While scanning through my e-mail, I was hit with something very powerful. My inbox is an archival storage area of all the ridiculous purchases I’ve made in my life.

I used to order the Sunday paper so I could get my paws on the advertisement section with all the latest crap just waiting for my hard earned cash. I’m a sucker for coupons like the ‘Buy 27 and GET ONE FREE’. However, newspapers are now a thing of the past, and I’ve realized that I basically still do the same thing every time I check my e-mail.

Now it’s like they’re taunting me with the things I want and can’t have.

1. Expensive Perfume Company: Thank-you for sending me an email letting me know that your man perfume now features a ‘woodier fragrance’. I wish I could hit ‘reply’ to let you know that I’ve made very few purchases from you. Most memorable was the purchase I made while walking off a martini I drank at a restaurant near your cosmetics counter and thought in the moment that $55.00 was suitable to spend on a powder compact. I think it was more the fact that your saleswoman had flawless skin and my intoxicated hopes were verging on psychosis when I believed that if I purchased the compact, my skin would look like hers. I will hop right on over to buy the new ‘woodier’ cologne…. right after I purchase my Birkin bag.

2. Discount Travel Company: Listen up! Stop sending me your e-mails and stop pretending that I am some globe trotting jet setter. I purchased tickets from your site because I’m broke and you offer the best deals. I don’t need a ‘last minute trip to China.’ Well, let me rephrase that: Yes, I’d love a ‘last minute trip to China.’ No, I cannot afford a ‘last minute trip to China.’

3. Mini-Me Clothing Store: I am onto you! You’ve got me hooked in this never ending ‘Rewards Bucks’ program where you make me feel as if I have a bunch of ‘extra cash’ to use in your store at the mall. Really, I’ve noticed that you have a sale every third hour, and the only time you don’t have one is when I am actually able to use those pesky little ‘Reward Bucks.’ While I do adore your selection of children’s clothing, I cannot afford to buy a dress at $24.99 on Tuesday and then the matching shoes on Wednesday because it’s ‘Buy One Shoe, Get the Other Shoe for Free Day.’

4. Organic Cleaning Supply Company: Honestly, I really think you’re great. Your cleaning supplies are extremely overpriced, but they are also sans chemicals, and I am all about products that don’t slowly poison my family. However, at this juncture, I’ve  accumulated about 4 months worth of cleaning supplies. Also noteworthy: you’ve apparently been charging my credit card automatically for deliveries I don’t need. The boxes are quickly starting to stack higher in my garage while my bank account dwindles lower.

5. Discounted Children’s Online Shop: You really do offer some incredible sales. However, your products take about 3 years to arrive, and by the time I do receive them, my daughter no longer wears that size. I’d really like to be a loyal shopper, but let’s be honest: winter boots I ordered in October that arrive in July isn’t working out for me or for my kid. She’s the only child at the beach wearing winter boots with her swimsuit.

6. Toy Store: Every time I see an e-mail from you, smoke begins to steam out my ears. My first thought is how spoiled my child is because she has every Barbie on your site. Furthermore, your e-mails are a painful reminder of the millions of Barbie shoes I’ve stepped on/vacuumed up. My child is good on the toys… probably for life.

7. Preppy Mom Catalogue: Sorry, in my eyes you only sell school uniforms. I see you trying to lure me with your ‘mom clothes’ but I just don’t feel I’m at an age nor a point in my life where I’m ready to switch over to a wardrobe that’s only featured in a catalog. Hit me up in a while when I can no longer squeeze my ass into a ‘Large’ in Target’s Junior’s Department. It should happen sooner rather than later….

8. Yoga Pants R’ Us: Sorry, I am a sham. I do not participate in yoga, nor pilates. I am not in the least bit active and really have no use for yoga pants. The things is, your pants give me the illusion that I am slim and active. However, I can only afford to purchase your ‘yoga pants’ during your summer sale. No matter the status of my bank account, I will never, ever, spend $98 on a pair of yoga pants. Not even if I became a yoga master that owned a yoga studio, had a yoga body, and who needed yoga pants. It wont happen.

