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Let’s backtrack a few days.

It is the morning after my birthday. I have received 90 dollars in Chapters/Indigo/Coles gift cards between now and Christmas but I have not spent them yet because I know from experience that it is a mistake to buy myself ANYTHING between Christmas and my birthday. Whatever book I buy will invariably be the book that Perfect Husband bought for me as a surprise.

Perfect Husband wakes me up with “Happy Birthday! None of your gifts have arrived yet!”

I don’t mind that, but it means that I still can’t buy myself any books either. So Perfect Husband tells me which books he has ordered for me, so that I won’t go and buy them myself. It’s a good thing he did because otherwise I would have ordered those exact ones. So now I dance off to browse online for the other books I want.

Giddy as a kid in a candy store, I line up an impressive booklist online. Then, reflecting, I check the availability of some of my books in local book stores and then remove those from the online order. After all, the book store is an endangered species and I try to patronize them whenever possible. So I just order the books that you never see anywhere – a book on Baby Led Weaning, a book by the author of The Scientist In The Crib, a book about babies by Desmond Morris, and a book about secure attachments.

I try to order the books.

Chapters.ca tells me that I should log in so they can give me my irewards discount. Agreeing wholeheartedly, I attempt to do so, but my usual passwords aren’t working. Surprised that I have never created an online account at Chapters.ca before, I try to start a new account.

The email address you have given is already associated with an existing membership. If you have become a member using this email address, please call 1-800 blah blah blah to recieve your activation.

So… in other words I can’t create a new account OR log in to an existing account because I am an irewards member? I dial the number.

Thank you for calling Chapters Indigo online services. We are open Mon-Fri blah blah blah.

It’s Saturday.

So now I can’t buy the books because I can’t create an account or log into an existing one, because I paid them money to become an irewards member. I can’t get customer service for this issue, because it is the weekend.

So I wait.

In the meantime, I decide to go to the local store so I can buy The No-Cry Sleep Solution. They have two copies in store, according to Chapters.ca.

After half an hour of browsing the Parenting section, I come to the conclusion that there are no copies of The No-Cry Sleep Solution. Since the books appear to have been alphabetized by a blind chimpanzee, I wonder if I could somehow be missing the elusive books. The shopgirl that I hunt down assures me that they do have two copies in store. Her computer says so.

She can’t find The No-Cry Sleep Solution either.

“Sorry,” she says, “sometimes people, like, leave them on other shelves in the store?”

Perfect Husband leaves the aisle with an armful of Jenny McCarthy books, (of which there are plenty) because he has decided that they should be moved to other shelves in the store.

We leave Chapters without The No-Cry Sleep Solution.

Now it’s Monday!

I call Chapters  and ask them if I can please be allowed to create an account so that I can patronize their website.

They send me my activation email. I go to check-out my books and I enter my gift card number and the corresponding PIN.

Incorrect Gift Card Information – Re-enter your Gift Card number.

Hmm. I try again.

Incorrect Gift Card Information – Re-enter your Gift Card number.

I try again.

Incorrect Gift Card Information – Re-enter your Gift Card number.

I do it again, this time with the little spaces! They still won’t recognize my gift card.

I notice that my order total has inexplicably dropped, but not enough to be explained by the gift card actually going through.

I go back to my cart. One of the books has mysteriously disappeared.

“What the fuck?? Where did my book go??!” My frustration has reached the point of multiple punctuation marks, which is the classic edge of insanity.

I find the damn book on the site again and re-add it to my cart. I try to enter the gift card number and pin.

Incorrect Gift Card Information – Re-enter your Gift Card number.

Perfect Husband reads each number aloud while I double check.

Incorrect Gift Card Information – Re-enter your Gift Card number.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGHHHHHHH! GIVE ME MY BOOKS, DAMN YOU! WHY CAN’T I BUY BOOKS FROM YOU??”

“Shhh. Leave it for now,” advises PH. “We’ll go to a different store tomorrow and ask them about the gift card.”

I’ll go to the other store tomorrow (the internet assures me that that location also has two copies of The No-Cry Sleep Solution, at least one of which I hope will be coporeal in nature) and ask if I can order the books directly into the store.

In the meantime I’m going to be pouting and moping around the house going

“…but I wa-ant my boo-ooks!”

Update: Chapters got in touch with me and helped me fix my problem.

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