I'M BREAKING UP WITH JEFF BEZOS
I confess. Jeff Bezos knows me more intimately than my husband does. But don't tell his ex-wife. And I haven't been able to hide it from my husband. No, I swear, it's true. Couldn't be more true. Jeff and I communicate more frequently, more personally, and just MORE than I communicate with any other human on this Covid confined planet.
I can't just punch a delete button on my keyboard and wipe my order and return history out of my life like I can with my Google browsing history. So I have left a telling, shameful, guilt-provoking trail of evidence that reveals how the mundane-icity(my story, my word) of my life has telescoped and shriveled.
My order and returns status functions as my personal diary. It'll have to do. If it's good enough for Jeff, it's good enough for Reedsy.
Order status: returns and orders, out for delivery, tracking, delivered....just the sight or sound of these words spikes a tsunami of adrenalin. My breath hitches in my chest and my heart quickens. Jeff and I are developing a fast bond. He definitely speaks my love languages: acts of service, gifts, words of affirmation. Maybe we're fated.
My browsing history reveals my interests, my passions, maybe even my fears.. Having been sheltered in my home for almost twenty-two, three, four months now, I am sure my browsing history tells a story of what has gone on in my mind. But what has gone on in my life is perhaps more colorfully revealed in my Amazon account: the salacious tale of my attachment to Jeff Bezos. Yes, I am his Amazon Hussy.
April - Mostly just order novels, to read and keep myself occupied. I've gotten bored with reading free amateurish works on Wattpad and my grandkids' Inkitt.
The looming pandemic has forced me into solitary confinement for almost two months now. Let's see, in my isolation and boredom, I have morphed into a paragon of purchase power, allowing myself two hours of browsing absolute necessities offered on Amazon. Daily. I have amassed nearly 90 hours, that's nearly four entire days and nights of bug-eyed staring at a screen, pressing that Buy button.
My husband, who is fully vaccinated, is free to go out into the world. Soon, he is announcing his arrival back home with a hearty “Ho! Ho! Ho!” and belting out “Here Comes Santa Claus” as he picks up the treasures that the mysterious elf in the dark van from Amazon Prime has slipped onto my doorstep.. And yeah, just like near Christmas, a spike of excitement interrupts my repetitive chores of the day.
I am soon able to identify which of the drivers has been here by their quick knock, the sound of the material that they habitually knock on, by the familiar clump of their shoes or boots on my doorstep, or simply by the absence of any sign they've
been here except for the packages they leave.
May - One leather-bound King James Version of the American Bible. Arrived damaged, pages torn and spine broken. Can I send it back? No, just keep it, it's of no use, so we'll just send you a new one. I'm personally offended by that commentary: it's of no use. It's a bible, the Word of God. May not be of use to you, Jeff Bezos, but it's super important to us peons. Where's your attitude of gratitude?
Sometimes I wonder if the deliveryman knows me more intimately than my own family, certainly better than my husband, who is too busy in the world outside to notice the world I am dragging into my isolation, order by order, package by package.
The anonymous fellows who follow the noisy green disposal truck early every Tuesday morning probably exchange rolling eyes and snarky comments as they pick up and cart off the growing mountains of plain brown packing paper, bubble wrap, some recently invented air pocket cushion packaging, and the airless, floating styrofoam peanuts that are still lurking months later under dusty furniture.
I have probably exceeded my limit of cardboard boxes to be cut down, folded up, crunched over, and trucked away to the recycle center. I am sure they have had to hire one or two extra workers just to keep up with my recyclables.
June ll - My birthday month will be fun, filled with buying power because I have received some Amazon gift cards. Jeff and I have been spending more and more time together, growing ever closer.
My husband interrupts his busy life to suggest I order a facemask, like the ones I was forced to wear eighteen years ago during months of chemo. "Shut up, go away, don't remind me," I say to him. I promised myself I would never put another one of those monstrosities on again. Thanks, anyway, I'll just stay home, locked up inside this house until this stupid covid thing is over. It surely can't last much longer.
June 13 - 1 N95 facemask, no, 10 of those suckers...just in case. I might need to go out or someone might even come here. Just want to be prepared.
June 15 - Package delivered. I open the box, lift one of the masks out, try it on in front of the mirror. My heart is pounding nearly out of its chest cavity, breaths are coming in shallow gasps. I'd forgotten the panic attacks this or any reminder brings on. Rip the mask off, deep breathe, repack it in its box, maybe try to return it for credit. Reason for return? ..cowardice, bad memories, do I really have to tell the truth here?
