There are things that I hear people talking about for ages, about how great those things are, and I’m too Anxious About New Things to try them. And then one day I DO (or else someone does it for me, as when I was 21 and my dad signed me up for an email account, knowing I wouldn’t have done it until my thirties otherwise), and my life is REVOLUTIONIZED. My parents use the expression that something “has improved the quality of our lives.” And while that sounds like the kind of thing people might say about a new vaccine or an economic upturn, they use it for things such as a new shower caddy.
Ever since I had my second child (and, perhaps more importantly, moved to a house no longer within walking distance of the post office), I’ve been whining about how hard it is to go to the post office: the lines, and the limited hours, and hauling children in and out of the car for what ought to be a 2-minute errand, and why don’t they have a DRIVE-THROUGH?? My dad kept saying and Saying and SAYING that I could get a pre-paid label online and have my mail carrier pick up the package, but I felt like…maybe I couldn’t. Like what if that cost more money? what if I weighed it wrong? what if my mail carrier hadn’t heard of it and thought I was being presumptuous? what if I had to print it on special label paper instead of regular? what if there was a pick-up fee, or or or?
And no, and in fact the prices are LOWER if you get a label online (though the options are more limited), and I’ve now printed out DOZENS of labels and I haven’t had to go to the post office in ages. Paul installed a robe hook on our mailbox post so that I can put bigger boxes in a bag and dangle them from the mailbox. It is EASY, and it has improved the quality of my life, and maybe you should try it too: USPS Click-N-Ship.
Another major life-improver has been Amazon Prime shipping. I resisted this for ages because it is SEVENTY-NINE DOLLARS PER YEAR, and I could pretty much ALWAYS get free shipping ANYWAY by getting my total over $25. BUT! Something I had not considered was that I would also get free shipping on things I shipped TO OTHER PEOPLE. Whenever I send a gift (and often it’s NOT over $25), I get free shipping. This has made it way less stressful to send birthday and Christmas gifts.
I also hadn’t considered how much FASTER the shipping would be. Or, rather, I HAD considered it, but I hadn’t thought it would matter. What do I care if my new Doonesbury book gets here in 2 days or 2 weeks? But what it really means is that I can time the arrival of gifts, and don’t have to order 3 weeks ahead of time to make sure it gets there. This is especially useful around Christmas, when the speed of the super-saver shipping slows to a painful crawl—and meanwhile the Prime shipping items are still zipping through in 2 days.
And around the holidays, Amazon starts offering all these great deals on things, and I CAN’T always come up with $25 of stuff to get the $2 deal. Or sometimes I find a great gift on December 21st, and I can still get it on time. And I have two friends with birthdays right near Christmas, and it’s great to know their gifts won’t take a million years to get there. And sometimes I order food items, and I don’t want them in transit for a long time.
And there have been many times we’ve needed something, and I haven’t seen any way to get to a store in the next few days, and so I’ve ordered it on Amazon and it’s gotten to me before I would have been able to go to a store for it.
Anyway, it’s expensive, but it’s better than I imagined, and it has improved the quality of my life, and maybe you should try it too: Amazon Prime shipping.
What things/services have improved the quality of your life?