Last month, I did something that felt so bougie, so extravagant and so lavish, that I felt like royalty. It was something I only thought possible in large cities, for the foolishly wealthy. What was it? I had groceries delivered. To my house. On a Saturday. I could have gone to the store; it’s not far. About 17 minutes on a Saturday morning with no traffic. But I didn’t want to. We wanted to cook something, pancakes, I think. But we didn’t have baking powder or syrup. And that was it. That was the moment I downloaded the Instacart app, and prayed to the Gods that someone in this town would deliver groceries to the house. Praise the grocery Gods (is Guy Fieri the new grocery God?), within a couple hours I had groceries at the house. I was impressed with the accuracy and quality, and the fact that I didn’t have go get dressed or leave my house.
Yes, I paid an upcharge on some things. Yes, I paid a delivery charge and had to tip the driver. Yes, my father was looking down from heaven APPALLED at this lavish behavior and my complete and almost total lack of interaction with human beings for this endeavor. No, I didn’t care about any of that. My friends, I have learned to love the convenience of delivery of all the things. Food? Bring it to my door piping hot. Baking powder? Deliver it and a spread worthy of The Great British Baking Show. Shampoo, razors, 6th grade vocab flash cards for the kid, and a charger to replace the one I lost? Amazon to the rescue. When did I become this person?? I am someone who enjoys making friends in the grocery line. Or at least, I used to. Now, when I’m busy adulting and busy working, and honestly, just too lazy to shop after a long week, I really just want to push a button and have what I want. Is that so wrong?
I’ve worked hard to be able to have money to live such a life of luxury (more on this hard work later) and yet there’s part of me that actually feels guilty. The little girl inside, the one that used to run to the store with the book of paper food stamps, could never have imagined paying an extra dollar for a head of lettuce simply for the convenience of having it delivered. Maybe guilty isn’t the right word. It just feels out of character. Don’t mistake me; I haven’t abandoned the grocery store completely. I think in total, we’ve had regular groceries from Shaw’s delivered twice. Things like produce and deli meats, among other things, are not necessarily practical to have delivered because of the upcharge. But sometimes, I just don’t want to have to go to the store. It’s like an insurance policy. I don’t have to have groceries delivered, but I like knowing that I have the option.
When I started the ketogenic diet (more on this later, too), my friend Alicia turned me on to Thrive Market. An online marketplace, Thrive allows me to have keto-friendly products delivered to the house. This is a game changer. I like knowing that I can order an entire box of things that fit within my new lifestyle and have them just show up whenever I need them. They suit all kinds of diets; paleo, keto, gluten-free, etc. Thrive also has cosmetics, household products, supplements, etc. Y’all, I even have candy added to the box. Game. Changer. It’s not a secret that any kind of “special” diet or lifestyle is not cheap, but I actually find Thrive to be very reasonably priced and worth the money. And, to the original point, I. Don’t. Have. To. Go. Anywhere. So much of my job, particularly in the fall, is traveling. I practically live in my car, and I’m too tired to do much else besides go to bed when I get home, not to mention most stores are closed when I’m rolling back through town sometimes at 10 p.m. I mean, look at this haul! I highly recommend Thrive if you are also in need of reasonably priced specialty goods.
You might be thinking “Maria. You have a partner; he could do the shopping if you hate it so much.” And you’re not wrong! If I asked Kilton to go to the grocery store and get what we needed, he would. He would also come home with cookies and Hot Pockets and the wrong lettuce, maybe. But he would do it. It’s just that he works too. And groceries are also not his favorite. I like having the things, I just don’t want to actually have to go get the things. Make sense?
In this the Year of Our Lord 2019, we can hit a button and have whatever we want arrive at our homes. We can even set up recurring deliveries. Honestly, how did we exist before this? Any time of day, sometimes in under 24 hours, I can have a new purse, a new book, lotion, or a jacket I don’t need. This is why, if my relationship with money and shopping had a Facebook status, it would be “It’s Complicated.” How much is too much convenience? Young Maria was so often worried about not having enough, not having the “right things,” not getting the perfect Christmas present or brand-name clothes. As an adult, I’ve learned to appreciate what I have, to understand the value of a dollar. To not take my discretionary income or ability to mostly be able to buy what I want and need (Audi A4, I’m coming for you some day!) for granted. But I worry that the convenience of commercialism will chip away at that appreciation. I have impulse purchased products I saw in Instagram ads more than I’d like to admit. While I’m glad to have the flexibility now to do such things, I need to make a concerted effort to remember not to take that for granted. Removing the middle man- a store, a cashier, etc.- makes buying things almost an afterthought. And with apps for buying, apps for cash back, one-touch purchases etc. I can convince myself that online shopping is worth it. And often, it is! I’ve saved so much money strategically buying things on online sales. But I have to remember that for some, it’s still a luxury. For Young Maria it certainly feels that way.
I acknowledge the privilege I have, and in full Marie Kondo style, I try to remember to silently express gratitude for the groceries that appeared at the door. The Amazon box greeting me when I get home. I love that when I am too lazy or too tired, or too whatever to shop, that I can have what I need or want at the touch of a button. But I try to remember that too lazy to shop doesn’t have to also mean too easy to be thankful.