Online Addictions

One thing with being pregnant and then being on bed rest… your laptop becomes your dearest friend.

Yes, it is great to IM with friends, visit Facebook and see what is up with old classmates, chat on message boards and check email… but the shopping it totally heavenly.

I started Christmas shopping in July because I knew as I got closer to the holidays I wouldn't have the mind or the time to shop. At least 80% of my shopping was done online- better prices, better variety and usually I could get free shipping, or at least a kick-back from Ebates to balance the shipping fee.

Well it expanded – the only maternity clothes I purchased in an actual brick and mortar store were a pair of pants from Target. Everything else was online. For the baby – we decided to cloth diaper and each paycheck I would scour the ‘net for some fabulous sale or gently used stock to add to my collection.

And then Drugstore.com… oh how I love you so. First, you are partnered with Ebates so I get money back for each purchase. Second, your prices are usually cheaper than Target or CVS. Third, you always give me money towards a purchase or free shipping to lure me back. Fourth, you are partnered with Beauty.com so I can get witch hazel, designer cologne for my husband, red raspberry leaf teabags, prenatal vitamins, foundation primer and bubble bath all in one shipment to my house. Oh, and FAST shipping too!

Then there are sites like Etsy that are worse than meth – so terribly addictive. Not just for adorable baby things, but holiday gifts, eco-friendly home products, and one of a kind jewelry and fashions.

Now that I am bed-ridden and we do not have a TV in our bedroom (and due to the remodel we currently do not have channels/cable available on our only TV which resides in the living room), I am a huge fan of sites like Hulu.com, instant watch films on Netflix, and other sites that let me catch up with what is going on with my favorite series (today my husband and I snuggled in bed and caught the season finale of Dexter).

Yesterday after my weekly maternity appointment, my Mom and I went to the mall down the street to grab dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. She dropped me off at the curb because even at 8:30 on a Thursday, the parking lot was insane. The wait was 15 minutes for a table (far less than Cheesecake Factory or Macaroni Grill), and the mall was PACKED with people carrying bags and bags and bags. Everyone looked exhausted, stressed, and over the holiday spirit. I thought about my presents that arrived via USPS and UPS that I wrapped earlier in the day. The only stress was worrying that the delivery guy would still drop off the package at my torn up construction site of a yard.

It is a sad world we live in where so many people are recluses, hiding in their homes and living out their social lives via places like SecondLife. However I don't think that modern technology is all bad. I worked retail for a very long time and spent almost a decade of my life experiencing the holiday season from the insides of a mall. I thought it would feel amazing to be on the other side of that cash wrap once I left the field. Not so much… in fact once I left retail I almost completely left the mall. I think I visit a classic mall less than five times a year. This year I went three times – once before I was pregnant, once with my friend to help her find new trousers and update her wardrobe, and once on Black Friday where I stayed for less than two hours and didn't purchase a single thing. Social interaction is not at its best in the shopping arena and I feel that the time and stress I save from shopping online gives me more opportunity to have proper quality time with quality people.

I type this as my husband takes his shower; I have a Netflix movie queued up in another tab and have just lotioned up my face, hands and feet for bed with creams from Body Shop online and Drugstore.com. The sheets and comforter on my bed, the curtains on my windows, the yoga pants I wear and even the laptop I am using all came from online shopping. It's a pretty grand existence – one that is far less stressful, frazzled or full thanks to my scary online addictions. 🙂

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14 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    December 23, 2008 / 10:33 pm

    I couldn’t stand the mall while I was pregnant. That’s when I fell in love with online shopping. After my son was born, we ironically became regulars at the mall. He was happiest when being pushed around the mall “window shopping” and people watching!

  2. December 23, 2008 / 4:07 pm

    Hey there,
    Online shopping is fun and time saving too
    PS: I have initiated an idea to create a fashion and style blogroll where bloggers from the jewelry, fashion, style and beauty could participate.
    All you need to do is to add my blog link to your blog and i’ll do the same.
    That way, we could have a mutual partnership and we could refer visitors to each other’s blog.
    Please let me know if you would be interested.

