Something I Did Not Order On Instagram

Something I Did Not Order On Instagram

I ordered something online, but it wasn’t what I got.

Scrolling through Instagram, I came across an ad for a convertible laptop desk that was perfect for writing in bed, on the couch, hell, even sitting on the floor of your dorm room. Sometimes my room resembles a dorm room, so I got excited and clicked on the link, as one does, and ordered two of these things – TWO! – for the crazy price of $40, including shipping! From China!

Why I expected to get what I ordered is beyond me, but I am ever hopeful (read: sometimes foolish), and I tracked my package from its home all the way past California to New York to Indiana to some other state and back to California to my little house with mounting excitement.

These laptop desks were going to improve the quality of my life tenfold. TWENTYFOLD! I just knew it.

Every week, I split my time between my house, my boyfriend’s house, and my daughter’s house — and I have to work at each one. The only real desk I have access to is at my house, but I do spend half my working hours there sitting up in bed, my laptop propped up on a sturdy breakfast tray. I have also hacked my tiny nightstand and the 18″ of space where it lives to serve my needs, but I can’t do this in the other houses.

I don’t have options, let alone a desk, in the other houses. I’m not good at working with my laptop on my lap. I need an elevated surface that mimics a desk, something I can work with while sitting on the couch or bed or playroom floor. I’ve been searching for something in my price range for a while now. That’s why I jumped on this deal. I thought I’d found the answer to my prayers.

Look at this laptop desk. LOOK AT IT!

Cast your eyes on that generous surface area, the extra shelf, the way it can be set at several different angles, THE CUP HOLDER!

These laptop desks were going to solve all my problems and then find a vaccine for Covid-19 and rescue the global economy and put an end to systemic racism and put out all the fires in their spare time and I was hoping to be able to leave one laptop desk at each of the other houses, tidily tucked away where it wouldn’t bother anyone. They fold up nicely.

That’s what I wanted. That’s what I paid for. That’s not what I got.

Instead, a small, flat envelope showed up

with the pieces to a pair of bait-and-switch stupid laptop stands inside. I took them out and put them together and tried not to cry. I mean, what’s up with this stupid heart detail? BARF.

What was I supposed to do with this cheap, laminated, slippery, stupid, basic, stupid laptop stand? What the hell was I going to do with TWO stupid laptop stands?

Emails claim it’s not their fault; they’ve been having trouble with their supplier. I’m stuck with them. Grumble grumble. I’ve been grumbling for a couple of weeks now, quietly to myself, because who wants to speak about their naiveté loud enough for anyone to hear? At least I got two of something.

Here’s the thing. I did something today. I decided to give this annoying little lightweight toy of a thing a test run. And I’m in love! Why did I wait? It only has the one position: perfect. It puts my keyboard at a comfortable angle and lifts my screen high enough so the camera on top of my laptop is even with my eyeline. Everything about this simple little jigsaw puzzle pleases me.

Yesterday, I had to stack my laptop on top

of a cute but bulky hat box if I didn’t want people looking up my nose on Zoom. Today, I’m typing this on my fancy laptop stand. Did I mention the pretty heart? What a sweet touch!

I guess the takeaway today has something to do with second chances? Whatchu got around your house that someone gave you — recently or years ago — that you never really put to use? Could you use it now? Could someone else?

I’m giving the other stand to my mother. She uses Zoom at home to read to people in a nursing home, attend meetings, and keep in touch with family in the US and Australia. This might make her life easier.

I ordered something online, but it wasn’t what I got. But what I got was worth the money. The something I did today that my future self will thank me for turns out to be giving the laptop stand I never knew I wanted a second chance.