Ode to Mr Post Man

It’s official.  I now have a relationship with my local Australia Post parcel delivery guy.

It occurred to me on the way home from school this morning as I spotted his van driving past.  Firstly, I did a momentary little cross-check of my recent late-night online shopping, in order to ascertain if he may have just visited my house.  And then I raised a hesitant arm, and waved to him.

To my relief, he waved enthusiastically back, like an old friend in a ‘fancy seeing you here!?‘ kind of way.  It was very touching.  But now it occurs to me that this whole affair is rather one-sided.  I should at least know his name.  Obviously I should, considering he not only knows my name and address, but has seen me answer the door countless times now in my tragic, snowflake-emblazoned, polar fleece dressing gown.

I wonder if Mr Post Man has noticed my penchant for manchester bargains, and has puzzled over the apparent Tardis-like proportions of our linen closet?  Embarrassingly, he is also privy to my brief dalliance with informercials (to be specific, infomercials spruking revolutionary make-up products) back in those hazy, breast-feeding around the clock days.

Sheesh.  I’m exhausted just thinking about those days.  Who could blame me for dreaming of a flawless, dewy complexion, sitting on the couch at 3am with a little person chomping at my breast?

So if sleep deprivation and being an open all hours milk bar were my excuse back then, what is my excuse now, Mr Post Man?  Do I have a heap of spare time and money on my hands?  Negative. And between the school run, home and health professional duties, am I required to set dizzying heights in the fashion stakes?  Hmm..  Not exactly.

And at night, I’m staying up far too late again, sheepishly trawling through sale sections while others are already bedded down early.  They’ll be up at the crack of dawn for meditation or boot camp or training for half-marathons, while I fumble around blindly for the snooze button.   I have wondered how much money I’d save and what sort of body I could achieve if I threw myself into fitness training with the same passion I dedicate to online shopping.  Come to think of it, I reckon I’d have Michelle Bridges looking over her shoulder.

But hey, what’s the point of a killer bod if it’s not well-clad?

The thing is that I’m a sucker for a package, and for something pretty to wear.    If I’m truthful, the sight of one of those padded white bags on my doorstep induces an involuntary little flutter, which originates somewhere in my stomach.  Clothing lust.  It’s an affliction I have always suffered, as far back as I can remember.

I have hazy memories of rifling through my mother’s closet before school, and using belts to fashion her tops into dresses.  I really wish I had photographic evidence to fact-check this, but I imagine they were floaty, peasant style garments (the type that went so fabulously with denim flares in the late 70’s).  I’m pretty sure I remember my mother’s exasperation over such styling antics, resulting in the exact same arguments that I now have with my six year-old daughter most mornings.  It must be in the genes.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not professing to be a fashion guru by any lengths.  I don’t expect that anyone else takes much notice of my ensemble each morning, as I screech to a holt in the 2 minute parking zone, marshal two bickering children out of the car and bolt in the gate to school, late (again).  But for me, my fresh-out-of-the-box sun dress adds a little spring to my step.  Later that day, it helps me to maintain that serene smile, whilst I half-drag my small boy (mid-meltdown) and his scooter across the crossing.  So much more enjoyable than the same scenario in a pair of trackies and sensible trainers.

And I know I’m not the only one out there who relies on Mr Post Man to help them through the groundhog-esque moments of modern life.  For most of us, long gone are those leisurely weekend brunches which spontaneously morph into shopping afternoons.  In their place is now The Internet – open late at night and always welcoming.  BYO wine, couch and tape measure.

I love that on the internet, you can stalk something, revisit it, do the fashion drive by again, and again, without any commitment.  You can pop it in your shopping basket, and retire to bed to cool off and contemplate (I can’t tell you how many shopping carts I’ve abandoned, never to return to). This is in stark contrast to my experiences of shopping in actual shops and with small people in tow. Despite threats of ‘NO CHUP-A-CHUP‘ delivered through clenched teeth, they invariably decide to fling the change room curtain open at the most inappropriate moment, providing an impromptu peepshow to amused fellow shoppers.

And when I’m finally dressed again, flustered and sporting mad hair, I usually end up feeling somewhat obliged to make a purchase.  After all, the staff have been soooo nice, and soooo helpful.  I just want them to think I’m nice too, and to make amends for the grotty fingers which have smeared god-knows-what over every reflective surface in the shop.

Enter modcloth.com, open all hours for perving and pontification, along with entertaining descriptions of each piece of clothing, and just how you might wear them.  For example, the ‘haute-diggity-dog dress’:

Gee whiz! This embellished dress from Rosalita McGee is just too darn cute! A Spanish brand dedicated to everday optimism, Rosalita McGee draws design inspiration from nature’s beauty to offer you an imaginative take on style. This dark-denim dress is crafted from a stretchy cotton blend and accented in striped jersey, featuring embroidered dachshunds along its scalloped hem. Pair its red stitching and nautical hues with red flats, and flaunt this cap-sleeved cutie at brunch!

I know – right?  So much better than listening to a sales assistant invent stories about how tiny your waist is, and gushing over your little boy (who incidentally, has systematically destroyed the window display over the past ten minutes).

Recently I have been slightly freaked out, however, by the appearance of statements popping up in my newsfeed banner, proclaiming: You Need More Dresses, followed by ModCloth’s Dresses Cause Happiness! Hey, Can’t Argue With Science.

What?  How do they know it’s me?  How do they know I need more dresses?  Spooky.

For those of you who have not crossed over to the dark side yet, let me introduce the concept of Delayed Gratification Via Delivery (DGVD).  You see, part of the joy of internet shopping is that once you’ve clicked the button and tucked yourself into bed for the night, you never really know just when that much-anticipated package may turn up.  I have been known to receive items the very next day (crazy!), but from America you’re looking at 1-2 weeks to DGVD fulfilment.

As a result, these days (in a very Pavlovian manner), the sound of the doorbell provokes a feeling of happiness and hope in me.  Instead of sighing and bracing myself for infuriating electricity salespeople, I bound up the passage, hoping to glimpse that white van in my drive way.

So there it is.  I hope I’ve made a good case in defence of internet shopping.  It’s not just a guilty pleasure, it’s a form of therapy and a tool we can use to help us through modern family life.  For those of you who are similarly afflicted with clothing lust, don’t hide it away and be ashamed. Think of how you are supporting the economy, and keeping those nice Australia Post chaps in a job.

Is that a package I spy?