You may have seen recently, like, all over the internet that a lot of people apparently shop online while intoxicated. I was at first flabbergasted (my gasted was flabbered, I dare say!) until I remembered the time in college I stumbled home from the bar and almost ordered the entire Time Life 60s Greatest Hits compilation. I had my credit card in hand, I did, before I realized I should probably hang up the phone.
This wasn't the first time I'd been tempted. I usually stumbled in from the bar around 4 in the morning and, if Charles in Charge wasn't on TV Land, I was forced to watch the only thing available...infomercials. Luckily, these were the dark days before the invention of the Snuggie or the PedEgg, so I was hardly ever tempted, but when I heard the tender crooning of The Temptations and those Beach Boys harmonizing all over the place, all I wanted was to own each and every CD in that Time Life collection.
It never occurred to me that I could jump on Napster or Kazaa or whatever we were using for piracy at the time, oh no, I needed that fancy box set. I'd already started clearing a space on one of my shelves so I knew I had room. I picked up the phone and, after several misdials (800 numbers are long, you guys!), I navigated my way through the robot-voiced menu and was finally speaking to a Time Life representative. She was so nice! And I was in luck, they had the compilation in stock! All I had to do was give her my credit card number! I dug through my purse, unearthing gum wrappers and receipts and a half-eaten granola bar. But I finally found it. It was at that point that I asked how much it all cost.
"Just four easy payments of $59.99!" my friend replied. I hung up immediately, narrowly avoiding overdrawing my bank account.
And, hell, dialing a phone and operating the automated menu required a lot more concentration than clicking a few buttons on Amazon, especially if your username, password, address, and credit card information are already saved in there. In fact, it's almost too easy to buy things nowadays, no matter where you are, whether it's from your computer, smartphone, iPad, or whatever other crazy spacetime device they come out with next, and so I'm glad my heavy drinking days seem to (mostly) be behind me. I say mostly because I'm an adult, dammit, and I'll make bad decisions if I want to.
For instance, this past New Year's Eve, I had a few too many cocktails and allowed, NO, ENCOURAGED Joe to buy both Hey, Dude and The Secret World of Alex Mack from Amazon. I don't know how this happened. One moment, Joe was asking, "Did you know Hey, Dude is on DVD?" and the next thing I knew, I was screaming at him to, "BUY IT BUY IT JUST BUY IT ALREADY."
This is unlike me. I'm always the Scrooge in these situations. I can talk myself out of buying almost anything, whether it's something shiny that I want, like a fancy, new camera, or something I actually need, like, I don't know, new bras. To be fair, though, replacing all of your bras is probably more expensive than a lot of fancy cameras. It's painful to spend that much money on something most people are never even going to see, which is why I'm always wincing as I sign the receipt.
But for one brief, shining moment, at the tail end of 2011, I was one of these people. Those lucky, beautiful people, who, the morning after a heavy night of partying, aren't haunted by the memory of drunk texts or one night stands, but piles and piles of brown boxes stacked high on their porches.