Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ill-Fitting Pants and a Wandering Book

The peculiarities of online commerce just go on and on.

Dave buys almost everything online. He hates going to stores. So I've picked up a bit of that habit myself, but I've found that I don't have great luck in getting exactly what I want. (Witness the Santa Claus pants.)

At the beginning of this school year, for example, I ordered some new pants, a beige pair and a blue pair. When they arrived I realized I had unwittingly ordered "straight fit," or something like that, and I basically felt like my thighs were in sausage casings. (Witness the masochistic torture pants.) I've worn them a couple of times and thought I might just make do. But then at Christmas I bought another pair of pants that are even worse -- I was in a hurry and didn't notice that they're "slim fit," and let's just say while I'm slim, I'm not that slim.

So I've decided all three pairs of these pants are going to charity and I'm starting fresh. My replacement pants -- "traditional fit," which I must remember to order from now on -- arrived this week and they seem much better. (Admittedly I haven't worn them all yet.)

Another odd case of online commerce:

About a month ago, I ordered a used book -- Dennis Cooper's poetry book "The Dream Police" --  from a third-party seller on Amazon. (I'd read about Cooper's book in The New York Times, where director John Waters named it as his favorite book of poetry. It's dark and disturbing and very gay, which is what you'd expect Waters to like, right?) Anyway, the book was sold by a vendor based in Atlanta, Ga.

I was picturing some little bookstore, with dusty shelves, where someone, maybe a kindly librarian-type wearing a cardigan and glasses on a chain, would find the book amid the stacks and wrap it personally and carry it to the post office.

And maybe that's what happened, but the book wasn't mailed to me from Atlanta. It was mailed from St. Louis, Mo. Or at least that's the return address, care of one Rick Martinez, who doesn't sound like he wears glasses on a chain. And to make matters more bizarre, the metered postage is marked "Swiss Post" from Zurich.

So I don't know where the heck this book came from. But it did arrive, yesterday, which I suppose is the important thing. Frankly, and uncharacteristically, I'd forgotten I ordered it.

(Photo: Streetlights in St. John's Wood.)


  1. That book thing is bizarre; It sound like you need to check sizing charts. I've had some difficulty with that myself but not enough to overcome my hatred of in-store shopping. Glad you found some properly fitting pants.

  2. Thought for the day:
    Have the words 'traditional fit' tattooed on the inside of your wrist. Or wherever.

    Ms Soup

  3. Rick Martinez is a comedian. He even has YouTube clips. I didn't realise he was also into selling used books.
    Shopping for clothes? I am not fond of such shopping myself but I know from experience that I need to try things on. Fortunately, I don't buy new clothes very often.

  4. I try to avoid shopping for clothes on line because my impulse control goes on vacation. I can too easily persuade myself that not only do I need that sweater, but I'll look terrific and stylish in an orange-trimmed purple cardigan.

  5. I've been trying to buy some tops online but the online shop was being so annoying that I gave up. I don't really need any tops I suppose.

  6. I don't even go to Goodwill anymore. Nor do I buy clothing online.
    We don't even need to discuss my wardrobe.
    You ARE thin. Your name is perfect. You are like a reed. So how thin is the man whose pants are too slim for you? A child.

  7. I order most of my books that way because obviously, living in Germany etc. They come from all over but when I had reason to complain because a book never arrived I always found a person at the other end of the email apologising and refunding straight away - unlike amazon's robots.

    Plus I like second hand stuff. When we were living in London, I loved going to the church/jumble sales on the weekend.

  8. I don't know why I don't think of Amazon sooner when I'm looking for something. Last week after three attempts to find the item I needed I suddenly thought of Amazon and sure enough in less time than it takes for me to walk to my car, the item was purchased on on it's way. The story about the wayward book made me think about my friends who travel a lot to many exotic places. They visited the Galapagos Islands where they found a place where you put mail with no postage in a bin and other tourists pick it up if it happens to be going to place near them and deliver it. They sent me a card from there and sure enough about six weeks later it ended up in my mailbox with no postage on it.

  9. I will not order clothes on-line except for rare occasions like underwear because clothing manufacturers have no consistency in sizing and I have no desire to have to pay return postage. I don't even buy clothes in the store unless I try it on first to make sure it fits.

  10. The tree shadow , so pretty! It has been a while since we have seen shadows here. So dark!
    I appreciate online shopping. I do not like to try on stuff in dressing rooms, The mirrors terrify me! by the way, I LOVE your red trousers!

  11. I never shop for clothes in stores any more. Wait, I could just simply say I never shop for clothes. Always hated it. I contemplated becoming a nun once because the dress code was simplified. But I liked what the monks wore more.

  12. "masochistic torture pants" lol

    I don't buy anything online because I am a dinosaur and also it is hard to get stuff to fit me :) (my store of choice is the thrift store - everything is pre-shrunk and broken in)

  13. shopping for clothes sucks the life out of me.... other items i love Amazon...but clothes nope...

  14. Oh ugh - I really can't buy clothing online. I ordered a few things before our cruise because I HATE shopping (well, and it was December & I needed summer stuff). Some of it was ok, but I would probably not have purchased them if I'd tried them on.