Listen, I love you. You’re great. With your little pithy emails full of discounts on things I never even knew I’d need. I mean…my kids have lived their entire lives without any of the toys in your American Girls Can Be Avengers, Too* themed collection of goods. But when I saw it all laid out on the page like that? With the one felt wreath making kit displayed next to the Black Widow faux leather onesie? Like they belong together? BECAUSE MAYBE THEY DO? I knew you weren’t just selling me goods at up to 40% off…you were helping me understand the depth that properly curated consumer goods can bring to my life and the lives of those I love. And with free shipping till midnight after the first purchase!
I mean. Come on, right?
So when September rolled around and I saw the collection of competitively priced running shoes drop into my inbox, I knew you were once again reaching out to me. I mean, I’ve been meaning to get in shape for about…fifteen years. I got real serious about that intention after I had my first baby. That intention was nearly transformed into an actual act when I turned thirty and magically gained fifteen pounds. (Magically, because I am sure my habit of goat cheese breakfast pizza and cooking with bacon fat had NOTHING to do with it.) And then, there you were! With your $120 running shoes knocked down to $40! WHO COULD RESIST? Not me.
And you know, I understand this kind of deal doesn’t come without strings attached. I know you have a weirdly long waiting period before you can ship my orders. I’ve been through it before. And I’ve always been happy to wait the 8 - 21 days before my last season’s watch/overstocked boots/offbrand magnet blocks make their way to my doorstep. You know why? Because you’re worth it. And I’m worth it. And the deal - THE DEAL - is worth it.
Let’s be honest. The three week wait to get my running shoes seemed like the perfect run-up to a finally getting healthier me. I was going to start making smoothies, really research the most aerodynamic active wear and try out different socks (what is a good sneaker without a good sock?). I was going to start waking up at 5 am to prepare myself for the early morning world those shoes and I were going to meet while we pounded fat and pavement. Three weeks was exactly the amount of time I needed to ready myself for The Shoes. Those Shoes were going to meet a changed me. Yes, The Deal was going to meet The New Deal. (Get it? Me? I was the new deal.)
But then that three week mark came and went. And sure, I hadn’t really gotten up at five once. And those smoothies never saw the light of day, unless you count all the times I added whole milk to my cup of coffee ice cream. (Which I do. I do count that.) And the meat eating thing….lasted until Costco had a sale on their bacon. But the socks. I found the socks. And the activewear? I researched THE HELL out of the activewear…and was pretty much ready to buy some as soon as The Shoes came.
The Shoes still haven’t come.
Two days ago, I emailed your customer service department. I tried to keep it civil. I tried to keep the desperation out of my writing. I didn’t say the intentions of fifteen years rest on this single purchase and don’t you know I can’t buy tennis shoes that are never going to come and can’t you see that I would have been on the workout train to workoutville for nearly a month now if only the shoes had come when you said they would? I didn’t talk about the activewear languishing in my amazon cart (ankle length? or capri? sheer top? baggy shirt? hoodie? will I wear a hoodie? the mornings ARE cold here. but maybe if I am cold I am not working out hard enough? is wearing a hoodie a sign of flippancy? i think it is. maybe. i better think on this some more before moving forward. before moving at all. what’s on netflix this month?) Instead, I expressed my concern about the delay and wondered if you had any more info about expecting shipping times.
And you did.
But you also didn’t.
Your very friendly and prompt customer service representative said “I see there has been a delay in shipping”. It was comforting that your organization took the time to let me know what I already knew. What is a relationship without that kind of grounding communication? Your friendly rep then offered me $5 in Zulily credit or the opportunity to cancel my order. She had no actual ship date details…not even within an 8 - 21 day range. I thought about this while trying on socks and decided to take the $5 rather than cancel my order. I mean…I believe in you, Zulily. And I think I get the message you are trying to send me. Sure, some people might think you are just a discount outlet that’s in the weeds when it comes to your order fulfillment.
But I know better.
You knew I wasn’t ready. You knew that I need to think about getting active a little longer before actually becoming active. You knew the socks weren’t quite right. You knew my activewear choices were still keeping me up at night. And you knew, you knew that no matter how many times I played it cool, I needed to learn the value of The Shoes far exceeded the $42 + shipping they cost me. And what better way to teach me that lesson than to have me wait, and wait, wait some more?
Well played, Sensei Zulily. I can’t wait to see what lesson you have in store for me next time.
(Ooooh! Look! Le Crueset on sale today! I’ve been meaning to learn how to make the perfect risotto! That 10 - 16 day shipping period will give me JUST enough time to really immerse myself in the history of the dish, the history of Italy in general, and the locally sourced ingredients that will most accurately pay homage to both those things. Let it begin. Let. It. Begin.)
All my best,
*not an actual Zulily collection. You can totes have the idea for free, Zulily. The only catch is that there is an 8 - 21 day wait until you can implement it. And by 8 - 21 days, I mean...maybe longer, maybe not.