As I sat in the living room of Mom's house, the doorbell rang for the third time since that morning. The first two rings had been by delivery drivers for UPS or FEDEX, and as I got up from my comfortable spot on the sofa to answer the door once more, Mom came around the corner of the hallway. "I'll get it," she said.
As usual, when the door was opened there was no one there, just a package, sitting on the doorstep like an abandoned baby. These were Mom's babies, wrapped bundles of impulse shopping joy, containing items ordered by phone from the pages of the catalogs that fill her mailbox on a daily basis. What was it this time? Another flower patterned "Summer dress" that was designed to make older women look slim, but when tried on, did the opposite? Another clock in the shape of an elf (or a dwarf or gnome or something)? Or was it another piece of jewelery, such as the recent arrival of the "genuine diamond" bracelet and ring on sale for $24.95?
I wondered what it was this time, but Mom didn't hang around long enough for me to see what was hidden inside the box. Instead she held the bundle tightly in her arms and retreated quickly and quietly to her room.
The next morning Mom had her package back out where everyone could see it. She was getting ready to send it back, as she does with 90% of the things she orders. My curiosity compelled to me to investigate. There were three smaller boxes inside the larger one. Each little box contained a jar of cream, but the contents of one was missing.
"Where's the other jar?" I asked.
"In my room," Mom replied. "It didn't work like it was supposed to so I'm sending it back."
There was a booklet among the jars, and I took it out to read it.
"Mom, it says here it takes 60 days to see any results."
"If I keep it they're going to start charging me $65.00 a month beginning in April," Mom said.
"But you've already opened the box and used some of it," I reminded her.
"I'll just tell them it doesn't work."
"They're going to tell you it takes 60 days to work."
Mom thought for a few moments, then got on the phone. I heard her from out in the living room "explaining" to the customer service person.
"I know it's a good wrinkle cream," she was telling them, "but I don't think it's going to work on me because I had to have some dental work done recently and I had my mouth open for a really long time at the dentist and now I've got deep wrinkles around my mouth that weren't there before. Those kind of wrinkles can't be helped by a cream."
After Mom got off the phone I saw her going through the mail and separating the newly arrived catalogs from the rest of the mail. She then gathered the stack of catalogs and went back to her room. From down the hallway I could hear the sound of pages being flipped long into the night.
For some reason this reminded me of.. myself.ReplyDelete
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