Today I am spending too much time peering out a bedroom window looking for the postman. That’s the downside of shopping online. The waiting. The tracking. The imagining sorters in some imaginary mail depot seeing my box come towards them on a conveyor belt and think to themselves “Will I put this in a delivery bag so that it gets delivered today or will I go on my tea break? Or will I check to see if anyone has texted me in the last five seconds?” They go for the latter option and take out their phone, chuckle and spend the next ten minutes formulating a witty reply. The end result of which means I have to wait yet another day for my shopping. Wierdly I imagine all this in animation. Thats probably from watching so much Monsters Inc, Robots, Dispicable Me etc. The conveyor belt motif is one that comes up a lot in kids movies.
When will my stuff get here? Does “five days” include weekends? Does “ten days” really mean two weeks? Two weeks is an eternity.
Hearing the doorbell and racing to the door hoping and praying there will be a man standing on my doorstep holding one of those chunky electronic things for me to sign. Instead it’s a twenty two year old in square toed shoes holding a clipboard. “Hi! Don’t look so worried! Nothing too serious! Have you ever thought of switching to Eircom? Why? If you don’t mind me asking! Who is your current provider? How much do you pay them? If you don’t mind me asking!” The disappointment reminds me of answering the phone in the olden days, before caller i.d., when every call was a mystery until the voice at the other end identified themselves. While it rang I could live the fantasy that it might be a boy. When I answered it I lived the reality that it was my friend calling to see if a boy had rang. After I got married the sound of a ringing phone lost all the anguish and excitement and became just nothing, at worst an interruption, at best a distraction.
Two weeks (ten working days) later, my husband is on his back in the driveway, underneath our car. Swearing loudly, he is trying to do something to the suspension which was the reason that caused it to, just that morning, fail the NCT. After much heaving and ho ing and sweating, he appears in the kitchen, grease stained and cross. He is carrying two boxes “These just arrived for you. You do realise that the car needs a new battery? Is all this stuff going on the visa?” He trudges out again, a fixed, worried look on his face, to try and replace the indicator bulb himself, because the garage charges fifty euros to do it, knowing that the contents of the boxes negates the whole exercise and thereby confirms to him the crapness of life and the pointlessness of tiny economies. On his knees with a screw driver his thoughts continues in the downward spiral through life, why did I buy this car? Why did I buy this house on this road with all these shitty ramps? Why the fuck wont this nut loosen? Right. I want to throw something now. Faaaaaaaaack!
In the kitchen I can hear and curse the timing of the delivery. To somewhat make up for my greed I try to do worthy things and shamefully ignore the boxes. I wash up, set the table, make an apple pie and feel like a terrible, terrible person. I find a long lost spelling notebook that would be have been safe in a school bag had I not spend so many selfish hours gazing at shopping websites. I look at Neily, checking his body count on the x box. If I was a better mother he would be sitting in the kitchen, doing collage and listening to Harry Potter audiobooks. Instead he is damaged from violent video games and I have all these possessions, and for what? I continue down my own spiral, hugging the kids, looking into their faces eagerly offering quality listening time. They looked puzzled, then bored. Where is a hair shirt when I need it? Probably on sale in some website now that I think of it.