Saturday, June 27, 2009

On-line shopping

Coming home, Friday afternoon for a week of vacation, I discovered Karen had been shopping on-line! (The reason I ended that sentence with an exclamation point instead of a period is because Karen has never shopped on-line before).

She’s quite capable with Office Programs and email but she has never really been a “computer-person”. Sort of like I’ve never been a “yardwork-person” or a “housework-person” or a “work-of-any-kind-person”.

One of her goals over the her summer break from school was to become better with the Internet. But to find her shopping on-line already had me cheering on her success!

Granted, she was not looking for fancy camera equipment or computer games or designer shoes. She had been trying to find a replacement part for our refrigerator. I case I’ve never mentioned my gratitude – her practical nature is the very foundation for the freedom Bagman has to goof off.

“I just wanted you to check out what I found before I actually place the order,” she said. And I was happy to oblige. She had already managed to locate the brand and model-number of the fridge and out of a selection of twenty-thousand different parts, found the odd-shaped little plastic shelf support thingy that had cracked under too much weight of bottled water.

I was patting her on the back and she was about to push the “send” button to commit $37.50 for a piece of plastic when something niggled my brain. Left side shelf support. Did that mean the left side looking into the refrigerator or the left side from the refrigerator’s point of view? The diagram listed both as “Part #480” One was “Part #480” left and the other was “Part #480 right.”

“Go down and look,” she suggested. So I ran downstairs, opened the door, removed milk, grits, bottled water, a tin of batteries (because someone had once told us that batteries last longer if you refrigerate them), mustard, and Cool Whip. I removed the underneath bin of lettuce, cheese, and cucumbers and stared at Part #480. Comparing left and right. Or right and left depending your point of view. Committing them to memory.

Then I put back all the food, closed the door, ran back upstairs and stared at the photograph on the screen. The website let you examine the part from three different angles. By the time we had flipped the virtual part all over the place, I had forgotten what I had tried to commit to visual memory.

I ran downstairs and repeated the process. I ran upstairs and repeated the process. It was like one of those intelligence tests or something I remembered from taking the SAT in high school. Which shape matches the shape in column A if it were flipped 180 degrees. I ran downstairs again! I was beginning to worry about food spoilage with all the opening and closing of the fridge door.

Then Karen had a brilliant idea. “Go take a picture of it!”

So, once again, I emptied everything, took out the bin, and shot the part with the camera. I decided this was the first time in my lifetime of being a photographer that I had ever tried to shove my head and my camera into a refrigerator. Click.

Back upstairs again, we compared the image in the camera to “Part #480 – right” and “Part #480 – left.” We flipped and rotated the visual image while I flipped and rotated the camera image. Finally, we succeeded in becoming virtually dizzy and falling over.

We could order both parts and return one.

We could flip a coin.

“Is there a return policy?”

We flipped a coin. Wish us luck.


  1. I love shopping on line! It has made my life so much easier.

    Not only has your wife learned a new skill, you got a great workout running around trying to determine if the part was right.

    Good luck! I hope you chose the right one.

  2. Sirs, if I had not been able to shop online at Christmas when I was all but housebound, I should have been unable to proffer any gifts for my family... Good luck for Karen's continuing success with t'Internet...

    As for parts, it always amazes me how the producers practically expect you to be an engineer to order parts - You did so well to employ the camera in the task...

    And grits??!

  3. I usually let Frank take care of shopping online. Making those small decisions of did I order the correct thing just churns the stomach.

    Glad you got a bit of exercise :-) Good for Linda in making progress.

    Now you have to explain grits to A Woman of No Importance... good luck! :-D

  4. Found you on Barry's site. I love the concept of your blog theme. Congratulations on your Linda's progress. I am 72 and just started blogging. I am hooked. Stop by my neck of the woods. I am just a hop and a skip away in Kentucky. I will hop back over to check on Karen. Blessings

  5. Boy does this sound familiar! I shop online for parts some times and usually have the same problems.

  6. There just has to be a Friday Shoot Out theme in that refrigerator photo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. good for Karen - can we look forward to her new blog "living with B&B". I like to go to the internet for parts, replacemetn batteries, that sort of thing but for shoes, dresses, cameras and other important things I still like to touch and feel and to see the real colors. good luck on your new part (s)

  8. Lol! sounds familiar! Good luck!

  9. That cracked me up. I have done that too many times -- trying to commit something to memory, repeatedly, only to forget, repeatedly. The solution? Well that was too easy, either the camera, like you did, or write it the hell down! I'm lazy like that and would rather challenge my memory to see if I can still do it. Which obviously I can't. But I can't commit that to memory either!

  10. Frankly, i havent tried online shopping. Some sort of phobia. Will try, now being aware that more people shop online than i thought. Cheers:))

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  12. LOL - oh my gosh - good luck!

  13. I wish you luck ... and hope to get a report!