Three things paralyze me with fear: snakes, spiders, and taking my children into a department store. I have yet to find a solution for the first two that doesn’t involve crying hysterically or burning all of the stuff. However, I have found a way to avoid taking my children into any store that puts your purchase in a fancy paper bag with fancy paper handles. Many of my favorite stores have iPad apps, and for that, Apple, I thank you.
But I am still a Mom so, if you count the guilt induced returns, the number of times I have bought myself something with these apps is negative four. I typically buy gifts for relatives, stuff for the kids, and all of the things I had to put back on the shelves when my child began wailing and lobbing toothpaste at passersby because my hands were on the cart push handle. (As opposed to moving him down the isles using The Force, I assume.)
However, a few weeks ago I decided to go big – I ordered myself a whole bunch of fancy skivvies for the first time in a few years. I tapped the little silver app icon and went hoarders extreme underwear edition on their intimates category. I filled my cart with a few hundred dollars worth of little lacy, silky, and strappy things that weren’t designed for nursing or an ever growing belly. I’d like to say I purchased all of them, but that would be a big, fat lie. Instead, I deleted anything that had a brand name in a foreign language, the stuff I was pretty sure only looked good on the emaciated model, or things I would be embarrassed to fold in front of my children. What I ended up with was a few items that would make me feel all fancy and put all my bits back where they belonged.
As I got to the end of the checkout process I could feel the guilt reaching through my screen, making me think of all the things I could be buying for my kids. They could probably use more underwear, I only have to push their clothes down a little to shut their drawers. Maybe I should buy Boogie more leggings in case the Zombie Apocalypse comes and she only has seventy-four frillion and a half pairs of leggings to wear under her sweater dresses. Instead of succumbing to Mom guilt, I quickly pressed the order button, clicked the little top button to put my iPad to sleep, and closed the case in time to catch the opening credits of Downton Abbey – promptly forgetting everything I had just done. (Lady Mary, you minx.)
The next morning my computer chirped telling me I had new email, and I was excited to open the shipping notice that would prove I still had a little hot momma left in me. Then my heart sank. It seems I had shipped my skivvies to my brother-in-law. Not the one I see at all the family gatherings and would be able to be like, hey, don’t open the box I just sent you because there will be a golden glow and Vincent Vega will come knocking at your door. Nope, the last person I’d used the app to buy something for was the brother-in-law I see once a year. The one I don’t quite know what to say to to be begin with. I had shipped a guy I barely knew a bunch of underwear, and would have to come face-to-face with him sometime in the next twelve months.
I frantically dialed customer service and did that thing where you’re crying but you’re laughing at the same time, and the person you are talking to quietly panics and searches for an escape route in their peripheral vision. As you do. But, since we were on the phone, and the call was being recorded for quality purposes, the person on the other end was bound by duty and her employer to stay on the line with me.
I laid out my plan for how she could help. She needed to run to the warehouse, locate the UPS truck, and throw herself in front of it like how those environment people stop evil companies from chopping down trees with endangered birds in them. I would hold the line, and I would make sure her sacrifice was not in vain. Every time someone ordered fancy skivvies to cover their lady bits, they would think of her and make sure they double checked the shipping address before placing their order.
We did not see eye-to-eye on this plan.
Instead she put in a request to have my box flagged for a reroute when it was scanned next. I was okay with this, because in the end I got some fancy underwear and my brother-in-law will never know how weird I almost made those bi-yearly family beach vacations.
Your friend in sunshine and panty disasters,