Tattlemail

I had read reviews, comparing televisions until my eyes burned. Electronics decisions are always a trial for me. Finally, I selected a TV rated four out of five stars by over two hundred consumers. In fact, these consumers had taken the time to submit their own glowing reviews of this TV on Amazon.com.

I hit Add to Cart and entered my payment information. Before clicking Submit, I raised my finger high over my mouse button ""like I always do ""giving myself one last opportunity to sense whether this purchase would be a mistake. I glanced again at the average 4.6 star rating and down came my finger, pounding a good chunk of change into Amazon's system.

Two minutes later, I received an emailed receipt with tracking information. I love that. I plugged my tracking information into a web form and the page showed that my order had a status of "Processing." I hate that. "Processing" is a vague, sadistic term designed to torment people who are excited about a delivery.

At the bottom of the tracking page I saw a form where I could submit my email address for notifications of my shipment's progress. (Many shipping companies offer up-to-the-minute tracking information via email.) I filled it in and the next day received my first tracking email saying that my TV had left the warehouse in New Jersey. "Nice," I blurted, nodding at my Blackberry. A couple at a table near me in the coffee shop turned my way ""gauging my normalcy. I didn't care; I had high-def tube en route.

Two days later an email reported that my TV had made a transfer in Dallas. I was happy it was further west, but if "transfer" meant a "layover" then I feared more "processing." I should have paid for two-day shipping, I thought.

Over the next week, my email watched my TV, keeping me in the loop.

The day after my package arrived in L.A., I got the email I was waiting for: "Out for Delivery." I was alone with my computer so my hollering triggered no stares.

I called my postal center to tell the guys there to expect a larger than normal package. Greg, answered. He told me they had just signed for an LCD, hi-def TV and that the diagonal scratch across the glass was fixable. I went along with the sick scratch joke because I was in a good mood. An hour later, I finally had my TV.

Back at home I sat amidst packing foam scattered across my floor. I heard my Blackberry chime with a late email that likely reported successful delivery of my package. I ignored it. I was too busy "processing" my new delivery.

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