Miles run today: 4.5
Pounds of cranberries pre-purchased: 3
Deadlines left to meet for work before the holidays: 0
Setting: Our house in front of the TV as my brain is shutting down for the night.
“What’s this pre-ordering stuff?” my husband asked.
“The pre-order. Pre-ordering isn’t a thing.” He points to the TV, where people are busily pre-ordering laptops, vacuum cleaners and cell phones.
“I guess it’s a thing.”
“It’s Not. A. Thing. You either order, or you back-order if they don’t have it in stock. Now people are pre-ordering. And it’s not a thing.”
I was listening with half an ear. I have requested that my husband never employ the word “utilize” (a jargon-y word that simply means “use”), and I have had to stop saying things like, “I’m going to walk a ways down the road” for my husband and “neat” for my dad. (“Neat! Neat! ‘Neat’ means nothing; try ‘illuminating.’ or ‘mind-boggling,’ or even ‘grand.’ Never neat. Oh, please.”)
So I was afraid pre-order was going to go down as another forbidden word.
But then a funny thing happened: I realized my husband was right.
Not only on TV, but all over real-life, too: people were pre-planning and pre-pre-Black Friday sales-attending.
On another recent TV night, we looked at each other as a newscaster talked about stores pre-preparing.
My husband sat up straight on the couch. “Seriously? Pre-preparing? Where does it end?”
In all the hustle and bustle of life, when people run out first thing the day after Thanksgiving and throw their lights up on the house and rush to tear them down at 7 a.m. the day after Christmas; when stores must stay open on Thanksgiving night so that early-early birds get their goodies a few hours before everyone else; when we are pre-printing our holiday cards this November for next November (“Hurry, Timmy, please grow a little taller so this photo still looks good next year!”)… it makes me wonder what we are trying to get a jump on…
Does pre-ordering make stores feel better, or is it simply to make consumers feel better that they are one step ahead?
My husband and I have ordered and received some of the kids’ Christmas presents. We didn’t pre-order them; we merely ordered them early so that we’d have them before the massive onslaught of holiday consumerism.
We were lying in bed reading the other night.
“Ha! I found another one!” he says, pointing to his e-reader.
“Oh. I guess that’s not one.”
“Another pre-thing. But it’s… er… pretend.”
Maybe I should start using that one. I’m going to go tend to my roses before they actually need me to prune them, just to get a jump on things for next spring. Because I’m just that organized.
What about you? Have you pre-ordered anything this year? Or pre-prepared?