    Thanks!
    Barbara and Ellen
    The Gals at SoHo
    http://sohoaccessories.blogspot.com

  3. December 23, 2008 / 4:11 am

    I was recovering from a c section after my third son was born this fall, and the hospital had wireless. I shopped and shopped and it was great!

    Best wishes to you, baby and family

  4. December 22, 2008 / 7:02 pm

    With my second child I was on bed rest for almost two months. Sadly, I did not have someone like you to encourage me to dress a bit nicer than I did. I think it would have done a world of good for my attitude.

    Stay healthy and happy!

  5. December 22, 2008 / 6:58 pm

    Too right. I did all of my holiday shopping online, too … and braved the mall a week ago to pick up something for myself. It was really stressful and a bit sad to see how frantic everyone was – shoppers and shopkeepers alike.

  6. December 22, 2008 / 4:39 am

    ONline shopping is the best. I live on amazon.com for books and music and boutiquemix.com for fashion. It’s like crack. seriously.

  7. December 22, 2008 / 3:32 am

    I was big on online shopping BEFORE Em arrived. And being home, especially when she’s sleeping so much throughout the day, has INCREASED my online shopping. The mailman and UPS woman ask how the baby is doing! THAT’S how well they know me!

    And at the risk of adding to your online habit, may I suggest mamabargains.com and babysteals.com – it’s like Woot.com but for baby stuff. So. Much. Great. Stuff. (although I do admit that it can be very impulsive)

  8. December 20, 2008 / 7:41 pm

    Hi Allie, I love your blog and try to catch up as often as possible. Yay for cloth diapers!! I use cloth on my 14 month girl, and plan to on baby #2 arriving in June – it can definitely become an addiction and is by far my biggest online addiction at this point. I hope you enjoy using the cloth diapers – you’ll have to blog about them so all of your readers can learn about how they are really not scary or gross and are so much better for baby and the earth!
    Here’s my little one in cloth when she was around 4 months old:
    http://mcclementsfamily.blogspot.com/2008/02/i-love-cloth-diapers.html

    ~Emily

  9. a brown-eyed grrl
    December 20, 2008 / 4:56 pm

    @De: Try Zappos. You have an entire year to return shoes, so long as they are in new condition.

    I’m with you, Allie! I really don’t like shopping in stores much. It makes me tired and grouchy. The only exception for me is Nordstrom, which I’ll visit a few times each year since they get some stuff in the stores that isn’t online, and I like their salespeople.

  10. December 20, 2008 / 2:24 pm

    Oooh I DID mean hulu! Fixed! 🙂

  11. December 20, 2008 / 1:00 pm

    I heart online shopping–I will definitely check out Drugstore.com! Sounds great.

    Quick thing though–when you said you liked Hula for watching TV–did you mean Hulu (www.hulu.com)?

  12. December 20, 2008 / 10:43 am

    You are amazing! Even if you are bed-ridden, you manage to find something to do. Yes, online shopping seems like a much better option than fighting the crowds. I will keep that in mind for next year. Good luck with the baby from me as well, and the best wishes for Christmas and the new year!

  13. December 20, 2008 / 3:42 am

    Amen for online shopping. I went to the mall once a few weeks ago to pick up a gift certificate for a teacher and got a couple gifts while I was there. If I wasn’t going to be there already though, you bet those gifts would have been ordered online. The only time I actually go to a store intentionally for a purchase is for shoes. I have a hard to fit size (10N) so need to actually try things on. I’ve tried ordering shoes online, and inevitably I don’t get them shipped back during the return period and end up with shoes I’ve paid for and can’t wear.

  14. Anonymous
    December 20, 2008 / 2:32 am

    Great blog, I read it everyday(almost). I love online shopping too, especially drugstore.com. How is your blood pressure now. Hope everything is ok with you.Good luck with the baby. Take care I am so excited for you

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