The shift of seasons always brings a lot of feelings to light. On one hand, it’s great to be done with winter. On the other hand, the growing season stretches long ahead of us, and this year, it seems especially uncertain.
After a few dry, dusty, windy spring days, I grew tired of being grumpy about the weather and decided to find the joy in spring. Unsure about the promise of green grass or growing crops or even flowers, I tried to focus on a sure thing – it will soon be patio and deck season! Beverages and burgers always taste better in the great outdoors.
To cheer myself up, I scrolled through my phone for inspiration, and even did some virtual window-shopping on Amazon. I found patio lights, tiki torches, outdoor rugs, planters, gazebos, pergolas, extensive collections of furniture, signs, umbrellas… I let my imagination really go to town and put all sorts of different items in my cart which I would delete later on. The sky was the limit and I refused to let the windswept practicalities of our homestead confine my lofty online patio ambitions, darn it!
Well, all good daydreams come to an end, so after a while, I deleted my cart and went back to life in the real ranch world. Of course, over the next few days, any phone app I opened made many purchase suggestions that fit in with my empty cart history. I avoided the clickbait with frugal determination. When the forage and fiscal future seem unclear, it is not in my nature to invest in deck décor that I most likely would have to retrieve from the neighbouring fence line at some point this summer.
I did, however, invest in children’s pain relief medicine, a common household item that we needed to stock up on.
“Your shipment of two bottles of Tylenol will arrive on Monday,” notified Amazon. “Sounds about right,” I thought. “And your 8’x 10’ patio carpet will arrive next Wednesday,” Amazon continued.
What’s that, now, Amazon?
It turns out my empty online cart was a little fuller than I thought. Looking back through the order, I was annoyed to find that yes, I had indeed just ordered 80 square feet of patio adornment. If there were any silver linings in this dusty cloud, at least the cost was in the two-digit price range, and not one of the fancier, three-figure priced rugs I had browsed. Still, I was irritated at my mistake.
True to their word, Amazon delivered my unplanned purchase to our local auto parts store, which accommodates such large, cumbersome, and incredibly obvious parcels. I hoisted the lightweight (i.e., wind-vulnerable) rug onto my shoulder and made my walk of online shopping shame out to my vehicle which was barely large enough to cram the ridiculous rug into.
I tend to be an avid supporter of local shopping, and found one more reason why local is better than virtual: I may not have realized I was buying this item online, but I darn sure would have thought twice before I stuffed a physical tapestry into a 3D shopping cart and wheeled it through the check out.
The carpet is still in the package, tucked away on my deck.
Cheers to a summer of good times on the deck… and if it applies, cheers to awkward, flimsy, unintentional impulse buys.