40. Mail Order
Have you ever ordered anything by mail order? (And no, this doesn’t include brides, so those of you who’re hoping, dash it!)
I groan in dread every time I get an envelope in the mail from my mail order companies. Yes, more than one.
I belong to a book club that has given me some truly delightful collectible editions, but that has books that cost an arm and a leg! But they do have at least one spectacular clearance sale each year, when I can order books at ridiculously low prices. The shipping from England sort of brings the price back up, but over all, it is usually a satisfying and worthwhile experience.
I receive mail order catalogues and fliers from a couple of companies that specializes in mail order, and you can get all sorts of big and little things for anywhere as low as a couple of dollars to big ticket items that might cost nearly two hundred dollars. Some of the items are just amusing. Others are curios. Still others are curiosities. And the majority of them are items you might think of getting or trying out but wouldn’t really get. Then there are the items that you will really find handy or items that you might really want. Because of these, I do a lot of household shopping for non-perishable items that are not readily available in the grocery or department stores through mail order. Because one of the companies requires cheques to be sent before the items are sent, I don’t usually get from them, although once in a while, they have an item that’s too good to pass. Now, the other company actually gives customers the option to pay COD or in 4 or 5 equal installments. That is what makes it worthwhile. Even if you pay a little more for shipping, which raises the prices, you don’t need to get out of your house or even up from your couch to shop. Well, you do need to get up to mail in your order. The bonus is that they also offer all sorts of prizes and free gifts and bargain items and a lottery. Mind you, the big lottery is legitimate, as researched by various independent research companies, but as in any other lottery, you have a one-in-a-million chance of winning! But that’s not the point.
I said I groan in dread when the catalogues or fliers arrive. That’s because I know there might be something there I just can’t resist, or something I think I could really use, or something I really want, or something that might come in handy in the future, or something that’s too good to be true. That’s when I know I’ll be spending some money on something I wasn’t planning to get at all, no matter how useful. Which means I’ll be out some cash that I shouldn’t have spent in the first place. Which means I’ll be beating myself for spending money in the first place!
But when the package(s) arrive, it’s like Christmas! I don’t always remember everything I order…I’m not obsessive-compulsive enough to make a list of every single thing I order, in the first place, so when packages arrive, it’s a surprise! Well, not totally, because I knew packages would be arriving. But surprised, nevertheless, because I didn’t know exactly when they would be arriving. Plus, there’s the excitement of finding out what’s inside. And the excitement of seeing if what you get is exactly what it looks like in the pictures. Plus, the excitement of trying out something new and adding it to my growing pile of kitchen gadgets and tools, or household implements and other things.
Then the realization of a bill in your hand just hits you. Sure, it’s a small bill, so it’s like a pebble bouncing off your head. But sometimes, you’ve got two or three at the same time, so it’s a small handful of pebbles bouncing off your head, and if those pebbles are the size of dimes, a handful of them can be a bit annoying and even a bit hurtful, if they hit hard enough!
At least it isn’t TV shopping where I’d need to use a credit card that could just get maxed out before you know it! Thank goodness I don’t have a credit card!