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Samantha Felix Samantha Felix

Ten Cautionary Tales of Drunken Online Shopping

The Guardian lines up a team of writers to highlight the perils of mixing booze and buying.

3 Substance

Technology is risky stuff. Sure, online shopping saves you the time and effort of walking into an actual store. But with a glass of wine by your side, it becomes that little bit too easy.

To warn us of this hazard, the Guardian challenged its writers to confess to their most memorable (even if not actually remembered) drunken online purchases, most of which caused severe cases of buyer’s remorse:

1.How hard can it be to play the clarinet?”  The drunken purchase of a used clarinet after a glass of wine or two, having previously never played the instrument in your life.

2.  ”The dining table in a Jiffy bag.” The glorious decision, after an evening spent at the pub, to buy “the world’s most expensive dollhouse dining set.”

3.A stampede of Sophies.” A new parent’s accidental purchase, via a bottle of screw-top wine and one too many shopping apps, of no fewer than 12 stuffed “Sophie” giraffes.

4. “I sent my boss a self-help book.” Mistakenly, after a rough day at work and peel-top-wine on the train ride home, sending your old boss the book, Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön. (And receiving a note from your ex-boss the next day, asking if everything is ok.)

5. “A $250 newspaper from Back to the Future.”  The alcohol-inspired purchase of a genuine prop newspaper from the iconic movie—which is now hidden shamefully in your attic.

6. ”A flood of flatpacks.” Finding yourself on the IKEA website after a party, and proceeding to purchase three new chests of drawers, several bookcases and more shelving units than you can possibly need.

7. “ A crooked bike frame with no wheels.” Indulging your normally latent eBay obsession (after indulging yourself with a few drinks) and ending up with something that is unlikely to become useful any time soon.

8. ”I shop better drunk.” The experience of becoming a more virtuous person after a night out drinking—if the spontaneous donation of $30-worth of anti-malaria mosquito nets to a charity is any guide.

9. “ Premium heavy-duty gauntlet gardening gloves.” When a bottle of wine results in a laughable mix of luxury and practicality.

10. “ Drunken shopping on the high street.” Proving that a traditional approach isn’t foolproof, the purchase of one large ugly, taupe couch in the midst of a boozy outing.