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I ordered some jeans online last week, and just attempted to track the package, in order to figure out when they’ll be here, and hence, when the single pair of jeans that I currently own that I like — and thus the single pair of jeans that I wear, and thus the single pair of jeans that is developing holes at the corners of the rear pockets that are this far away from becoming obscene — can be relegated to grunge status, and proper non-gluteal-exposure threatening jeans can be rotated in in their place.

The package was sent “USPS Parcel Direct,” which is a new one on me, in no small part because the parceldirect.com link in my notification email finally resolved to a fedex.com URL, but with a USPS logo up top. So I’m perplexed already.

But nowhere near as perplexed as I was at discovering that my jeans have spent the last four days in two different “sortation” centers. Why sortation? The gerund wasn’t good enough? Too focused on the action of sorting rather than the result of that process? There’s something troubling to me in this, not least because previous packages have moved very quickly through various sorting centers, but sortation is apparently a days-long process, and I need my jeans yesterday.

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