Getting busted for stealth shopping |

Getting busted for stealth shopping

Heidi Rice
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Fried Rice

When the big brown truck pulled up in front of the house, I began to pray.

“Please don’t let Husband-Head see, please don’t let Husband-Head see. …”

Husband-Head had taken an unplanned day off from work recently during the week and was hanging around the house.

And of course, the UPS guy had to pull up just then and ring the door bell.

“Hi, Heidi!” he said cheerfully, thrusting a box in my hands. “Hey, Weber! Hey, Wyatt! How about a cookie?”

As usual, the dogs were happy to see him to get the treats he always brings, but I was afraid to turn around because I could feel that Husband-Head was now standing right behind me.

I thanked the UPS guy and quickly slammed the door shut.

Holding firmly onto my box, I tried to go past Husband-Head without saying anything.

But I was busted.

“Not so fast, lady,” Husband-Head said, holding onto my arm. “I have a few questions for you.”

I stopped and knew what he was going to ask.

“I know it’s Christmas and the UPS people make lots of deliveries to people,” Husband-Head started. “And I can understand that the driver knows your name because it’s on the box. But how the HELL does he know our pets’ names and why do they expect cookies as soon as they see him?”

I just shrugged.

“Exactly how often does this guy COME here?” Husband-Head continued.

“It’s Christmas,” I shrugged, as my box and I quickly tried to make our way out of the room. “And Robert just happens to be a very friendly guy who likes to know his customers.”

Husband-Head just nodded his head knowingly up and down.

“I see … it’s ROBERT, is it?” he repeated. “I have a feeling that Robert comes here more often than just Christmas. …”

Now I was in a pickle. If Husband-Head thought there was something funny going on with Robert, I was in big trouble. If Husband-Head thought Robert was here delivering all kinds of stuff I had ordered … I was in big trouble.

“And what’s in the box, by the way?” Husband-Head asked curiously, following me and looking over my shoulder. “Were you ordering stuff online again?”

My box and I took off running down the hallway.

“Don’t think I don’t see the empty boxes sitting around the Dumpster!” Husband-Head called after me. “You can run, but you can’t hide the boxes!”

I made a mental note to tell ol’ Robert that if he saw any sign of Husband-Head at home during the week, he was to ask very loudly if I would mind accepting a package for one of our neighbors because they weren’t home. And Saturday deliveries were simply out of the question. …

When I told my girlfriend, she was totally sympathetic.

“Wow … that’s every woman’s worst nightmare,” she agreed. “Being busted by your husband with the delivery guy and the boxes.”

Then she thought for a moment.

“Actually … what in the world DO you order that’s being delivered all the time?” she asked curiously. “It’s not like you’re diabetic and you’re ordering medications. And as much as you like to cook, I highly doubt you’re having pre-made Nutrisystem diet meals dumped on your doorstep.”

Oh, I don’t know … shoes, clothes, cosmetics, kitchenware …

“Maybe you should order things that don’t require a box and UPS delivery,” my friend suggested. “Victoria’s Secret usually sends things in a bag through regular mail. Or hey! I know, maybe your happy butt could actually go out to the mall and go shopping!”

And not sit in the comfort of my home at the computer in my pajamas?

When I am able to sneak a package in, the next trick is to utilize the merchandise without Husband-Head realizing that I had bought something new.

But sometimes certain things can be hard to hide.

“When did you get THAT?” Husband-Head said, staring at my head as we got ready to go out.

“Oh … this ol’ thing?” I said, touching the angora cowboy hat I was wearing. “I’ve had this for years.”

A smile crossed Husband-Head’s face.

“Really?” he said. “And you’ve always forgotten to take the tag off of it?”


Heidi Rice is a columnist for the Citizen Telegram and the Post Independent. Her column runs every Thursday in the CT and Friday in the PI. Visit her website at for more columns and to purchase her book. Contact Heidi at

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