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Hope’s Corner: Sleep-shopping is like sleepwalking for the sedentary



I have learned that it may not be a good idea to go shopping online when you are tired. And it is the middle of the night. And you may, or may not, be shopping in your sleep. Because that is how I recently ended up placing a bid of $100 on a $1 Matchbox car for our grandson’s first birthday.

My intentions were honorable. It was a good idea at the time. Except the time was somewhere between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. The auction clock was ticking. I had around 45 seconds to place my bid. Somehow, I typed in $100 instead of $1. And for the next 42½ seconds I held my breath and hoped nobody ran up my stupid bid.

Well, now I know I can hold my breath for at least 42½ seconds.

This chain of events started when I received the newest catalog from our favorite discount bookseller. Those catalogs are eagerly anticipated, and we order so many books that the FedEx drivers draw straws to see who has to deliver the books to our porch. We seldom see the same driver twice.

I favor buying large and glossy art books. They are full of pictures, and not a lot of words. Art books are invariably in a large hardcover format, and 200 pages of art can weigh about five pounds. Art is a heavy subject.

My history-loving husband buys big fat books that are chock-a-block full of words and dates and people. Not a lot of pictures. His books are heavy by the sheer weight of all the words in them. Eight hundred pages of history weigh about the same as 200 pages of art. My art books are way prettier to look at, though.

The company has flat-rate shipping, and we always figure, “Why buy ten books, when we can buy 15 or 20, and they ship for the same price?” Okay, we usually stop at about 30 books per order.

That is how I ended up with “Vroom” on the kitchen table. “Vroom” is a toddlers’ picture book about a little boy who likes fast cars. Perfect for a first birthday. But one needs a fast car to go with a book about fast cars.

What is the best fast car around? A Corvette. Particularly, a red Corvette convertible. Especially because I have one.

And that is why I was cruising eBay at 2:30 in the morning, looking for a 1987 Corvette Matchbox car. Vroom-Boom. Now JJ will have a hot car, just like his Gamma’s.

I admit to shopping online for books in the middle of the night, too. Fortunately, I am not bidding at auction for them. But I do sometimes end up with strange volumes. Like my illustrated book on the complete history of political picture postcards from 1900 to 1945.

I am giving that one to a friend. I suppose I will have to browse eBay to find some postcards to go along with it.

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