I’ve recently discovered an unexpected bonus to be had from Internet shopping: if I spend long enough searching and comparing products I eventually lose the desire to buy anything. And if sheer information-overload doesn’t kill the purchase, then the procedure for payment quite often will. Websites that say they’ll deliver anywhere in the world but don’t understand that many of us do not have a ZIP code or anything remotely resembling one. Or companies that will only accept PayPal. I truly hate PayPal. I never had a hitch-free transaction with them yet. So one way or another I’ve been saving a fortune not-shopping online.

That said, I’ve just returned home from a fruitless search for a rag doll, and slightly regret not trying harder to buy one online. One of my grand-daughters is coming to visit next weekend and I thought it was time we had a doll in the house. But she is only a very little girl so it had to be a suitably soft, safe and friendly-looking doll.

I found dolls that cry and dolls that wee, I found a doll that makes sucky noises with a pacifier and an approximately anatomically correct male doll except he had drainage holes in his elbows. I also saw a doll that cost more than dinner for two at Patrick Guilbaud, and a boy doll, 18 inches tall, dressed in a kind of Preppy Toddler style, and with shiny acrylic eyes that I know would give me Omen-esque nightmares.

And now I’ve found a website that has exactly the doll I was looking for, but as it’s too late to get it shipped I’m just going to keep surfing and clicking until I don’t care any more. She can play with my glove puppet plague rat.

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