A city populated with transplants transforms into a ghost town during the holidays. Like many, we, too, abandoned our apartment in sunny SF and opted for a white Christmas filled with family and friends. In the hustle and bustle of luncheons, dinner parties and numerous get-togethers, I had a lapse in memory and forgot to add an item to my shopping list. As a force of habit, I quickly took out my trusty iPhone and opened up the Google Shopping Express app. My thumb's autodriven clicking came to a screeching halt as I received an error message. We cannot deliver in your area.
It was official. I had left Silicon Valley.
Go ahead, judge me. Scoff under your breath. I must be another big city yuppie -- too lazy to hail a cab, too techie to write a postcard, too busy to pick up my own groceries and too reckless with my money to shop at a big box store.
Except, I'm not.
I am a mother of a small child. We live in the city in a small, but conveniently located, apartment. And, truth be told, same-day delivery has been a godsend for me.
When we first moved to San Francisco, I spent my days with my 4-month-old encased in my empty big city apartment. Things were not panning out like I had imagined. There were no long walks along The Embarcadero, there were no shopping trips along Market Street, and there were certainly no trips to Napa or lazy days on the beach.
Instead, there was a very brief trip to the Golden Gate Bridge one weekend (just to check it off the touristy to-see list), there was an embarrassing Starbucks meltdown, there was an epicly horrific 6-hour drive to Monterey Bay and there was the impossible task of lugging a week's worth of groceries in a stroller through the city streets.
Enter same-day delivery.
It wasn't until a particularly bad teething episode that I desperately began searching for something to relieve my baby's aching gums. Safeway and Walgreens were over a mile away, and my darling angel was going to rip his army-grade stroller into shreds if I attempted to seat him in it. That wasn't an option. So, I popped my same-day delivery cherry that day. And, one hour later, a friendly smile greeted me and handed me a bag that would restore my sanity.
I was hooked.
Formula, diapers, wipes, shampoo, cereal, milk, toothpaste -- these are just some of the things that are placed on my doorstep these days. The service is so competitive that the cost of delivery has been reduced to a few dollars per month. That's the price I'll gladly pay to avoid balancing a massive box of diapers on my hip while strategically and single-handedly maneuvering a stroller through the masses of Giants fans. Scoff all you like, but it's no easy feat.
As my baby grows, my relationship with same-day delivery has also evolved -- from need-to-have into nice-to-have. It is no longer a necessity, but a resource I take advantage of frequently. Instead of spending hours in a grocery store, I am free to spend my toddler's waking hours visiting the zoo, having picnics by the waterfront and taking long walks to explore this beautiful city. When he is finally tired out, tucked into bed, and fast asleep, I can pop open my laptop and walk down the virtual aisles of a grocery store and take care of the mundane chore of refilling my refrigerator.
The critics are quick to question the culture of instant gratification. But the truth is, there's more to the story. Some of us aren't using same-day delivery to satisfy an afternoon craving for Philz Coffee. Some of us use same-day delivery to keep our heads above water, and tackle the other tasks on our overflowing plates.