It works with online shopping too

I write 500 words and then allow myself to browse the internet for five minutes. I click onto a clothing website and find MindReader two very small but lovely presents (I would tell you what they are but he does read my blog of course).

I have to spend £10 in order to save the £5 delivery charge. I deem this worth it so click onto the women’s sale items. I scroll down idly and am stopped in my tracks by the sight of an extremely beautiful jumper. Its official name is white striped fluffy necklace jumper. It is Breton striped and has a statement necklace embedded in the neck. It has long sleeves, not three-quarter length (a rarity in jumpers these days, which is annoying if you are always cold like me). It says ‘size 8 – only one left!’ in red and I immediately add it to my basket, my stomach clenching anxiously. I am a satisfying 10 pence over the threshold for free delivery and I feel extremely smug.

Only, when I press ‘checkout’, the jumper has disappeared. I put it back in my basket. It disappears again.

Suddenly, my whole world has become about this jumper. I start sweating at my computer. I am totally aware of the irony of sweating over a Christmas present for YOURSELF and not the ones in the basket for other people, but what can I say?

I open a different kind of browser and try to add it to my basket there, only now the size 8 reads ‘out of stock’.

I luckily know the telephone number of this online shop, which tells you more about my shopping problem than my ability to recall strings of numbers, to be honest.

As the phone rings out, I refresh the browser and my basket, hoping to find the jumper again. My entire being has narrowed to one focus, which is, BUYING THIS JUMPER. I must have it. I’ve not seen a jumper quite like this, in my whole entire life. It is slouchy and cosy. I imagine myself wearing it in a wooden ski lodge, ignoring the voice that says I don’t ski. I would make soups from scratch in this jumper, and curl up with a hot chocolate in a minimalist house like calm Scandinavian lady. MindReader and I would take winter walks, me in my Breton-striped jumper with embedded statement necklace, oh and we would snog in the misty air and throw snowballs at each other.

“Hello,” I say manically, as a lady at the shop’s call centre answers. I explain my predicament.

“Oh,” she says casually, after I rattle off the product number which I of course have memorised. I will know it forever, my dear jumper’s number. “Looks like someone else has bought the size eight.”

“It’s me!” I shriek. “It’s in my basket!”

“Can you remove it from your basket?”

I am reluctant to do such a thing, but press ‘delete’ while scowling at my computer.

“Just refreshing…” the woman says.


“Oh dear, someone else has just snapped it up! It was popular.”

If she could see me, she would see that I have gone bright red and sweaty. There is practically steam coming out of my ears. “WHAT?”

“Sorry,” she says. “Sure you can find them something else, we’ve got loads of lovely jumpers.”


“Is it a Christmas present?” She says, in the tone of voice of someone who would expect this amount of emotion to be about a much-wanted Christmas present, not a jumper spotted in the sale five minutes ago.

“Oh… yes,” I say. For me.

We say goodbye and I sit, traumatised, at my computer. I search eBay for the jumper, to no avail.

I order another jumper, not in the sale, which takes me far above the free delivery threshold. It is actually quite similar to the Breton-stiped jumper with embedded statement necklace, only it lacks the necklace but is actually a nicer shape.

I go to make tea, and return to my writing, a hot, tired mess after my jumper ordeal.

I have forgotten about the jumper ten minutes later.

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