Friday, November 24, 2006

A Special Kind of Torture

My Bookman and I had a dilemma today. We have had a 10% off your entire purchase coupon on top of our membership discount from Barnes and Noble. That in itself is not a dilemma, that is a great thing. The dilemma happened when the store we went to did not have all the books we wanted. Instead of driving to a different store where they had a few of the books and ordering the rest and losing out on the coupon, we came home and placed our order online. Simple, right? Think again. We were both getting books for each other. There were also a few non-holiday things we wanted. And still only one coupon. My Bookman shopped for me first while I pointedly looked away from the computer. Then we shopped for the non-holiday things. Only problem is, each time you add something to the cart, the whole cart comes up and hands get flung up in front of the computer screen to hide what should not been seen. Then I got to shop for my Bookman, judiciously covering the computer screen when I clicked "Add to Shopping Cart." Everything went into one cart so we could get free shipping and use the coupon on all of it. But since neither of us were able to review our selected items before purchase, who knows if we will end up with what we think we ordered? The dilemma is not over, however. I ordered Leonard Woolf: A Biography and The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz (the next Slaves of Golconda book) for myself. My Bookman ordered Eric Clapton's newest CD, The Road to Escondido. And for the both of us we ordered Sting's newest Songs from the Labyrinth in which he sings Elizabethan ballads by John Dowland (1563-1626). What do we do when the box arrives? How, with books that the other is not supposed to see, do we separate everything out? Do we take the box to the neighbor's house, each hand them a note with the titles of the books we are not supposed to see, and ask them to remove the rest from the box? Our neighbor is not the bookish sort and we would likely end by being moved up a few more levels on the crazy scale. Our solution? Nobody gets to open the box until Winter Solstice. And if the order doesn't all ship at once (and we won't know for sure unless more than one box arrives because we won't be able to read the email updates) none of the boxes get to be opened. It's a special kind of torture we inadvertently designed for ourselves all because of a 10% off your entire purchase coupon.