If you’re picturing someone who’s incessantly clicking on and splurging out on each and everything that catches her fancy, delete that thought. I’d label myself a ‘measured shopper’, weighing out the pros and cons of each item as it rests in my online purchase history or wishlist for weeks, before making an order or deleting it ruthlessly with not a hint of material FOMO in its wake. But there was a time I was an avid shopper IRL, too. Moving to Dubai for the first time, for instance, can have that effect on you, with its glitzy shopping malls and hitherto untested styles and fashions of every kind on the racks. That wore off fast, and now you can’t drag me to the nearest Zara or even Tchibo, not even on the promise of a buy-one-get-one-free or sky-high discounts. Not because I don’t like shopping, but when you realise almost half of your purchases rest in peace in your overflowing wardrobe (or kitchen or curio cabinet or bookshelf, depending on your choice of hoarding instinct) never seeing the light of day, something snaps within you. Most likely your heart at the thought of next month’s credit card statement. Enough, you decide, with the exasperating farrago of spending, materialism and impulse purchases being bandied by unprincipled behaviour masquerading as retail therapy (sorry, couldn’t resist that since Tharoor’s tweet has been all over these last few days). Nah, I’ve just decided to replace copious consumption with well researched and thoughtful acquisitions. You know, splurge vs steal and all that. Enter the domains of online shopping, where you may consider and reconsider your options endlessly before claiming ownership, and more importantly, swiping that card. Plus, the convenience – oh the sheer comfort of just ordering at a mouse click and not even having to look for mall parking, fits in so well with our sedentary selves. Free shipping, I love you. Before you judge me, think about it. If you’re spending majority of your day behind the desk, working and surfing and keeping in touch with people through screens, that’s also the best place to do your shopping from, the most logical one. Only, now my cart is full of that unique category only the online variety of shopping can deliver best: offbeat and quirky items. Like every woman worth her shopping cred in Dubai, I went through what I call the ASOS phase, salivating over and ordering all sorts of clothes and accessories on various fashion sites that I deemed a must-have or just-can’t-not-have. Mostly though, they turned out to be looks-atrocious-fits-horribly-and-nothing-like-it-did-online. Well, you live, you learn. (Dad, if you’re reading this, the part where I’ve grown wiser with my spending habits is up next.) Then came the one that clicked. I fell in love with convenient online shopping thanks to stuff that straddle the territory between needs and wants; not essential but quite useful. It started with ordering Christmas decorations and little knick knacks for the house just after I moved apartments. Then I spied stuff that would make my life at work far more comfortable. There was the lumbar seat cushion that took care of my poor back than anything else, and definitely an essential when you’re stuck to your seat nine hours a day. Accessories and stuff for my car followed. When building construction noises outside my flat wouldn’t let me sleep, I discovered silicone ear plugs. Thus carries on my cyber shopping relationship, instant gratification just an ebay away. All at a fraction of the prices you’d pay in a brick-and-mortar store. It’s good for health, too. Proof? Recently, after suffering from severe eye strain, pairs of anti-glare, blue light-blocking, computer glasses came to the rescue. A third one is on its way now, since I keep finding models that promise to do better, and you can’t risk your eyes, right? Then I read somewhere that a humidifier works wonders, since air-conditioning aggravates dry eyes. Now a cute little wooden one sits on my desk, spewing water vapour like smoke and drawing curious glances or sarcastic comments from colleagues. All you need is a crystal ball, candles and some beads to look like the office psychic, someone said. Maybe I’ll order those next.