14 July 2019

Online shopping and how to stay married

It's official! Online shopping is a scourge! We've a wedding to go to in September and talk has begun about what to wear. Who'd have known it could so difficult to decide. OK I'm a man, so it's a straight choice of my grey or black suit. More on that later though. But for my beloved, and especially her Mother? Holy crap, this wedding can't come soon enough!

It started a couple of months ago, when my wife declared she had found "the" dress. I nodded appreciatively when she showed tried it on, but I could tell she wasn't entirely happy with it. Worse, she could tell I wasn't happy either. It was a nice dress, but it didn't have the "wow" factor. It was a light grey, full length dress made out of a chiffon type material. Nothing wrong with it at all really, but it didn't set either of our hearts pounding. It transpired she'd only bought it because it was a bargain.

So the hunt carried on for an alternative. She visited shop websites from here to Timbuktu. Eventually she found what she was looking for, but it was expensive. Could she justify the price for a dress she wasn't going to wear very often? The answer was clear as she didn't buy it. 

Trouble was, she had her heart set on owning it. She went to the shop and tried it on. It fitted perfectly. Now every waking hour was spent surveying the shop's website in the hope they reduced it.

Eventually they did and all was right with the world. The dress was ordered, well actually two were. Why I'm still not sure. They were the same dress but in different sizes. They arrived in the post and were tried on. The size she tried on in the shop still fitted, so the other one was returned. Better still the dress looks stunning on her.

Phew! Problem solved.

Well 50% of it was, but I'd never have realised that the reminder would be so damn problematic. Now the attention was focused on her Mother. She's a lady of later years, with limited mobility. Shopping for long periods is difficult, and boy can their shopping expeditions be long. It's her first Grandson who's getting married, so she wants to look nice.

Cue yet more online trawling resulting in various parcels being ordered and transported across to her house for her to try on. Most have been rejected and have to be returned. Others have taken their place. Our home has become a post office sorting office. The iPad is on continuous charge, and the hotline lines between my wife and her sisters has been red hot. Life seems to have stopped whilst this sartorial difficulty is solved.

The worst of it is I seem to be expected to know what has been ordered from where, and where the return label is! Holy crap. I've had technical projects at work with less difficulty than this. And guess who's dealing with all life's other existential crises whilst this is going on?

So I'm putting my foot down. Today I've refused to drive up to two different branches of the same shop, because she's too embarrassed to return so many items at the same time. Perhaps I'm a grumpy unreasonable sod? Or perhaps it's just that this wasn't a problem of my making, and have more important things I have to do today. Returning clothes can be done anytime in the next few weeks. My task MUST be done today.

Such is married life. There could be a slight coolness when we both return from our expeditions, but we can both deal with this because we both know we're right and wrong at the same time. Marriage is about give and take, but also making sure the give and take measures are equal.

All I need to do now is find a tie that matches my wife's dress colour. Apparently that's a must. It's just a shame that most tie makers don't seem to agree.

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