Thursday, December 15, 2005

Online or On Line?

The first time I did all my Christmas shopping online, a friend's husband looked horrified at the very idea. Shopping online, he said, deprived me of the total holiday experience. It removed the human contact and depersonalized the whole season.

Yes, it deprived me of the joy of human contact ...

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and let's not forget the magic of the lines ...

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The guy is a doctor, and I doubt very seriously that he has ever had to do the Christmas shopping for the entire family, or even for his office staff. No, I believe his wife does all that, and has done for years, plus the party planning (that's where this conversation took place), the card-sending, the cooking, the wrapping, the decorating and everything else. His office assistant almost certainly found the gifts that he would give his wife. Why do I suspect this? Because I worked for lawyers for 25 years and I remember all those wives' gifts I had to find. And I know that that their wives did all the shopping. I figure doctors are the same. This may all sound terribly sexist now, but remember, I'm in my mid-fifties and started working in the early 1970's. It was the norm that men were in the professions, and it was expected that their (female) support staff would do the Christmas shopping for the wives' gifts. And it was expected that the wives would do all the shopping. This particular doctor and his wife are old enough to be my parents, btw, so things were even more sexist in their day.

But all of this is not the reason that I prefer to shop online. Tomcat is not anything like the lawyers I used to work for. So that's not it. And I do love to shop. Love it. So that's not it, either. No, my problem is that I can't stand the feeling of having a deadline when I shop. Maybe it's all those years of working under deadlines. It's just not fun that way. So, I'd much rather do the Christmas shopping leisurely and in my PJs late at night while I'm watching Letterman or something.

This is the magic for me:

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Click, click, click. The presents are selected, the giftwrap option is checked, and the package is shipped directly to the recipient so that I don't even have to go to the post office. This may not be for everyone, but it suits me.

I'm finished with the shopping for this year. I don't feel deprived. I feel relaxed. I'm done, and there's lots of time left over to see all the lights, watch the Christmas movies, listen to the music, and of course, blog.

Merry Christmas, ya'll.