Things I Will Not Order Online

One of the most valuable services the internet has brought to me is the ability to purchase on-line the things I use. I delight in the idea of staying at home to buy my needs and avoiding crowds of people at the stores. However, there are some things I will never order on-line. Such as:

Toilet paper – There is something odd about purchasing toiletry products over the internet. I feel as if hundreds of people are peering into my personal hygiene habits, from the on-line order taker, to the pickers, packers, shippers, and billers, and on through all the hands and eyes that process the order during the entire package delivery system. When I am in a grocery store, I can covertly stash toilet items in my cart and discreetly check them out in the self service line. If I visit the cashier-manned queue, I feel the cashier and I have an unspoken understanding of privacy and secrecy. This is something I will never feel with an on-line purchase.

Shoes – I have no problem ordering clothes on-line because I know my sizes: shirts, large; sweatpants, large; underwear, large. But shoes are a different matter. I need to know shoes will fit properly, and I can only determine this by trying them on in advance. In fact, even when I'm in a shoe store, and after trying on several pairs, I end up buying shoes that don't fit properly. If my probability of buying the incorrect shoe size is high after trying them on, there is certainty I will not like the fit of on-line purchased shoes.

Water – When my house was built, thousands of dollars were spent on plumbing to provide a tap from the city's water supply into the house structure and to the many sinks, toilets, and tubs in various places around the dwelling. After spending thousands of dollars on this network of pipes to provide fresh water where I need it, why would I pay still more money to buy and ship someone else's water only to have it delivered to a place outside my door? When I need water, I can get it from a faucet.

Candy bars – A smooth and creamy milk chocolate bar is something I have a craving for on an occasional basis. When that mood strikes me, I go to a nearby vending machine or drive to the local convenience store and pick up a bar of the confection. Candy is not something I'd ever order on-line for a couple reasons: First, by the time I received the candy bar several days later, the craving would be gone. And second, while I could order a carton of chocolates to have them in stock when the craving surfaces, at the time my chocolate hankering would occur I'd likely eat the whole carton, resulting in a fat Matt and still no candy around to satisfy the next craving.

Medicines – Much like the candy bar, medicines such as cough syrup, antacids, and diarrhea suppressants are things I need infrequently and on an immediate basis. By the time I would receive the on-line ordered products days later, I'd be over the malady. And the next time I would need to use them, the medicines would be expired.

Exercise equipment – Occasionally, such as while eating a candy bar, or after feeling under the weather, I'll get the notion that I need to exercise more to control my weight or stay healthy. I will not order exercise equipment on-line because by the time I receive the equipment, I'll already be past my delusory desire to exercise and would only frustrate myself by needing to return the unused equipment. I'd frustrate myself further by questioning why I thought of purchasing it in the first place. At least if I buy it on impulse at a local retailer, it will get used for one day.

Pornography – There is plenty of free porn to sample on-line. Seriously, though, why would I consciously leave an electronic receipt trail at a site like only to have my data breached two weeks later and reported on the network news with the headline “Chicago Writer Has Large Foot Fetish?”