Here's a little story I wrote that's more fictionalized than fiction.
With Deep Regret, I Must Give This Seller a Three Star Rating
Yesterday I received a panicky email asking me to go fish a pair of books out of my storage facility and ship them off to a stranger because this seller had successfully sold them on Amazon. My storage locker is small and well organized so this only rose to the level of a minor pain in the ass. Also, as this seller would quickly remind me, I chose to live in Oregon, so I can’t complain that I had to do this in the pouring rain. The fact that the post office closes at 10:30am on Saturdays is hardly the seller’s fault, so the delay in shipping is not the seller’s responsibility and should not reflect poorly on her.
But it’s the principle of the thing: This seller loaded up her car and brought these items all the way across the country from Cleveland, Ohio to my small town in Oregon and delivered them to me. I was not asked to hold these things for her while she travels overseas for a few years. These items were gifts for me to keep into perpetuity. So, when this seller asked me to ship these items to a stranger, it was not only another job to add to my to-do list; this seller was asking me to ship off my own goddamned books!
Of course I will send the books. Partly this is because, as a great lover of the service Amazon provides, I wouldn’t want this stranger to be disappointed by his/her purchasing experience at Amazon.com. Partly it is because I have an unhealthy desire to be helpful and store up my resentment for late-night whining sessions on Facebook. But mostly it’s because the seller in question is my mother. She not only brought the books to me as part of a load of goods she schlepped all the way across the country, but she carried me for nine months, gave birth to me (through what I’m told was quite a difficult labor), and then loved and cared for me for my entire life. Consequently, I cannot give her less than a three star rating, even if she is selling items which are now technically my belongings.
A warning to buyers, though: My rating may decrease to a two star if she continues to sell my shit. I am most concerned that she’ll try to post a mail-order bride for sale. That would be my wife you’d be buying on Amazon, and I’d be very upset to see her go. Plus, the shipping costs would be ridiculous and I’m not convinced my mother would pay me back for those. In that case, I’d be forced to post a one star rating. Just a shot across the bow, Mom!