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Wal Mart Stores : The Fayetteville Observer, N.C., Monica Holland column

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05/26/2018 | 11:18pm CEST

May 26--On any given evening, after the kid and spouse are asleep and the pets are fed, I'll sink into my favorite corner of the couch, remote control, cold beverage and smart phone all within reach. It's like a buffet of sloth. Sometimes there might even be pears and cheese, but pretzels and plain M&Ms are more likely.

I could pay some attention to the television, if there's anything good on. Maybe I'm mid-Netflix series binge, or maybe I peeped at the cornhole tournament on ESPN out of pure curiosity (It didn't disappoint).

Mostly I'll browse my phone. I'll check Facebook and Reddit, delete emails, click on Instagram or possibly call my grandma who doesn't mind a late chat. I'll go back to Facebook and Reddit, the same way I open the fridge five seconds after I closed it, as if something new has magically appeared in those fleeting seconds of dissatisfaction and boredom. Usually, something has appeared: A lower standard and a dismissal of willpower.

At some point, I'll click that shopping cart icon and peruse every item I never needed but was somehow convinced I had to have from an online marketplace. You know the one. It's called Amazon, and it might have instigated a first-name relationship with your UPS guy.

That reminds me, I need to Google "good hosiery" and then get some on Amazon. Why is it so hard to find a decent pair of stockings? They're like inkjet printers, and by that I mean terrible. You're lucky if you get one good turn out of either.

Now, let me just check my list while I'm browsing ... should I go ahead and get that chafing dish? We are having a birthday party next month. Add it to the cart!

Oh, yes, the prices on those cute pet dishes have dropped 60 percent. Click!

And in a clear indication of how ridiculous online shopping can get, there's a trumpet on my Amazon list. I wanted to play an instrument around my toddler. I thought trumpet would be fun. It didn't happen. We settled for a harmonica, and she is a natural, probably because she can breathe, which is really all that's required for a toddler to master harmonica.

Remember when the convenience of being able to purchase a car battery, potato chips and a Harry Potter DVD at one place (Walmart) was groundbreaking?

Now, you can buy pretty much anything that pops into your mind in an instant, from your couch.

I probably wouldn't have a neti pot if it weren't for Amazon.

And wish lists are a nice way to have a go-to when someone asks what you want for your fiesta-themed birthday party or your my-baby-isn't-nursing-anymore(!) extravaganza.

The other day at my parents' house, a friend jokingly asked Alexa to order a Rolex. She was on it. Her eerily soothing voice piped up from the dining room, saying she'd found several items matching Rolex and would you like to confirm the order?

Amazon even has dash buttons that you can stick up in your house for one-click reorder of things you use a lot, like laundry detergent or kitty litter or Thomas' English muffins.

Amazon is like that stylish girlfriend who somehow always has disposable income, knows about all the sales and loves to shop. "You ready to spend some money? I got you."

I'm convinced that not only clicking the "buy now" tab but also seeing that box with the clever smiley logo sitting by my door sends a positive burst of endorphins pulsing through my brain. This must be how dogs feel when you ask if they want a treat.

I can't quit you, Amazon. You're always there, making no demands, just offerings. You're like a gift angel spreading her open hands over piles of (stuff? things? junk?) merchandise for my perusal. Or maybe you're like a pusher.

You make me feel like a queen waving her scepter across myriad choices for children's sleepwear and summer sandals, finally settling on the best-reviewed, best value with a feeling of triumph.

I'll even use AmazonSmile so that my favorite charity gets a cut. See? I'm helping people.

I've never felt better about throwing away my hard-earned money; sorry, I mean making intelligent choices as a consumer.

Really, there's nothing wrong with treating oneself to feel-good indulgences, whether they're really valuable or not. They have value in the feeling of reward, maybe, or giving.

Online shopping just makes it so easy to go overboard. Is Amazon Anonymous a thing yet?

Sunday Life editor Monica Holland can be reached at [email protected] or 486-3518.


(c)2018 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)

Visit The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.) at www.fayobserver.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

© Tribune Content Agency, source Regional News

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