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Online Buying

     What's this? A brown box bars me from coming in the front door. It's kind'a big. What is it? Is it for me? Yes, addressed to me; not Christy, not Paul.

     I know, I know. I do an awful lot of buying online and I get packages probably more often than most sane people do, but I don't remember buying anything this big. Matter of fact, I don't remember ordering anything since the last time I ordered something.

     You know if you buy at the store, where we always bought in olden times, they just put it in one of those plastic bags with your receipt and you're done. Easy to toss the bag in the trash. But online…that's a different story.

     I pick up the box and set it on the chair by the door. Inside. Not outside. Sort the mail and let the dog out. Totally forget about the box on the chair by the door. Inside. Not outside. Until Christy gets home.

     "What's this?" she asks.

     "I don't know," I answer. "I haven't bought anything for at least two days." The box isn't even from Amazon, my online BFF. Only one thing to do. . .

     I get the steak knife I always use to slit the tape and I slit the tape and I yank the top cardboard panels apart. They are most cooperative this time—unlike some other times I won't mention. Great big wads of brown paper stuffing fill the opened box. They use brown paper these days—probably some environmental regulations outlawed those plastic bubble things or maybe brown paper is just cheaper. Who knows?

     I toss out the brown paper, wad by shining wad. Oh! That's another song, sorry. This is serious business. What is in the box? What have I ordered and forgotten?

     Underneath the brown paper is. . . Oh, for goodness sake! Another box! A box in a box! It's much smaller than the big box it came in. The light's beginning to dawn—I check the shipping label on the box.

     Potpourri. No, I didn't buy potpourri; that's the name of the online store I ordered from. The quirky giraffes. I just had to have them. Two ceramic giraffes with their arms entwined in a loving embrace. I've never seen giraffes hugging, but on the monitor, there they were—hugging each other for eternity. Or for as long as I don't drop them and break them. Which has been known to happen.

     The proof of that sits over there on my knickknack shelf. I think it's an ostrich; it's hard to tell. I've never seen a blue and green and red and orange and yellow ostrich but I have seen an ostrich with exceptionally long legs. Not striped, I admit, but hey, maybe he was wearing long socks. Crazy Glue and I successfully reincarnated the creature last night. His orange beak, striped legs and the red stand he was on had been broken for months, but now he's stuck together with Crazy Glue, which I think is most appropriate for this crazy ostrich with the yellow striped socks. I can't wait to see my giraffes. I rip into the second box, steak knife in hand. 

     Shoot! Styrofoam. All I need is more Styrofoam for my waste bins. They're already over-spilling with Styrofoam from the parallel bars for Paul that came last week. But there it is, two molded sections of Styrofoam. I pull them apart and finally. . .

     My giraffes. Just like they looked online. I slip them out of the plastic bag that was delicately cradled in Styrofoam and I show them to Christy and Paul, who make the appropriate murmurs—Christy, "Oh, Mom, they're cute!" and Paul, "They're awesome!"

     The giraffes are nine inches tall and maybe two inches across. The box they came in was two feet deep, three feet long and two feet across. Just thought I'd warn you.

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