Janet Christie's Mum's the Word - When progress is a smack in the face

Buying online will save you time but it isn’t always pain free
Mum's the Word. Pic: Natee Meepian - stock.adobe.comMum's the Word. Pic: Natee Meepian - stock.adobe.com
Mum's the Word. Pic: Natee Meepian - stock.adobe.com

When my pal Country Girl shares her wedding outfit pain I sympathise.

“I said I’ll go in my new cords, but she said you will not,” she says, referring to her snappy dresser daughter, also a guest.

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“I said it’s either that or double denim, but I remembered I had a playsuit so wore that. Meant I couldn’t go to the toilet all night,” she warns me.

Now it’s me with a dress to find - no playsuit for me - and I’m determined to do it online because according to Youngest it’s easier. I don’t mention happy Saturdays trawling the shops, trying things in various sizes, paying with paper money and heading home with something that fits - I save that kind of heresy for when I’m communing with the ancients, those who know what a stamp is, appreciate the joys of vinyl or the pleasure of curling up with a book - and make like Youngest Child.

I scroll, click, buffer, create passwords, am locked out, create new passwords, log in again, buffer, choose something that looks OK, send virtual pounds and finally, happy day, it arrives (Ok, I find it in my bin). And it doesn’t fit.

“Just send it back and get another one,” says Youngest.

“Noooooooo! I’ll just change my body shape. I can’t face it.”

“Nonsense. It takes seconds. Go on their website, get a code, take it to the return box nearest you and spraff, spraff…

“Will you come with me?” I say.

“OMG. Phone me when you get there and I’ll talk you through.”

“Noooo. If I’m talking to you I won’t be able to toggle multiple screens… Why can’t I just take it back to a shop?” I whine.

“Ok! I’ll come. Because you’ve got to learn!”

So she comes and true, it’s the work of a moment getting a code.

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“Right,” she says. “Now stand with your face against the wall of boxes. That’s very important.” She holds up her phone while I do as instructed, whereupon a box springs open near my knees.

“Aw,” she says.

“What? Have I done it wrong?” I say.

“No. I was hoping it would be one next to your head, then we could have put you getting a smack in the face on TikTok. It’s a thing.”

Genius. A bruise as tangible proof of return. Who needs paper?

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