The Best Kind of Shopping (2 of 2)

In part 1, I extol the virtues of online shopping. You don’t wind up with your arms full, you don’t have to go out into the weather, you can find whatever you need easily, and you can do it all while lying flat on your back in bed. 

Until I discovered another sort of shopping with pretty much the same benefits and experience. 

I am talking, of course, about mattress shopping.

I strolled in intending to bounce on a few mattresses and walk out with the cheapest thing they had. I don’t know if pillowtops and fancy add-ons help you sleep better, but I do know that they are dreadfully difficult to get out of in the morning. As such, I didn’t see any advantage in having one. Getting up in the morning is required for my job.

But the saleswoman was busy, so I flopped down on the nearest piece of merchandise to wait. She was busy a little bit longer, so I rolled over and tried another one.

Soon enough I’d arrived at a high-density Tempurpedic. I sank in and it molded around me like soft butter. Aaah. I could stay there forever. If this is what you get for being an astronaut, I totally pursued the wrong career path.

Naturally, I was a little peeved when the saleslady showed up. But it transpired that she didn’t expect me to move. Indeed, she encouraged me to test out all the more expensive mattresses for as long as I desired. She recommended that I try the pillow provided at the headboard.

Oh, right. Pillow. I wiggled upstream until I found it.

“Have you got a blanket too?” I asked hopefully. It had been a long day. But no. They could not encourage appearances of vagrancy.

The saleslady perched on the next bed over and we discussed what I was looking for in a mattress. She, personally, owned the next bed over, and recommended it highly. I pried myself out of the butterdish and went to test it out.

It was like sleeping on a cloud.

“That’s it. I’m here til closing,” I said, sinking back. My mattress shadchan laughed and told me that it came with a pillow and mattress protector and offered to bring me all the paperwork right where I lied.
I flipped over to check the price tag.


And I thought I had sticker shock in Nordstrom. I could shop all day in a department store and not total enough to match the cost of this piece of foam – something I’d only use while unconscious.

“Um, no, maybe not,” I said. “Let me go try a few on that side of the room.”

Still: I could get used to this kind of shopping. It’s almost as good as shopping online.


The Best Kind of Shopping (1 of 2)

If I had grown up in a world without internet shopping, I’d walk around in rags.

I hate shopping. It’s one long nuisance from beginning to end. First, you’re carrying something. Either it’s a jacket or a handbag. Either way, your hands aren’t completely free, and that bothers me like almost nothing else. I’m the girl who still uses a backpack to tote things around because it’s completely hands-free.

It’s not like I live in a world where I need my hands free to punch attackers or clamber up walls at a moment’s notice. I just like them available to do what they need to do – like flip through racks or hold up two things for comparison. Hands are handy tools, but only if they’re not being used as storage racks – a task just as ably done by an otherwise useless back or waist.

When you shop online, you don’t have to touch anything but the mouse, leaving one hand free for a mug of steaming hot chocolate or a fork full of pancake and dripping with syrup.

Then there are the racks themselves. Do they offer a MFA in store organization? Some stores organize by brand. Some by the dressiness of clothing. And some use a bizarre logic that designates some items “contemporary” and others “misses.” I’ve never understood where a contemporary miss is supposed to look, or why there’s no “vintage” or “ma’am’s” section.

Online, you can shop for exactly what you need. Orange top, ¾ sleeves?  Just check off the boxes and see what comes up. Want to know if there are any skirts that will cover your knees? The length is listed with the skirt, so all you need to know are you own personal measurements – something you’ve undoubtedly saved to an email in your inbox.

Oh, there are always surprises when it arrives in the mail, but as long as you’re within driving distance of a brick and mortar store, returns are no hassle at all. And the act of breezing in and out of the store without flipping a single hanger gives me immense joy.

Not walking into a store means fewer unexpected expenditures. You know, like when you dash into Marshalls to grab a spatula and somehow find yourself at the dressing room, with an ancient crone trying to decide whether to give you a number 5, because you’re carrying five items, or a 2, because the immersion blender, boots, and box of Jelly Bellies aren’t going to be tried on. (Spatula? Oh right, the spatula. Have to remember to get the spatula on the way out.)

And let’s not forget the greatest advantage of all. Online shopping can be done from a supine position in one’s overnight wear without the necessity of braving elements of any sort.

It’s just so comfortable. More than any kind of store shopping.

Or so I thought. Until I found a store where supine was a standard shopping position (prone wasn’t discouraged either).

To be continued in part 2