I’m not a huge fan of buying things online. I need to touch, shake, examine, pinch a product before buying. But, this year, my dread of consumer crowd combat overrode my online apprehension. It was my first venture into the Amazon, meaning amazon.com. I browsed around and found three items that would make great gifts. One was for Jan, the other two were family presents. OK, the other two were really presents for me but, because I’m unselfish, I will share them with my wife. I still wanted to keep them a secret though. Primarily because if Jan knew I had purchased these she would demand I cancel the order. Once she saw the rapturous joy that beamed from my face as these were unwrapped Christmas dawn it would be difficult for her to ask I send them back.
I felt all stealthy while searching for these items. That was until I left my search for a while then returned in the evening to find that when I went onto Amazon there was a complete view of everything I’d been looking at. At first I thought this was very convenient but then I realized if Jan went into Amazon she would see my entire Christmas shopping list displayed in photographic full color wonder. So much for surprises. Our marriage relationship is very transparent; we share everything -no secrets. Our checking and saving accounts, though separate, are still accessible to either of us. We don’t have separate email addresses. Shoot, I can even wear her slippers- that’s if she doesn’t notice I’m wearing her slippers. So for me to set up my own log in account for Amazon was difficult for me. I didn’t want her to think I was hiding something but I also didn’t want her to see that I was hiding something. Yes, that sentence means what it’s supposed to mean.
By having my own account I could search and shop freely. I was pleased when I clicked on the check-out button and knew my purchases were on the way. Oh, I felt so sneaky. That was until I began receiving confirmation emails from Amazon. It’s nice to get a receipt and all but in the subject line of the email it states, “Thank you for your purchase of (named the item)” Other emails soon followed stating “Because you searched for or purchased (name of the item) you might also be interested in…” Then there were emails letting me know that “other people who searched or bought (name of item) also purchased these items,” followed by a list of sometimes totally unrelated products. Then the emails that boldly stated: “JAN, GREG WAS TRYING TO SURPISE YOU WITH THE PURCHASE OF THE FOLLOWING CHRISTMAS GIFTS…” That last email really wasn’t there but it may as well have been!
Now I had to scurry and cover my tracks. I realized that this email would be appearing on multiple platforms, through our desktops, IPhones and tablets. I raced to delete the message on the devices she usually used to browse our email. Almost daily there’d be an email from Amazon telling me of the progress of the items and when to expect them. This was much more work than I had bargained for. I couldn’t sleep for fear that I’d missed something- that somewhere a lingering email would be found, spoiling my Christmas surprises. I finally just had to confess I’d purchased some items from Amazon and warned her most sternly not to look at any emails from them.
So, Amazon, I am done with you for secretive purchases. When you squeal on me like the virtual pig that you are how can I trust you? I’m certainly not going to buy anything that I’d like to keep private- like that hair restorer goop you keep emailing me about.