It was so, so tempting. Order by 8pm for guaranteed delivery by December 24th. It was December 23rd. I was desperate. Online shopping promised stuffed stockings for my last-minute lazy arse. Then, right when I needed it most, expedited shipping failed me. Delayed—expected delivery on December 26th. Curse you, internet!
Yes, like the scads of righteously indignant tweeters haranguing UPS, I've got a Christmas gift languishing in some distribution centre 150 miles away from its recipient. I'll admit, I was disorganized with Secret Santa shopping this year. Like a guy buying scratch-offs when he's three months behind on rent, I waited until I was excruciatingly late, then got sucked in by the promise of Amazon Prime's free overnight shipping. With a few clicks of the mouse — gift wrap? Sure! Convenience knows no bounds! — I was transformed from an anxious wreck to a smug super-shopper.
Of course, my mistake — our mistake, dear internet — was giving UPS and FedEx an impossibly short deadline, then telling them, "here, you figure it out." When Nikita Khrushchev tried that tactic with the USSR's space program, he ended up with a dead dog orbiting earth. At least that doomed satellite crash-landed on schedule.
So I'll spend today listening for a past-due package to hit my stoop. Boxing Day, indeed. Thankfully, I'm not the only guest at the tardy party: turns out hundreds of thousands of somewhat-embarrassed gift givers are in the same boat.
What about you? Was your faith in next-day shipping shattered by carrier delays? Or are you one of those plan-ahead types who's never caught furiously reloading a tracking page? Tell us your horror stories, friends. Here, your presence is the only gift we need.