This is such a tedious chore, returning something I may need but don't want, that I just retape the box and set it in that dark empty space under my bathroom sink behind the bleach bottle and under the waffle weave spa towel sets x 2 that I recently received in that familiar white insulated bag with the striped edges, another Amazon giveaway.
July 1 - l Deluxe Bug Out Backpack, fully loaded. I don't remember when I decided this was something I would order ahead for my husband's August birthday. I might have gotten the bright idea when he started watching endless youtube videos predicting a crashing economy and supply chain shortages.
I also don't remember watching a lot of videos on an impending zombie apocalypse, but I'm sure I didn't imagine it on my own. So I am deeply involved in prepper land, helping my husband prepare for when the world ends and the zombies take over. Well, they'll certainly be well fed if they stop by my house. Just check out my pantry, my garage, my Amazon order and return history.
I ordered how many pounds of grains? Yep, 400 pounds per person per year. Just ask the homesteaders and their frenzied friends, the preppers. Do they have any idea how much space that 400 pounds of wheat flour, 200 pounds of rice, 200 pounds of beans, 200 pounds of cornmeal take up. Just ask the Amazon Prime driver, or his UPS counterpart, how heavy those bags are.
What're we doing with l00 pounds of rolled oats? We don't even like them!
And all this prepper pandemonium sets up a domino effect in my Amazon prime account. It records an absolute frenzy of bulk buying of spices and condiments. I'm not going to be caught living off the grid, subsisting on wheat, beans, and rice without a lot of flavoring going on. So if there is no meat protein available, we will be eating a lot of beans and rice, spiced, heavily spiced, VERY heavily spiced.
Well, I get ahead of the curve on this problem and decide I will buy up meat while it is still available. In huge amounts. That means I will need to figure out how to store it until I figure out how to prepare it and save it. Jeff has options. Many.
Back to youtube for research into preservation land. So...
July 21 - I order two books on canning, both scintillating best sellers. They arrive the next day. Thanks, Jeff. Must have known I was getting desperate. I get busy reading them to find out what my next Amazon searches will be: canning jars and the elusive canning jar lids.
Unfortunately, already deep into food preservation land, I veer with a left-hand turn into pickle land, steeped in vinegars, pickling jars, and pickling spices. I clean out a lot of my kitchen cupboards to house all these neat canning and preserving supplies that Jeff sends me.
I try my own hand at vinegar-making until my visiting grandchildren begin complaining about the horrible stench in my pantry. I try to sneak the rancid jars into the garage, but my husband refuses to let me stink up his favorite little Mercedes convertible with the new leather upholstery out there. Picky, picky, poor sport!
So, I guess I'll be buying vinegar in bulk. Wonder how much a five-gallon jug weighs? Poor Amazon Prime guy.
August 29 - Dirt! Perhaps I ordered six bags of dirt, well, actually potting soil. And I've been lusting, almost salivating, over some salacious-looking bails of fresh golden hay. Yeah, we have dived even deeper into prepper territory and have taken another step towards food security.
I take pity on my Amazon Prime delivery man, who grunts as he wrestles boxes and bags of assorted farming and gardening equipment onto my front porch. I need to start tipping that guy before he quits his job and goes on permanent social security disability from his back injuries, schlepping my recent orders to my front door.
August 29 - much later...
“It's your what?” I ask my husband. “Oh, yes, today is your birthday! No, I didn't forget. Take a look right outside the front door. Yep, there it is, your present. 55-gallon capacity. Woohoo."
'What is it? Why is it so big and bright blue? Well, it's a specially formulated storage tank for potable water. Of course, it has a faucet, it has all the parts you'll need to assemble it and even some tablets to treat the water.
Oh, from Jeff, of course. It's to go with that bugout bag I got you...you know, for when we have to bug out when we go off the grid."
"No, I didn't forget that what you really wanted was some ammunition and a new Henry Golden Boy 22 caliber rifle. I think it was probably on backorder. Jeff will let us know when it is back in stock. He'll even help make sure we get the best price.
Can't you wait?~ Are you planning on shooting someone anytime soon? Leave me out of it. And Jeff, too.”
Sept. 2 - My husband arrives home early before I get the bag out of sight. “What's this shit?” he wants to know. He's so funny, asking silly questions and holding his nose.
Yeah, my research on youtube informs me that these expensive chicken droppings are like liquid gold. Of course, I will need to water it down to make a weak poop tea, but reports say it is dyn-o-mite on plants. My husband coins a new name for this concoction, Shitty Shit Tea. Clever guy.