9. High End Department Stores: Sorry to lump you all in the same category, but I have abused you all equally. I really wanted a pair of Tory Burch flip-flops over the summer and realized that if I signed up for your newsletter, I would receive a 10% off coupon. You three just so happened to be having sales at the same time. Yes, I now own three pairs of the same sandals in different colors. Sorry, I really cannot afford your $400 blouse or anything on your site, really. You do have some nice stuff, though. I promise to think of you in my dreams where I’m a billionaire who shops at your stores with an espresso in one hand and a black AMEX in the other. In other words, I’ll see ya… never.

I am sorry to all the stores I’ve fooled with the lie about my bank account being large. It’s actually quite the opposite, it’s the smallest thing I’ve got… well, that and my boobs.


Ashley Alteman is known for her love of dinosaurs, ponies wearing sweaters, and overuse of commas. She is an editor’s nightmare. She won a spelling bee in the 8th grade for correctly spelling “carrot” and knew from that moment she was destined to be an amazing journalist, or a sarcastic blogger; she went with the latter. Ashley details her laugh-out-loud parenting and personal fails at SmashleyAshley.com. You can also find this hot mess fumbling around on Facebook


  1. OMG the $98 yoga pants had me almost coughing from trying not to laugh out loud in my cubicle. I can totally relate to almost ALL of these!

    • I tired on a pair of those $98 dollar pants and when the attendant asked me how they fit, I asked ‘Are they supposed to be this tight in the lady bits? She is suffocating down there’. She told me I should go a size up….so I sternly walked out the store. WORST thing to ever say to a woman/customer ‘TRY A SIZE UP!!!’ FUCK THAT.

  2. I get a lot of emails for much older people. I guess it’s because I am an old lady stuck who just looks 26.

    • I’ve been receiving a lot of AARP notices lately. I recently got one for hearing aids, too. I suppose 30 is the new 75. I guess I should be counting my lucky stars I am still receiving e-mails from children’s shops and department stores. Dress Barn shall be knocking on my inbox door sooner rather than later….

  3. Oh yeah. As the owner of many expensive pairs of yoga pants that have never seen a yoga studio, I am in total agreement.

    • I am glad that I’m not the only one who wears yoga pants and can not successfully accomplish ONE yoga pose. Well, aside from that one that has you laying face down on the ground, ‘upside down dog’, ‘downward dog’, ‘dead man pose’, ‘I had to much to drink pose’—whatever it’s called, you get the point.

  4. I confess to owning $98 yoga pants. But they were a Christmas present. You are pretty darn hilarious, that was like a snapshot of my inbox. I don’t mind that my boyfriend doesn’t smell like a conifer or deciduous. He’s a person.

    • were they the crotch hugging ones? mine were so tight down there, I didn’t even need to do my kegel exercises….

  5. This is awesome!! I can’t help but agree with all of it!! Shall I screen shot my own torturous inbox?

  6. #5: Discounted Children’s Online Shop. Yes! Those are so enticing at first because of the sales, but the disappointment that greets me upon their arrival (3 years later lol) is inevitable!

    • I honestly ordered two pairs of shoes and a swimsuit from there when my kid was 3 and I swear they didn’t show up till she was almost 4. Return policy? Oh yeah, there isn’t one. AWESOME.

  7. I’m an unsubscribing fool. I might let ONE email slip in but if it sucks/wastes my time/sneaks money out of my wallet, it’s outta there. I OWN that inbox!

  8. Yes! I feel like is a never ending battle. The more I unsubscribe, the more spammy store emails pop up in my inbox.

    • It would take me four days and nine bottles of vodka to un-subscribe from all the shit I’ve signed up for. Signed-up for on my own damn ‘coupon hunting’ accord, mind you. ha.

    • That is the single most accurate statement EVER. Associate: ‘Can we have your e-mail address, ma’am?’ ME: ‘If you promise to send me a 50% off coupon and nothing more, SURE. Otherwise, FUCK OFF.’ LOL. I’ve actually missed e-mails from my daughter’s teacher because my inbox is so inundated with ‘sales’.

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