This Is Why I Shop Online: Episode #8: “Agoraphobia”

Oh, where to begin? How about when I was in the womb? Agoraphobia is basically the fear of going out, so the moment my mom began to push, I probably started freaking.

According to the Medical News Today website, “A person with agoraphobia will deliberately avoid crowded areas, special events, queues (standing in line), buses and trains, shops and shopping centers, and airplanes.”

Alright, maybe I don’t fit the clinical definition of an agoraphobic (I like special events and airplanes), but I definitely do not like standing in line, shops, or shopping centers. Luckily, there’s a new sheriff in town and it’s called “Shopping Online,” so in your face, Agoraphobia!

That’s a very good thing because I did have some shopping to do. Here’s the list my wife left for me this morning:

  • Milk
  • Corn
  • Chicken
  • Carrots
  • Diet Coke
  • Wine
  • Tesler Double End Long 175 Watt Halogen Light Bulb
  • Jack Cheese (make sure it is firm/hard)

I think that last one was a Freudian slip on her part, but let’s not get into that now. Not wanting to leave the house, I sat down at my computer and googled “Online Groceries Los Angeles.” Lo and behold I see “Vons Online Grocery - 1-Hour Delivery Windows” returned in the search results. Bing-and-go. I go to the site and am greeted by this...

How could I resist giving them my business? Look how happy that guy is to be bringing groceries to people! He’s even politely tipping his hat! Shopping on their website, I see that I can order everything on the list and have it at my doorstep in as little as one hour – except for the Tesler Double End Long 175 Watt Halogen Light Bulb. But be fair, that’s a pretty specialized item.

Being the smart shopper I am, I search for Vons coupon codes before placing my order and find this one from CouponPal:

Excellent. I plug in the code and place my order. Mission almost accomplished. I then googled “Tesler Double End Long 175 Watt Halogen Light Bulb” and discovered that Lamps Plus has it, and that CouponPal also has Lamps Plus Coupon Codes I can use. Double excellent. Here’s the bulb in question:

It only costs $8.99, so I don’t want to pay more than that for next-day delivery because that would be stupid. Now, being the smart husband I am, I text my wife and ask if the light bulb can wait a few days. She says sure, if you don’t mind sitting in the dark until then. I realize she’s being sarcastic and that I’m going to have to drive to Lamps Plus and buy it in person today. Drat.

So, off I go. Remember that I do not like standing in line, shops, or shopping centers. It should therefore come as no surprise that disaster strikes during my purchase, because...

  • Lamps Plus is a shop
  • This Lamps Plus is in a shopping center
  • There is a long line

Long, humiliating story short, I have an anxiety attack and I, a  grown man, end up having to sit down on the floor of Lamps Plus trying to stop hyperventilating before I’m finally able to pay for said Tesler Double End Long 175 Watt Halogen Light Bulb.

All in all, this is how my little adventure worked out:

Cost of Going Out to Shop:

  • Gas: $3.00
  • Light bulb: $8.99
  • Abject embarrassment

Cost of Shopping Online:

  • $42.28
  • No memory that will haunt me forever

In retrospect, would sitting in the dark for a few days really have been so bad? I think not. Idiot! Oh, when will I learn? Get it through your head, self – Shop Online Every Time!

Please read more in this series by checking out my whole “This Is Why I Shop Online” litany of horror stories.

By: Peter

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