I remind myself to just keep laughing at his jokes. Lucky I'm married to someone with a good sense of humor...and a poor sense of smell.
This will have to suffice until Jeff sends us baby chicks to make our own poop. I think we can turn our potting shed into a chicken coop for a couple hundred dollars. Or Jeff could always steer me to an economical chicken coop made from a refurbished wheelbarrow, one that's mobile. Wow, such versatility!
I'll Google it and see if I need to order a companionable rooster. Hope not, because I suspect Mr. Cocky Locky would not be welcomed with open arms into our suburban neighborhood. The neighbors are less than thrilled with our gardening efforts. Don't want to push my luck.
Yes, we are working on a garden, actually a raised garden, or two, or three, or maybe four. What happened to my beautiful backyard Floritam turf? And who filled in my koi pond? Oh, naturally, that's logical. The pond has turned into a hill for zucchini, melons, and pickling cukes, of course, to go with the pickling spices and vinegars Jeff sent me.
I have some fish emulsion ordered that should be arriving by 10 pm tomorrow, Jeff promised. I'm informed it smells as bad as cow manure, maybe even worse. I'll hope the plastic container doesn't leak on my front porch or living room floor as I drag it through the house and out the back door, past the pool to finally end up in my potting shed.
Sept. 20 - Many packets of vegetable seeds. Herbs, too. You need them to start a victory garden, right? We'll plant them as soon as we get the two truckloads of garden soil out of our front yard where the recycling center delivery truck dumped it. And this might have to wait until we get a delivery on that wheelbarrow and garden wagon I ordered.
Jeff suggested a shovel and a post-hole digger, and I find his offers too good to pass up. They'll arrive Saturday. Jeff informs me that there might be a slight delay in delivery due to supply chain disruptions. It's okay, Jeff, I understand.
My husband wonders who will be shoveling all that dirt and dragging it into the backyard to be dumped into our new raised gardens. And, he wants to know, how long before we know if our garden will be a victory garden or otherwise.
I tell him to have faith. And shut up. And also not to skimp on those core strengthening exercises, because he is going to need a strong core for all that shoveling.
No, of COURSE, I don't tell him that last part. He'll find out soon enough. No sense bothering his handsome head with it this soon.
January - Been really busy in the less than victorious Victory garden. Spent a lot of time and energy on Google and youtube researching where we went wrong. We seem to have snatched defeat right out of the arms of victory with our raised garden. The PH testing kits, two of those suckers that Jeff sent, have not told the truth, or at least not the whole story..about the condition of our soil.
Ever helpful, Jeff is generous in his assortment of soil amendments available for my purchase to bring the PH to 5.5 to 6.5 so that our fresh, new plants do not get acid burn. Thanks, Jeff, who knew?!
My attorney daughter is becoming suspicious of my more than platonic attachment to Jeff, citing all the boxes and bags and frequent visits by the dark van as evidence. But she's complicit, suggesting we not stop with chickens. We just might as well go all out with some pollinators. “Sure, pollinators,” I say,” I'll bet Jeff can help me with that. I'll think about it".
February 11 - 2022 Lenovo laptop computer loaded with Microsoft 11. Wow, it arrives a week earlier than expected, so Jeff and I are back on. Everyone, even a billionaire, deserves a second chance.
And he did send me a great textbook on bees. We'll probably end up having Jeff ship us some do-it-yourself beehive.
Yeah, I thought over that pollinator idea. Hope I don't hurt his feelings when I have to send off to some local bee-keeper for a queen and some drones and worker bees. I
AM NOT a two-timer!
My husband wants to know if I am ready to face the real world again. What? And give up Jeff?
March 2 - Oh, oh, my husband checked my order history while he was helping set up my new laptop.
“Hey, honey,” he says, “do you have any idea how much you've ordered from this guy Jeff?”
Silly boy, of course not. But I'll bet HE does.
Sure, we recently ordered a huge stand-up freezer to accommodate some of our prepping paraphenalia, which means we had to send off for a Generac generator, which meand we had to have a slab poured out back. Expensive, huh? But that was long after Jeff and I became a thing, so blame it on him.
When faced with the overwhelming evidence of my Amazon history, I'm weakening. The Covid epidemic is coming to an end, maybe time to get back out into the world. I might relent. I need to share time with my garden, my canning jars, my vinegars, and devote precious time to kids and grandkids. Yes, I agree, it's probably time for Jeff and me to break up...or at least take a break.
March 26 - My husband wonders if Jeff offers counseling for Amazon addicts. I won't ask Jeff; I'm going cold turkey, zero communication. We're breaking up. Remember?