I went online just now to order a pair, but the website had changed, and I couldn't find my go-to sweatpants.
I didn't know where to go to.
The website takes literally the sports part of sportswear, categorizing its women's clothes by sport, such as Alpine Climbing, Skiing, Snowboarding, Biking, Rock Climbing, and Casual.
Of course, I clicked Casual. It defines me to a T, and I already have all the Alpine Climbing and Snowboarding clothes I need.
Which is none.
So I was lost in the website, until Patrick found me.
Who's Patrick? I don't know, but all of a sudden, while I was clicking around, onto my laptop screen popped a little window with a message:
Hi, this is Patrick. How can I help you?
I didn't understand. I never had this happen. I knew generally that you could chat online with a salesperson, but I didn't know they could appear out of nowhere, unbidden.
And I wasn't sure I liked the idea.
I thought what I was doing online was private. But it isn't.
By the way, just to clarify, I'm never doing anything embarrassing online, except buying clothes with an elastic waistband.
But that's embarrassing enough.
Actually, I've been known to search Google for Elastic Waistband, and if you're doing that, you know you're single forever.
Anyway, to stay on point, I don't understand how Patrick knew I was on the site. I've heard of a personal shopper, but this would be an example of a too-personal shopper.
Still, I figured I'd answer Patrick, since I didn't want to waste more time, so I typed in the little window: I'm looking for black sweatpants.
Then I hit Send, and a nanosecond later, Patrick wrote:
Hey there! Let me get you some ideas!
I didn't need any ideas, I needed my go-to sweatpants. Still, I liked his can-do attitude and his exclamation points, so I waited.
Patrick wrote: Click here for our tights for women!
I groaned. I wasn't looking for tights. Guaranteed: Someone whose sport is Casual doesn't need tights.
Plus, tights are not sweatpants. They're tight, which is why they call them tights, and that disqualifies them altogether, as far as I'm concerned. I never want to wear something Tight. The only thing worse would be something On Fire.
Yet, I refrained from telling this to Patrick, and instead I wrote: I don't really want tights. I want stretch sweat pants with an elastic waistband.
He didn't write back for a moment, and I imagined that he stepped away to vomit, or to tell the gang that Scottoline was online.
Then he wrote back: You are probably looking for the Serenity Tights! Click here!
I clicked away, and of course they weren't what I wanted. They were stretch tights for a yoga-thin 25-year-old, and I'm a middle-aged woman with high cholesterol.
In other words, I'm not serene.
I'm casual, but that's not the same thing.
I typed: Thx, but what I'm looking for aren't tights. They're pants but not for outdoors.
Patrick wrote back: Yep, if you check the link, you will see that many of our tights are not formfitting and look like pants.
So there I was, having a fight with a man I don't know and have never met. This would be a first. Usually, men have to marry me before the fighting starts, or at least meet me.
But maybe I'm improving.
Then I remembered something, so I wrote: I think they're called R5 sweatpants.
And Patrick wrote back: Thanks for that! Click here for the R1 pants!
I clicked, and they were the right ones, so our story has a happy ending.
Except that I'd remembered it wrong. R5 is my train, not my sweatpants.
But Patrick knew all that, I'm sure.
Look for Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella's new book, "Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter," coming Nov. 22. Visit Lisa at www.scottoline.com.