We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Stumbled upon a dream item – maybe a heavenly pair of heels, maybe a technicolour dream coat that could rival Joseph’s – and talked ourselves out of buying it (“Can I afford it? No.”) only to regret that incredibly short-sighted decision hours later (because, after all, who needs food). But it’s too late. The shop’s closed and the coat is sold out online. You feel panicked. Mournful. Incomplete. WHY THE FUCK DID YOU NOT BUY THE COAT?! And then this happens…
You refresh the product page. You’re in absolute and utter denial. “Sold out? No, it’s not sold out. It’s merely in someone else’s basket! It’ll come back online aaannnyyy moment now…” Granted, the process has worked before, but only after refreshing the page for hours, losing the will to live with every hit of the Return key. You will not be defeated.
You scour eBay, Depop, Etsy and Gumtree. If you ever got your mitts on this coat (and you will), you’d never dream of letting it go. But that doesn’t mean that other people aren’t so foolish. You put out a blast on Facebook and fervently tweet about your current clothing crisis. It leads to nothing. Still, you carry on.
You call up every store in the country. OK, so it’s sold out online and in every store within a 20 mile radius of you, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have one in the Lincoln branch. Or the Nottingham branch. Or the Sheffield branch. Or the Dundee branch. Your rack up a phone bill that equates to more than the cost of the coat. You don’t care. You’d pay thousands for the thing at this point.
You take to the streets. You’ve got a photo of the coat folded up in your purse (where photo-booth pics of you and your beau once sat) and you insist on showing it to everyone. This level of obsession sees you marching up to shop assistants and demanding they tell you when and where they last saw the coat, one eye twitching wildly while the other scours the shop floor. Is this all one big conspiracy?
You get your friends involved. Because what are friends for, if not to guilt-trip into hunting on your behalf? Their findings are disappointing, to say the least (“No sight of the coat, soz”) and you’re not entirely sure just how dedicated to the cause they are. Unconvinced by their attempts, you take matters back into your own hands. This is your mission, after all. Push on, Frodo.
You lose hope. It’s been a month now. A long, arduous month. A whole 31 days since that fateful moment that saw you turn your back on your only chance at true happiness. You’re no closer to owning the coat but you are £180 out of pocket (calls to customer service advisors in Scotland don’t come cheap) and you’re pretty sure your friends have started ghosting you. The coat is all you talk about. You question your own sanity. Maybe you need help?
You give up entirely. The world seems colder, darker, harsher now. You realise that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. No silver lining to be seen on that murky cumulus cloud. No coat at the end of the quest.
You find the coat on eBay on year later. Your heart flutters, “COULD IT BE?!” You click the listing with all of the fervour of Augustus Gloop lapping up the chocolate river. It’s five times the original price… “Nah, not worth it.” You carry on with your life.