Is it a matter of convenience or is it simply outsourcing when a hands-on approach could serve you better? I guess that question has a lot of different variables. Take for example: credit card purchases. The way I see it, I either pay by credit card or I pay by cash. The General isn’t going to trust me to keep up with a checkbook. I guess that comes from my historical failure to remember where I left the checkbook or my failure to enter all of the needed information on the inside ledger. Trust me, she adheres to the highest standards of accounting principles and she’s determined I don’t meet the mark.


In terms of end of life issues, there are a number of reasons I must precede her in death. I don’t want to be encumbered by financial management issues. Trust me, she doesn’t just get the credit card bill and pay it, she carefully inventories each entry. Oh, in case you’re wondering, if anything seems out of place or unusual, I’m the go-to guy she immediately checks with to see what I’ve done! Take for example last night’s conversation: “Why do we have a $118 charge to Dish Network. “How would I know?” I haven’t bought any dishes? I don’t plan to buy any dishes. She’s the one who’s never seen a dish that she didn’t like.


Thank my lucky stars she finally remembered using the online method of paying the monthly billing for the satellite that brings HGTV into the comfort of our home. Of course, her need to do that was my fault. She was out of town when the bill came in and I absent-mindedly or irresponsibly didn’t open the envelope and opt to pay the bill. Excuse me! Money doesn’t grow on trees and neither does the checkbook. I can assure you, she had our one and only checkbook in her possession while she was away.


If she reads today’s blog, she’ll counter that I knew where to find a check. Okay, so I did. Long story short, she didn’t add open bills and pay them on my to-do list when she left town. She subsequently opted to pay the Dish Network bill online to ensure our payment was timely and not considered late.


Please hear me say, I am grateful for her due diligence. I don’t have her eagle eye for carefully examining expenditures to ensure they are accurate and that we actually made the purchase. Of course, there are money management experts that tell you never to use a credit card. The rule of thumb is to carry your grocery money is an envelope and pay with cash when you check out. Reportedly, you spend less money that way. Did I say, “I am not going to do that”?


Besides that, I’m a visual person. If I see something at the grocery store and want it, I buy it. I don’t care if it is on my grocery list or not. The General opts to shop for groceries at H.E.B. in Dripping Spring. I prefer Randall’s in Austin. About every other week, they put steak on for half price and I’m a bargain hunter. Besides that, I can’t think of much that tastes better than a New York Strip. I’d opt for one in a New York minute.  Consequently, I frequently do.


I was in H.E.B. with the General yesterday and had the thought “Why?” Don’t get me wrong, we’ve come light years in having access to a full-array of groceries in Drippin’, but what I needed should have been located on the aisle of empty shelving in the grocery store. Of course, if I’d taken the time to read the posted signage, I’d have known where to look to find it. As it turned out, when the General found me, she told me where to look.


Okay, so getting back to my initial question: “Is it a matter of convenience or is it simply outsourcing when a hands on approach could serve you better? They say there are two kinds of people: “Those who shop at Wal-Mart and those that don’t”. Yet, Wal-Mart offers the feature on online grocery shopping. All you have to do then is pick it up at the curb (so-to-speak). Of course, many name brand grocery stores are now offering the same amenity. Some even offer free delivery.


Please hear me say that from my perspective, a hands on approach works best and I don’t even like to go to the grocery store. I’m not going to outsource or trust someone else to pick avocados out for me. It all gets back to the touch. Maybe it’s a sensory issue, but I can tell by the feel if they are just right rather than not ripe or worse yet, too ripe.


Call me old school if you want, but the convenience of online grocery shopping is a venue I don’t want to embark. After all, I’ve given my proxy to the General and she does a really good job most of the time. Of course, when I want a steak, I’m headed to Randall’s. I’ll take my chances with them and most of the time get it at half price.


How about online shopping for shoes or clothing? Absolutely not is my take on the issue! The General would beg to differ. She does all of her shopping online. From my perspective, it leaves too much to chance. She’d disagree. If she doesn’t like it or if the shoes don’t fit, she sends them back and the vendor pays the postage. At least that’s her storyline. The way I figure it (pardon the pun), the initial price probably included the anticipated postage for returning the item(s). If you don’t send it back, it is an extra bonus for the retailer.


The latest craze (and yes the General bought in to the concept) is outsourcing your haberdashery needs. Of course, you make a selection of the style your prefer and leave the rest to them. Of course, there are options related to frequency and clothing colors you like. You can select monthly, every other month, quarterly, etc. It is a simply process. At whatever interval you select, five clothing items come your way.


What does it cost? I don’t know and I don’t want to know. I don’t pay the credit card bill, so I’ll never know. The General would say she’s using her money. The way I see it (and so does she), she carries the checkbook so it is all her money.


Okay, unless you think I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth, I admit that I am the beneficiary of the monthly sock club. It came as a gift and is always a delightful surprise. Of course, from my perspective, the general (not to be confused with the General) outsourcing of haberdashery needs deprives the purchaser of having the advantage of looking at all the options and selecting what he considers the best. In addition, I like it better if it is on sale. You don’t get any of that online. Consequently, when it comes to clothing and avocados, I strongly urge you to go in person. Don’t outsource or do it online.


All My Best!



One thought on “ONLINE SHOPPING”

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