Since the beginning of our relationship, on occasion, Cynthia would get a wistful look in her eye and say to me “Jay, if we ever win the lottery, I’m buying an O.E.D.
I’ve always told her we should just buy one, but it was an extravagance she would not indulge as they are rather expensive. As she has a degree in library science, I’ve always thought she should have one but knew she would frown on me if I paid out the asking price.
Over the years I’ve asked if she would consider the condensed or mini-version of the O.E.D. and she would flatly say no. In more recent years the O.E.D. has been made available in CD ROM format but Cynthia would have none of it.
Last week as I was tinkering around on the Internet I casually typed Oxford English Dictionary into Google. The first search result was an Amazon.com page offering the O.E.D. for $332.00. This was around $800 off off the list price which translates to roughly $600 off the price of most booksellers.
I could not believe what I was seeing.
I checked to make sure it was not the CD ROM – It wasn’t
I checked to make sure it was the 20 volume hard cover set. – It was
I checked to make sure it was being sold by Amazon and not one of their partners – It was
I thought about it and thought I should just buy this and surprise Cynthia. But I couldn’t just move on it without really making sure this was the same thing she wanted and not some abridged version or factory second or something.
I decided to show her the web page.
Like me, she was skeptical. As I suspected she would be.
We tried just searching from the Amazon page and not one of the results returned was the page we were viewing.
We both were very unsure and we even said in unison “If it looks too good to be true, it probably isn’t.” It just didn’t add up. How could it be that they would sell this item, BRAND NEW, at such a discounted price. After some more discussion we agreed to give it a pass.
I had the next day off and I couldn’t let it go. If what I was seeing was correct I had the opportunity to acquire the O.E.D. for not much more than the CD ROM version which runs around $250. This would be a chance to score major spouse points!
I checked it again and I verified the return policy and I ordered it. Of course I couldn’t keep a secret and I told Cynthia. She was dubious but hopeful but didn’t allow herself to get her hopes up too terribly much.
Well, they arrived this evening. 5 boxes containing the 20 fat volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary. Individually shrink-wrapped and in perfect condition. It’s an impressive resource.
Cynthia’s in hog heaven and may not get any sleep tonight….