Elena Bowes

New York-London design & culture writer of a certain vintage looking for meaning and wholeness in life

Confessions of …

February 4th, 2020

Let’s just say, this article did not surprise me. Not at all. You are welcome Amazon. Without my support, your  sales would have been flat as a pancake. I may be a late adopter to on-line shopping, but boy am I making up for lost time.

Why walk to the corner to get an avocado when one click shopping means I can lounge in bed for the foreseeable future – or until the avocado appears on my doorstep.

And a ripe avocado please, I specify from my laptop.

I don’t want to wait for my avocado toast. Click by click, I am becoming a real New Yorker where everything but everything is made easy – 24 hour pharmacies, doormen, diners. This can do philosophy, where everything is available and easy, is quite alluring.

So you can imagine my distress when I came home from Nashville Saturday only to see a jumble of boxes blocking my entry.

This can do philosophy doesn’t stretch to, you guessed it, Stretch.

Hi, I grumbled, as I maneuvered myself into our apartment. Couldn’t you have  opened at least one box?

I didn’t know where to start, he said. I feel like I’m being buried alive. I think you need to calm down.

I ignore him and go get a knife. Clutter to him are life’s essentials to me. The two of us have finally moved into our new apartment, and I’m in that every day is Christmas mode when you’ve just moved in and lack everything from paper towels to Nature’s Miracle (used in tandem when you own two pugs).

I may start out searching for a simple soap dish, only to realise that a bathroom isn’t quite complete without a few pretty bottles and jars and maybe a smelly candle and a bath tray, and oooh, my makeup is so old (jumping sites now) I wouldn’t want to get an infection from using old  mascara which somehow reminds me that we need toilet brushes and a Dyson hair dryer. (On-line shopping is a killer if you’re a lateral thinker.) The beauty of the internet is that not only has it broadened my definition of life’s essentials, but it’s all available, right here, right now.

I was fifteen minutes late for my therapist the other day.

Quite a day! I texted her from the taxi.

When I got there, she gave me a serious look.

Elena, why was your day so crazy? You know you are only short-changing yourself.

I thought about it and told her that actually, I had been sitting at my laptop all day and wasn’t sure why my day had been so crazy, but she’d just have to take my word for it. I didn’t mention the fun black fire bucket that says FIRE in red letters  on  Luminaire

or the ingenious collapsible water bottle on Food 52

or the adorable elephant bookends from Oka.

She wouldn’t understand. I can tell from her spare office. I mean, wouldn’t this elicit a small smile from even the most depressed patient?

Stretch did call me the unmentionable, the S word, the word that I have always associated with my mother, my aunt and maybe even a sister and a daughter (you know who you are), but never myself. I have always thought that I take after my father’s prudent, measured side. No Shopaholic here! But Stretch laughs a little too hard when I tell him that.

Shoot. I quickly google the definition of an online addict (my laptop is my bible). This article was helpful. I only ticked one box on the 10 point questionnaire. That’s nine boxes unticked. Got to go, my doorbell is ringing.

February, 2020