Sanity Courtesy of ORT*

How do we cope during this pandemic to fulfill that human need to buy stuff? We can’t go to stores (especially when many are closed), we can’t hold curbside garage sales, that religion of the bargain hunter, and we can’t ply the mall walkways to find what we need we didn’t know we need until we see it.

No, the solution and newest sanity therapy these days is *Online Retail Therapy. Sales are booming online for merchants for obvious staples, but even more so for those proprietors of entertainment and activity goods useful for distractions and indoor pleasures. No wonder the streaming services are doing so well. And try to find a cool puzzle or game in stock online these days.

As a stationery nerd, one who’s had to cease the formerly beloved distraction of wandering office supply stores, or the few cool true stationery stores left, not to mention garage and estate sales, it’s been a dry season this past year.

Fortunately, it’s been a new world of discovering lots of small shops online selling the goods we love, both here in the states and elsewhere. But my real guilty ORT solution falls down that much beloved (and dreaded) rabbit hole of subscriptions. From limited Blackwing Volumes pencils, to Field Notes limited edition notebooks, Dapper Notes handmade notebooks, ArtSnacks monthly boxes, Mouse Books pocket readers, and on, and on, these subscriptions have been the modern equivalent of care packages in the old days. Who doesn’t remember being away at college and getting a care package full of goodies from home to sooth the separation blues?

The problem becomes, though, that in active ORT engagement, such satisfying moments of search, finding, ordering, waiting, then finally opening, tempt like opening a fresh bag of Lay’s potato chips: you can’t “eat” just one.

Now that I and many I know are getting the vaccine, can the end of ORT been near? Probably not. While these one-two stabs of hope open up possibilities, don’t see any widespread opening of shops and old-style, in-person shopping resuming soon. So I’ll have to continue with my doctor-ordered ORT (nevermind what doctor, that’s not important right now…) for now. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but I’m staring to have the problem of where to store all this ORT goodness.

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