The “Hell” of Online Shopping

I recently came across the following dreck which sickened me.

The Hell of Online Shopping

In it, Delia Ephron, as famous for being Nora Ephron’s sister as her own work, laments about how she bought some items from J. Crew, which were probably made in India or China by poor young laborers for pennies a day, which were then erroneously assembled and/or delivered by underpaid fulfillment monkeys (I’m paraphrasing her a little here) likely earning all of $7.25 an hour. That this outrage was perpetrated on her family in Beverly Hills, her hometown, was unforgivable, resulting in a complaint lodged into the company, in which she begrudgingly accepts $50 for the inconvenience. The CSR that took that call probably makes $100 a day.

I was disgusted by this article, and I challenge you to read it and not be similarly repulsed by her first world problems, which, if you think about it, were really brought about by her own laziness. To have even been preoccupied enough with these issues in light of recent events in Newton and elsewhere makes her banality almost sinister.

For the last four years I was caught up in a twisted version of Christmas in which the scale and cost of gifts was the measure of one’s love for another. Lines were drawn over whose family was more important to visit. Christmas became a trying, tedious and anxiety-ridden chore. I dreaded and hated its annual return. I finally understood when the media would talk about “elevated levels of stress”around the holidays.

I’d still like to think that I wasn’t as self-absorbed as Delia, however.

This year, I am glad to say I didn’t buy a single gift for anyone. What I did do, was spend my Christmas at the gurdwara (Sikh temple), honoring my high school friend’s grandmother, who recently passed. I fixed things around the house and cleaned up after my mother for a change. I ran errands for my brother, who has been limping from foot pain. I did the things I think my dad would have done for my family had he not passed away nearly two months ago. I connected with my family and friends.

And yet having lost so much this year, I had my best Christmas in half a decade.

1 Response to “The “Hell” of Online Shopping”


  • That sounds like the perfect way to spend the holidays with your family.

    I’m glad that it sounds like you spent the time finding (and being) the center with friends and family.

    Merry Christmas, buddy.

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