Thursday, June 14, 2007
Sometime I begin to believe I know the people I meet on E-bay. That I have relationships with them. That just because they know my name and use it that they care about me. I’ve met many people who knew my name and didn’t use it. Either they were scared that they’d remember it wrong, or perhaps they were shy and didn’t want to seem like they were generating too much intimacy with me and chose not to use my name to my face. So this use makes my E-bay friends special. They send me polite e-mails updating me on the status of my purchase. First telling me that they’ve received my order and more importantly my PayPal money. Hearing that your PayPal credit has come through seems almost like hearing that they’ve received the play money I’ve sent them. Since I can purchase with Monopoly dollars I great this exchange with glee born of success. Then they pursue further contact with me, letting me know when and how and from what post office they’ve sent my goodies on their journey to me. Then happily it arrives. Like the packages my grandmother mailed containing Christmas gifts. Like the care packaged my mother posted while I was at summer camp and feeling homesick. And just like those packages my E-bay gifts come wrapped more often than not wrapped home-style. In awkward boxes and clunky wrapping, not in the sleek packaging from Amazon or L.L.Bean or any other company that you can mail order from. No logos inked on the sides of the boxes or monogrammed packaging tape sealing together the flaps. No, my E-bay gifts are utterly simple. Just one person trying to get a package cross country to another. And they write me notes too. Tagged onto the bottom of a printed order slip the message just like you get on preprinted birthday cards where despite the Hallmark message your friends feel the need to tack on another overused phrased so that you know that they’re even more thoughtful. And so I know my E-bay friendships are sealed when I see the hand inked words “Great doing business with you, hope to hear from you again!” An exclamation mark and everything, what a thoughtful friend.