An Open Letter To My Online Shopping Parcel

Photo by Alexander Grumeth/EyeEm

Dear Parcel,

How are you? Where are you, I should say. I hope you don’t think I’m being melodramatic, writing this. But I thought it might help me work through some stuff, you know? The feelings. All the yearning, all the feverish anticipation and building tension between us. All those confusing mixed messages you’ve been sending. All the times I’ve been unavailable, because I’ll admit I have. Too caught up at work, or in the shower, or asleep. I’m sorry, really I am.

But I still want you. Or rather… your dress, I want your dress. It’s what’s inside that counts, and what’s inside you is a dress that I think might make me look like early '90s Michelle Pfeiffer. Maybe. On a good day. In dim light.

Oh Parcel. Despite the agony, I know in many ways this is the best bit, because you haven’t been able to disappoint me yet. We’re suspended, you and I, in a kind of magical feedback loop of hope and delayed gratification. The longer I wait for you, the more vivid and grandiose my fantasies become. I dream of the two of us, out together, being admired by everyone who sees us. You, altering my life for the better in a thousand small ways. Helping me be the woman I’ve always wanted to be. Together, in my head, we will be an unstoppable team. Once I have you, I tell myself, I probably won’t need anything else.

The moment I got your message I dropped everything – quite literally, halfway to the till in Tesco Metro – and I ran, like a fool, hoping you’d still be there. Waiting for me, just like you promised. But no. Like the fabled ships passing in the night, I’ve missed you again. And on the doormat, a wretched note with four words that break my heart.

"Sorry you were out."

Sorry doesn’t cut it, mate. What about my hopes and dreams? What about that dinner thing I wanted to wear this dress to tomorrow? What about the fact I clearly ticked the box for signature release and accepted all responsibility for you being left in a hedge? WHAT ABOUT ME?

Look I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be so emotional. I shouldn’t have let myself get carried away; it’s just that I thought you were special. I really believed that you might be… The One.

I know! So naïve! It’s just your photos looked so good online, and there was an offer for free P&P, and I got a discount code that actually worked after typing '[POSH SHOP] DISCOUNT CODE' into Google, which never happens. Or maybe it does to other girls, but not to me. I guess I just told myself it was meant to be.

This is going to sound really needy, Parcel, but what the hell – I’ve already told all my friends about you. I’ve bought new underwear for you. That’s how sure I was. But now all I have is a council tax bill, a fistful of pizza delivery leaflets and this stupid bit of card, taunting me. My neighbours are probably laughing about it behind closed doors. "There goes Lauren again! Poor thing just can’t seem to hold down a parcel."

At times like this, I can’t help thinking about... Dave. Things were never like this with DPD Dave. He always texted – sometimes a little too much if I’m honest ("It’s been despatched! It’s on its way! You’re delivery no.32 out of 457!") but at least I knew where I stood. Which was not, by the way, in the hall with my coat on for an hour, waiting to leap out like a Dobermann and yell "STOP WAIT I'M HERE, GIMMEE!" before you go and stand me up. Again.

I’m just going to say it. I think you have a problem with commitment. Or maybe doorbells, I dunno. Either way, I went through all this with Yolanda from Yodel and Hermes Harry, and frankly I respect myself too much to go there again. I don’t need you, okay? I know the shouty note I taped to the letterbox asking you to PLEASE WAIT IN THE PORCH OR GO TO LINDSAY AT NO. 47 might tell a different story, but I honestly don’t. And, fine, sending five @ tweets to your customer service account with a row of cry-face emoji might not exactly be playing it cool, but I’d had some wine and I just wanted to feel like someone was listening, y’know? I regret nothing. Not even the quick and dirty Boohoo I ordered at 1am and hid under the bed so my flatmate didn’t judge me. Just to take the edge off.

Let’s be real for a second; there is a big difference between a parcel I will put on trousers to open the door for, and a parcel I will go to the north London Royal Mail delivery depot for. Do you know what that entails, mate? I’m not sure you do. It’s on an industrial estate. It’s in the middle of nowhere, down a road so long that by the time you get to it, grumpy and dehydrated, you wonder if you might have walked to Buckinghamshire. Last time I went to the north London Royal Mail delivery depot, I needed the loo so badly by the time I got there that they let me use their staff toilet and then have a little rest for 10 minutes in the warehouse. That Parcel wasn’t worth it (return code 6, doesn’t suit me) and I’m beginning to think you won’t be worth it either.

You think I’m going to go to the depot for you? You’re that arrogant? You think that just because I’ve dreamed up a whole life for us together, I’m prepared to chase you all over town like you’re the effing Golden Snitch of the online shopping world? Because if you do, you’ve got another thi-

omg. Was that? Doorbell!

It’s HERE! You’re here! It’s you! I take it ALL BACK! I knew you wouldn’t let me down, Parcel. You’re finally in my arms and I’m never letting you go. You’re beautiful! You’re everything I hoped you’d be!

You’re… you’re… oh. You’re a bit weird on the hips, actually.

Back in the bag you go. It was fun while it lasted.

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