It’s hard being a package. Sometimes we’re out in the cold for a really long time. Sometimes someone puts a bomb in us. Sometimes someone thinks there’s a bomb in us, so 90 people in green suits show up and talk to each other on the phone for 11 hours only to discover we’re just a litter of kittens in a duffel bag.
But for a long time, it was worth it to see the smile on your face. No matter the occasion — a teeth whitening pen, a little jacket for a dog you don’t own, a big oven mitt — I could always count on seeing your eyes light up once you tore me open. (“Maybe he’s not cheating on me, no one would ever cheat on a girl with this big an oven mitt,” “I bet I could use this teeth whitening pen on my underwear too,” etc.)
Back then, packages meant something. Remember that Tuesday your new leggings arrived? Remember how you wore them to the office the next day and Michelle said something backhanded about wearing leggings to work, and you spit in her coffee mug when she wasn’t looking, and Doug saw you do it and thought it was edgy and cool, so he ironically asked you out to coffee, and now he’s been your ex-boyfriend for almost 8 years? All traces back to me.
I’ve beaten myself up over the past few months, asking where and how I went wrong. I used to make you so happy, and now the only thing that gets you out of bed is an 11 AM Zoom meeting with your therapist. (By the way, screw Lindsay — she ordered a Costco Tempranillo 6-pack after last week’s session where she said your drinking had become an “unhealthy coping mechanism.”)
Then again, how could I, a lowly concept made up solely of a cardboard rectangle, ever have predicted this? If you’d told me 10 years ago, “A virus is going to kill lots of people and no one’s gonna leave their house for a bunch of months, except for the people who don’t think the virus is real or those who can’t afford to stay home and have to risk their lives daily because their government’s completely indifferent toward them, which isn’t really surprising, but still a bummer,” I would have said, “That’s crazy, like in Contagion?” But not like in a way where I believed you.
My point is, if I’d known this was coming, maybe I would have switched careers. It sounds dramatic, but the reality is the once-reliable spark of joy in your eyes is gone. Not just temporarily subdued, but completely gone. You open me uninterested, perhaps an “ooh,” or “cool,” muttered ironically, but never the same unfiltered look of absolute ecstasy. Then, after you toss aside your Ipsy bag or H&M beanie, you just move along dead-eyed to the next task at hand.
Frankly, I feel like it’s time someone told you to stop ordering stuff. I assume it’s a half-baked attempt at prolonging your will to live, and look, I concede — it may have worked at first. But we’ve reached the point where you’re just draining your bank account on a complete and utter farce, and in the process, really bumming me out.
While I know that glimmering BUY NOW! button is tempting, and the prospect of next-day delivery seems nearly foolproof, it’s time to face the facts: six mason jars, a pair of tie-dye biker shorts, and a bag of lavender aren’t going to make you feel any better. Not to mention the residual guilt from supporting a monolithic super villain like Amazon. Yeah. That one hit a little close to home, didn’t it?
At the end of the day, only you can make the choice to stop this pas de deux between your shopping cart and your mental health, but I felt it was time to retreat from my role as an enabler. Also, this is kind of a long-winded way of telling you that due to weather delays, I won’t be getting there till mid-June. (Sorry.)