Headline, September 09 2021/ ''' TIMES -''ONLINE - SHOPPING''- TIARA '''



HOW I BROKE MY OATH OF ASCETICISM : Having pledged to never face the heartbreak of online shopping again, - I was lured once again into it with the advent of lockdowns.

LIKE A TIBETAN MONK - I pledged to live a life of abstinence., denouncing the pleasure and comfort the love-child of e-commerce and logistics had to offer.

My vow forced me to lead an austere life - isolated, withdrawn and safe from the temptations, desires and evils of the pixelated world.

But my oath had little to do with religion, spirituality or choice. My renunciation of the method of acquiring material possessions through online shopping was an inevitable, knee-jerk reaction forced upon me by waves of betrayal.

It was my account's pursuit of salvation and an emotional self-defense mechanism, kicked in by neurons to protect my vulnerable self from further pain and heartbreak.

MY GENERATION, with its burning desire for instant gratification, had been lured into this virtual paradise with a promise of eternal happiness, true love and same-day shipping. Things we were told we deserved.

Possessions that were within our grasp - a perfect match only a few taps away, just a few clicks, a quick sign up, or a simple test confirming I was human and capable of making miscalculated, bad decisions with a credit card at 2am on a Saturday.

Blinded by the facade and charm, my credit card and I fell for the promise of ease, efficiency and doorstep delivery.

It felt good, even great at first. It was thrilling, exciting : the euphoria and the rush of adrenaline as I swiped right. Some days, I'd flirt with the options just to kill time during my commute.

Some taps were impulsive, driven by some deeply embedded childhood insecurity, Others were bad blind dates - decisions I went ahead with despite clear red flags, but so gorgeous I couldn't resist.

Then there were the ones who were totally out of my league - luxurious silk and Italian leather that I would add to my cart, but fail to muster the strength to check out.

Something required an in-depth analysis and a cost-benefit breakdown to conclude if the subject were worth my time and investment. Could I wear that more than once? Did we really have a future together?

Then there were the ones that got away: missed opportunities that led to hours of agony and what-ifs, and required an entire day of brooding, loathing on the woman who had checked out faster than I could, and was probably flaunting her arm candy.

Some mornings, I'd wake up to the news that the package had been shipped! Then the emails began to pop up in my inbox, so I could pick up where we left off during lunch break. 'Hey gorgeous, you left these in the cart,' they'd begin.

Longing but not needy, enticing but not too forceful, occasionally with a coupon thrown in - enough to convince me that we were made for each other.

We were meant to be. A great catch, a perfect match. It was such a great deal. And on more occasions than I would like to admit, I'd take the bait. But the giddiness would be short-lived.

Trajectory after trajectory of euphoria, excitement and hope would provide the high before the drastic dips of traumatic discoveries, fabricated lies and false promises would leave me broke, heartbroken and hopeless.

The material souvenirs of these past relationships - with a strict no exchange and no refund policy -mocked my gullibility. Any attempt at communication, therapy or relationship CPR led to further pain and anxiety.

There were days I'd sit plucking the ox-eye daisy in search of answers the courier service tracking did not provide. I had been stood up., deceived, cheated and lied to, sold products that only remotely looked like their profiles if you squinted your eyes and stared at them from a distance.

Perhaps there had been a misunderstanding. I would try to reconnect, only to find myself gaslighted, benched and blocked. On several occasions, I would be ghosted, left on seen - only to be zombied right before the next holiday sale season.

This is why my prodigality and I, curled in the corner of the therapist's office, decided enough was enough.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and the spark I had felt would ignite, erupting into wrathful flames, threatening to engulf and destroy till the concerned department didn't rectify its mistake.

'WHILE my unsupportive, unreasonable and expensive therapist firmly rejected arson, she did agree it was best if I didn't shop online for a while. This is why, two years ago, I took an oath of asceticism and swore to single handedly advocate for brick-and-mortar stores'.

I would wear it before I buy, and buy only if the shoe fits and I'd walked a good mile - or at least an aisle - in it.

But as the world around me shut down, I found myself alone, afraid and out of toilet paper. In an audacious move, I added items to the cart, and checked out supplies I needed to survive the week.

Then, like the protagonist who survives in every end-of-the-world movie, I sat by the door with a shotgun and waited.

The Honor and Serving of some delightful Story Telling, and Writings, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Zofishan Umair, a humour columnist and fiction writer.

With respectful dedication to the Grandparents, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - for every  subject in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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