So my neighbor receives yet another UPS package today. And, oh, by the way, today is Sunday. Does UPS even deliver things on Sunday? Apparently, they do. What is up with that?
Miss Queen-Of-UPS-Packages (26 years old and a Scarlett Johansson clone) receives-- how should I phrase this politely?-- a lot, make that a helluva lot of packages, almost daily. It is getting obnoxious. Crate & Barrel. Pottery Barn. Macy's. I even saw one from Harrod's the other day. As in Harrod's in London.
It has crossed my mind that possibly she is engaged and these are shower/ wedding presents. Fair enough. But that is no reason to flaunt the sheer quantity of shipments. No. I think (maybe this is the wine talking?) that she should have the UPS Guy (she is obviously on a first-name-basis with him at this point) deliver things to her back kitchen door of her house, or better yet, her office. She needs to give some semblance of normalcy to our street. It is NOT "normal" to receive packages every single day like you are Angelina Jolie at Oscar time. UPS Queen must pause to give thought and consideration to us (ahem) older neighbors who might be offended by a Williams-Sonoma gift tower. Stop the madness! No more deliveries on days when I might be home!
Let me back up here: I must stress that I am NOT sitting on my front porch with binoculars, or worse, sitting on her front porch pawing through her packages. I just see them stacked up by her door, as a sort of Monument To Shopping: her own personal Mini Mt. Everest. Every afternoon around 3 PM, the UPS Guy drives slowly down our street looking for the address (why? why torture us, UPS Guy? why the farce? surely you have memorized the address by now). Then he slows down to a mere crawl as he (surprisingly) approaches my house instead. Oh, yay! Maybe it is for me! I DO get packages too sometimes! Aha! I think excitedly, UPS is stopping here today at my little house after all!
He bounds out of the truck and strides up MY front porch stairs, taking them two at a time (please don't drop my box, I think). He knocks efficiently at my door, tap-tap-tap (is this a patented "UPS knock"?). I practically bolt (away from my front window, where I may or may not have been watching him already) to nonchalantly answer the door so I can sign for my package. Ha ha, yay!
I open the door. He smiles. I smile. My box (he is still clutching it) practically smiles. We are all like something out of a Colgate commercial. "Will you please sign here," he says pointing (as I am lunging for the electronic signing pad), "because your neighbor is not home right now."
What is my problem? Why do I even care about UPS Queen? Well, to be perfectly honest, I am a teeny tiny itty bit jealous. I used to be UPS Queen.
Back when I was young, single, beautiful, and made lots of money (well, 2 out of 4 is not bad), I also ordered lots of things from catalogs. I was what you might call a "Catalog Whore". Shoe catalogs, home catalogs, clothing catalogs, kitchen catalogs, outdoor-sporting-good catalogs, travel-attire catalogs, crystal-and-china catalogs, and the Bible of them all: Neiman Marcus December Issue. Ahhhhhhhhh, good times.
I remember once, as I lounged on our lovely wool kilim rug (Room & Board: $529) drinking a soda from a frosted Mexican tumbler (Sur La Table: $11 each), I decided to count all the catalogs in our leather magazine rack (Pottery Barn: $46). I was flabbergasted to see we had 66 catalogs! This was a record, even by my admittedly warped standards.
I would leisurely flip through the latest catalog and say, huh, that might look kinda cute. $285 for a red floral sundress and matching scarf. Why not? 60 bucks for a set of 4 glasses with adorable hand-painted bees on them? Bien sur. A whole paycheck for Egyptian 400-thread-count Paisley sheets? Done! It was all discretionary income, and I could (mostly) afford it. I loved coming home from a flight (I was a flight attendant) and finding a box from Nordstrom's. Or whomever. So. Much. Fun. Yay! Christmas every day!
But now, I shop at Target or I buy things on sale. Coupons take up space in my wallet, next to my library card (that's right: The New Frugal Me checks out books instead of buying them). I have been known to scope out deals at The Goodwill. Things are different since I am a mom and a wife. It is not the MOV Show, 24/7, like it used to be.
I shop for my two adorable sons, Tall and Short. The clothing budget goes to them (by default) because, well, they are growing! Their sizes change rapidly. They cannot wear clothes from last year or the year before, simply because they no longer fit. Since I do not have a "real" job making "real" money, my wardrobe desires go unattended, like a garden that is suffering from being ignored. My wardrobe is a pitiful and neglected..................weed.
Miraculously, I get a minute to peruse a catalog. Why should UPS Queen have all the fun? I can order something if it is on sale. That looks flattering, I think. Okay, I will order that. I call the 1-800 number. I tell the phone operator what I want. And she politely tells me that item is no longer available. Even on backorder? I plead. (Is it because of my size? is that why it is not available? am I too fat now?) The kind phone operator tells me that it is a SKU they no longer carry. (She must be a mom because she remains polite, patient, and non-judgemental.) She sweetly informs me that I am ordering from an older catalog, Spring. Here she pauses for emphasis: Spring 2007.
What happened to Young And Fashionable Me with all the current catalogs? Where did she go? I miss her.
And I miss those damn packages.
("Mission Of Value")