‘Tis the season to go shopping. Fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la.
I’ve never been much of a shopper so when Amazon came along with its “free shipping and returns,” I succumbed to their entreaties to pony up for “Prime” which enabled me to stay home and take advantage of this windfall. But first, let me say my aversion to brick and mortar shopping is no simple phenomenon, its major manifestation involving clothing, particularly pants.
Manufacturers of men’s clothing realized early on that waist measurement and leg length may not correlate in the male body, and they instituted a sensible system
Manufacturers of women’s clothing, however, settled for a much sloppier system in which you’ll find clothing labelled either petite, miss, or women. Occasionally, they attempt to tell you the leg length (short, medium, tall), but these are approximations at best, and without an accurate size chart, length is a guess. While I’ve always considered myself an ordinary short person, apparently my shortness is extreme since even “short” is often too long. I know … they probably figure any self-respecting short female can shorten her pants herself. But do we want to? Sexism.
By ordering from Amazon, I can order the same pants in different sizes and colors, have one marathon “trying on” session in the comfort of my own home and return whatever I don’t want. For me, this beats the multiple trips between rack and dressing room with the requisite taking off and putting on of clothing.
Another, more recent cause of my aversion to brick and mortar shopping, however, is that I’m among those multitudes who crowd the coasts, and more people keep coming. Hence, sensible weekday shopping hours are, with luck, 10 AM to 2, and then, perhaps, from 7 PM ‘til closing. Otherwise it’s traffic gridlock and I find no joy in sitting through three traffic light cycles or creeping along a freeway optimistically designed for an average speed of 70 MPH.
I’ve advocated repopulating the hollowed-out center of the country where I grew up and where, now, some folks could work remotely or venture into small business start-ups or other endeavors; but these suggestions are often met with scorn. In the contest between tolerating weather that may range from 0 degrees to 100 and traffic that may range from 0 MPH to 100, traffic wins just about every time.
All that having been said, here’s the trouble with Amazon: Cardboard and plastic. You Amazon shoppers know what I mean. A small unbreakable item arrives in a 12 x 18 inch box filled with some air filled plastic and an item the size of a tube of travel toothpaste. I’ve even had an “Amazon” box arrive containing a perfectly fine cardboard box full of the item ordered and which needed nothing but an address label to get here all by itself.
Clearly there’s room for improvement here—and, from what I understand—in the Amazon workplace as well. Dilemmas. Life is full of them these days.