I’m an Amazon junkie. I wouldn’t be surprised if I walked into a family holiday dinner, and a “long lost aunt” was planted on the couch to head up an intervention for me. My addiction doesn’t make me unique I know, since there are more than 145.2 million people using this app. Amazon offers around 120 million products and sells 4,000 items every minute. Now that’s some badass E-commerce. If I told my kids that Amazon started as a book-selling app—and I mean the old-fashioned hardcopy or paperback types—they’d tell me I was nuts and that my stories about writing out driving directions were made up, too.
We all know why we turn to Amazon so quickly—because we are inherently lazy, and it makes our lives so much easier. How else can I check seven items off of my TO DO list in the time it takes me to drive to a mall? Plus, I don’t have to get out of my robe. I also don’t have to take the extra step of going to FedEx to ship some special mattress topper to my daughter in California. I can donate to a friend’s kid’s charity fundraiser with the click of a few buttons. And, I don’t have to make any calls to locate a hard-to-find protein bar my other daughter “needs.” Now, if Amazon could just put away my laundry and screw my boyfriend for me, too…
How else can I check seven items off of my TO DO list in the time it takes me to drive to a mall?
I get so much joy from sitting in front of my computer for hours scrolling through different types of napkin holders and garage hooks. I just last night purchased a window decal. I swear I actually needed this, since two people tried to walk through my porch storm door. One ended up with a bloody nose, and the other ended up with a nasty headache and had to lie down on my couch. The strangest thing I ever ordered on Amazon was a goldfish tank that was shaped like an ultramodern condominium. It looked so lovely on my counter until I noticed the fish floating on top one day.
Oh yes, the luxury of Amazon is so fulfilling. It’s like finding the perfect shape of Tupperware to fit your leftovers. But, just like with everything seemingly utopian, there is a dark side here, too. This site brings up some uncomfortable feelings for me. I’ll start with the guilt. I feel very wasteful and un-green because of the massive amounts of cardboard and packing materials they use for even the smallest orders. Why do I need those air-filled pieces of plastic to buffer a pack of printer paper? (Throwing those things away are a nightmare. I have to stab each air-puff with a scissor just to fit it into my garbage pail.) I also feel badly that Amazon is killing both mom-and-pop shops and big businesses. It partnered with Whole Foods and Nike, because these companies figured “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” Since Amazon now delivers about a quarter of its own orders, UPS and FedEx must be shaking a bit. Basically, every time I shop their site, I’m contributing to this destruction.
Another negative is that I’m actually spending more money than I would if I went shopping in a real store. It’s not because their prices are higher; it’s because of these three reasons—my son, and my two daughters. For them, it’s a store where everything is free when they log into my account, which is linked to my credit card and not theirs, right? When I went to check out the other day, I noticed face tattoos and bright wigs hanging out in my cart. Trust me, I didn’t put them in there. Then I’ll get the Amazon alerts letting me know that my fishnet stockings and dodgeball costume are about to arrive. Um, I didn’t order these either. The scary thing is that it wasn’t even Halloween season. I know you’re thinking I should just change my password. I do, and then they wiggle it out of me for some “emergency,” where their friends will all pay them back. “Oh, I’ll Venmo you the money, Mom.” And, then they’ll sell me some water at the river’s edge.
Who knew an app could make me feel so insecure also? I will be shopping for a picture frame and find what I think is the perfect one for me. It even has that AMAZON’S CHOICE stamp on it. I then scroll down and read the reviews. I immediately become completely paralyzed. One person writes, ‘This is the best frame I ever bought. It is exactly how it appears in the pictures and is sturdy and well-made!” The next guy, Frank, writes, “What a complete piece of shit! I’d like to shove this broken and cheap frame up the seller’s ass. I want all my money back now!!” So, I continue reading, become even more confused, and the paralysis sets in further. That frame will now sit in my cart for days, until I eventually just hit PLACE YOUR ORDER and pray Frank was wrong.
I haven’t even gotten into Alexa, and how she’s taken me into a stratosphere of lazy that I didn’t even know existed. “Alexa, what’s the weather?” “Alexa, add tomatoes.” “Alexa, reorder my printer ink.” All this, and I don’t even have to rub a lamp. And, so it goes: I sit, I scroll, I click, I pay. I sit, I scroll, I click, I pay. I sit, I scroll, I click, I pay.
I dedicate this blog to the new 20s. You used to be roaring. This go around, I’ll take times that aren’t full of hate, racism and ignorance. Plus, I don’t want to wear beaded slipcover dresses and headbands wrapped around a bob haircut. I’m pretty sure I would have like the speakeasies, though.
Oh, and let me add a thank you to my friend who once sent me a gift from Amazon. Along with the gift came a leather bound journal. Yup, her kids had left it in her cart.
**Tap on the FOLLOW button at the bottom of your phone or computer. (Move your finger or mouse around, and FOLLOW will appear if it’s hidden.) You have to open the email the site sends you to complete the FOLLOW process. Thank you from this woman and her popped cork.