting a Christmas playlist, donning my loudest holiday sweater and drinking hot chocolate from my favorite Christmas mug. Christmas candles smell like pine … or Pine-Sol®?
Regardless, I pull out credit cards. My password list. Ready. Set. Shop!
My laptop’s crankier than a teen at 8 a.m. on Saturday. When I threaten it with a pitcher of cold water, the laptop finally cooperates. Sort of.
It sends me to the Malwart website, rather than Walmart. (Nothing to do with my spelling, you understand.) A pop-up offers the Garfield beach towel my grandson covets for only $471. When I purchase a puppy-kitty storybook instead, the website informs me other customers who bought this book also purchased “The Preschool Guide to Overthrowing the Government.”
Weary of children’s gifts, I peruse flannel shirts for my son. Surely, with 83,259,441,701 advertised online, I can find one. But 83,259,441,700 are size XXXXX Large.
My son could fit in a sleeve.
Wait. I see it!
The solitary size large, un-girly plaid shirt is in stock! But it can be sent only to Madagascar by Christmas. If sent to Indianapolis, it will arrive on February 29, 2024. If I pay extra.
My laptop emits a distinct chuckle.
Grrr. But if I use the pitcher of water, I’ll have to beg use of Hubby’s laptop. He’s busy ordering camping equipment — my Christmas gifts to him?
I may wait until Valentine’s Day.
Desperate, I return to pricing Garfield beach towels. Three others cost $500 apiece, so I grab the bargain at $471. Using the promotion code BANKRUPT, I owe only $470.12. Surely, this gift qualifies for free shipping. But no, I must spend only $203.77 more. So, I buy a bag of flour.
I miss pre-Internet shop owners, humanoids who said, “May I help you?” and did.
So, I join other masked shoppers in real stores. Remembering those two scary grandmas, I imagine they’re not Internet shopping. They’re still pushing and shoving to be first.
Other shoppers and I will watch — from a distance.
Maybe we should bring along pitchers of ice water?
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Do you prefer online or traditional shopping?