I love when I get the notice from the front desk in my condo building that I have received a package. Almost a childlike hope arises in me when I try to imagine what wonderful surprise will be waiting for me inside the UPS or Amazon box…even though I distinctly remember ordering a new turkey baster or coasters from Frontgate. My excitement about packages was particularly evident during the Covid pandemic of 2020-2021 when we all hoped for something good, and a package could possibly bring it.
Anticipation the arrival of something you’ve ordered elicits happiness and something to look forward to. It’s the bright light of hope in a sometimes-dark day. When the package does not arrive in a timely manner, worry sets in. One tries to remember what the deliver date was supposed to be, and you frantically go through your paperwork to find the answer. Waiting for a package can be a temporary distraction from the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Somehow the thought of a new blender or blouse is cheering to our psyche.
But sometimes waiting for a package is not a happy experience. It has been found that there is actually a pre-parcel anxiety, and according to a recent article I read in the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, by Jenna Ryu, it is more common than you might think. We, as a society, build expectations of perfection and that’s why when a waiter mixes up our dinner order, brings the wrong bottle of wine or a phone call we’ve been expecting doesn’t happen, we become annoyed. We want efficiency and have come to expect it…instant gratification. The anxiety is more about our need to control the situation than it is about a mistake someone has made.
So back to the missing package. What does one do…we try to track it on our phones or on our computers? I have done this often but with mixed results. Sometimes I can easily discover that my package is in Fort Lauderdale and is “out” for delivery. (Whatever that means?) But, other times the tracking devises are strangely silent and there appears to be no explanation as to where the parcel is or when I can expect delivery. I am not a patient person, and this situation makes me anxious. Has the package been lost, stolen or broken? Did I put the wrong address in the delivery section?
A delayed package may seem insignificant to some, but for those doing the waiting it’s anxiety-provoking. My only advice is to assume that at some time your package will arrive and if it doesn’t complain to the vendor from whom you bought it. This is often frustrating too with no satisfactory resolution.
So…order away to your heart’s content, track your purchases and hope for the best. Otherwise, you must give up the pleasure and anticipation of receiving the sought-after boxes and your heart will not stop every time the UPS driver arrives at the door. It’s a tradeoff.
Until my next inspiration…Ciao.