No Knickers.

No Knickers - Friday 27th February 2015

Hardly a topic worthy of writing one may think.  If you have a few minutes, read on.

My mother always ensured when we were kids that our knickers were in tip top condition, just in case we were hit by a bus.   She would be ashamed of my current collection with the white ones looking beige, the black ones looking grey, and the elastic all stretched out, clearly I have needed new knickers for some time.  I have spent time and effort into sourcing new ones, but there is a problem.  I like all cotton, bikini briefs, like the ones the girl in the questionable advert wore years old when she had ants crawling all over her body. The other sort with polyester give me unpleasant 'side effects'. 

Whilst in New York last month, I entertained the idea of buying undies there, what a line to drop into conversation with the girls 'Oh I picked these up in New York on my last visit ...'.   In minus 17C, Macey's were not into cotton anything, and the saleswoman raised her eyebrows when I pointed out everything on the rack was man made fibre.  "Do you have cotton?" - a pause, then "Nah, we don't have no calling for that."

In Nowra, where I ventured next (definitely a shopping downgrade from New York, and a different marketplace admittedly) - the response was similar in every store I tried. This week, I bought some new bras in Myers in Shellharbour (another story) - but there too, polyester knickers are are queen.

With my knickers sliding down my bum and an overseas holiday in a fortnight, I decided committed action was called for.  I ventured into hitherto unexplored and dangerous territory, online shopping.   Those of you who know me will now be howling with laughter, as my technical skills are sparse.  Having already used up my Beloved's store of patience in the last two weeks downloading photographs from my phone to my computer - I stepped out of my comfort zone - and almost my knickers - and ventured into the world of online shopping.  Alone.  Let me just say that the next two hours were not pretty, as I bounced by E Bay to Discount Outlets, and other places which I had to "join" to buy stuff, I even found a dubious dating line for those who like Antz Pantz and an open invitation from a man I would rather not share - but not a cotton knicker was added to my shopping cart. 

Suddenly (and there is always a 'suddenly' when I am online) I found myself in a website which sells underwear made of bamboo.   Who would have thought?  'Underwear' and 'bamboo' are two words which don't seem to fit in the same sentence.  I read on.  All natural cotton!  It breathes (really?) and washes well, no panty line, competitively priced, free shipping for orders over $38.  My heart was racing with excitement.    I scanned the pictures, decided upon the classic bikini against the hipster bikini, read the 'guide to sizing' then found the tape measure and took my measurements, entered my name, address, email address, phone, entered my order and credit card details, pressed submit, and heaved a sigh of relief.   Soon, I will be wearing knickers my mother would be proud of.

'Suddenly' the screen went back to its original format, all of my details erased.  I pressed 'my orders' - nothing.   I pressed the backward key - nothing.  I pressed 'my orders' again.  You never know.  Zero.  I gazed helplessly towards Gerald, blissfully unaware of my predicament, ensconced in his Sudoku in the next room.  And decided to start the whole process again.   Back to the pictures, selecting, entering information (this may sound easy for some of you, but not for me) - and ten minutes later, hit submit.   AND THE SAME BLOODY THING HAPPENED, the screen erased all my information, and took me back to the order page, with tiny red writing saying something like 'mandatory field'.  I tell the computer that I have already filled in those mandatory bloody fields.  Nothing.  Moving faster and with some fire in my belly - and some of you will no doubt say 'stupidly' - I entered all the information once more, only to have THE SAME BLOODY THING HAPPEN.  Undeterred, and now ready to smash the computer to the ground, I repeated the process for the fourth time.   No need to tell you what happened next.

Trying to sound composed, I call "Gerald!  Can you help me please?"   Poor man, this has become a feature of his life, helping his wife out of her computer messes.  Patiently, and just a tad smugly I think - he tells me the problem is I have not 'registered'.  I tell him it didn't tell me I need to register.  He raises his eyebrows, and we register.  Then he enters all my information once more, and places the order.  It disappears.   I must admit to feeling a sense of triumph, dear reader.  Seldom am I right when it comes to technical affairs.  Perplexed, he says, "That's strange .." and enters it all again.   It disappears.    

I have to leave the room on urgent business as I feel an overwhelming desire to kill, something, someone, anything, the man who invented computers especially.  I hang out the washing, and hear my Beloved engaged in a conversation with the bamboo knicker help desk lady, who says she will assist us and send us an email with our order.  Two hours later, there is nothing.  I am still knickerless.  I call back, her name is Prue, we are now on first name terms, but she has been busy, and its nearly five o clock on a Friday, and she is on her own, and oh joy!   Even Prue has had 'technical problems' with the computer, she cannot place the order either.   I feel vindicated, but desperate.   I ask "Can't we just do it the old fashioned way, when I give you my credit card details, and you get someone in the packing department to post them to me?"  She responds "No, we cannot do it that way, it has to go through the system online ..... but I will continue to try to place the order, otherwise someone will do it on Monday.   If YOU want to try and place the order again this weekend, please let me know, so we don't place it twice."  

Are you CRAZY Prue? "Try to place the order again?"   I already spent several hours of my life I can never get back trying to purchase a half a dozen pairs of knickers for the grand total of $60!!  But compassion for Prue prevails, I feel for her - she spends her life handling knicker related complaints. So instead I say "Thank you Prue.   But I could have spent the last few hours raising funds to feed hungry children instead of wasting my time this way."   A long pause ensues whilst she digests this unexpected information.  "Yes", she says, "but that's technology for you."

My point entirely.

Currently, Still Knickerless, 


Sandra GroomComment