I am an Amazon warrior. Not like Wonder Woman, all tricked out in hot pants, a bustier, and bullet-repelling bracelets, but still …
I’m an Amazon warrior because almost every single day I’m building impressive muscles hauling in multiple packages, large and small, from our front porch ordered from Amazon.
A new hair dryer for me. The latest energy-efficient light bulbs for my ever-lovin’ energy-efficient lovin’ Handsome Hubby. Dog food for … well, of course, the dog.
One day it’s the trendiest organic toothpaste somebody in the family wants to try. Another day it’s my favorite lipstick color, the one I cannot find despite searching three local drug stores.
Amazon Warrior Aches and Pains
And it’s not just small stuff. One of my kids ordered a motorized standing desk and fancy office chair. A BIG motorized desk and a BIG fancy chair. Nobody else was home on the rainy day when that double delivery arrived, so, bad-back me dragged the boxes in. Then, when Handsome Hubby came home, he dragged me to the chiropractor!
In the “Shop Local” vs. cheap and easy Amazon debate, I used to console/con myself with the idea that Amazon was a better environmental choice. I wasn’t using my car. So, no vehicular wear and tear. No gasoline. And, I reasoned, I was saving money, since I only ordered the one specific item I needed and did not indulge in additional impulse purchases.
Amazon Warrior Lies
For a time that self-justification speech worked as a soothing balm to my conscience for not patronizing my once favorite local stores. Then, I realized, thanks to the ease of online shopping and Amazon’s irresistible two-day delivery pledge, I was actually shopping more than ever. And spending more too. In the process, I was getting multiple deliveries in multiple bulky packages from multiple gas-guzzling vehicles each day. So much for my so-called economic and environmental salvation.
And let’s not even talk about the insane amount of packing material that Amazon uses to cushion and cradle these packages that travel from a warehouse to our front doors. Cardboard, styrofoam, plastic, bubble wrap. Oh, my!
See It. Want It. Get It. NOW!
See something shiny. Order it. Get it immediately. What is better than that? Oh, I know. A modicum of self-control!
Some people can’t control their eating. (Guilty) Some don’t exercise enough – or at all. (Guilty) Now, to my list of sins, I must add this: I’m an online shopping addict.
It’s ironic. Who would have thought this middle-aged Luddite would spend so much time – and have so much fun – on the computer shopping? Sure, my kids buy clothes, games, toiletries, EVERYTHING online but me? I’ve even started buying clothes online. True, I return more than half of what I order, but that’s easy too – and free. Plus, I don’t have to fight traffic, parallel park or fight for a parking space at the Mall.
And, of course, I’m not alone. Research shows that increasingly more people worldwide are shopping online.
Amazon and the Trash Man
Do you know who hates Amazon besides local merchants? Trash collectors. Remember that big desk and fancy office chair I mentioned earlier? It took almost one full month to shed the boxes and packing materials from those purchases. First, we put the broken down, but still full-sized boxes out front. The garbage men sneered, smirked, and left them.
The next week we folded the boxes over into halves and tied them together. The garbage men just drove by. They did not even slow down.
Week Three, we re-folded them one more time, put a pretty multi-colored bow on top, AND baked chocolate chip cookies. The trash collectors took the cookies and the bow but left the boxes. In defeat, we dropped the boxes off at the dump.
Humbled, but Trash-wiser
But we have learned our lesson. Now, each week, we break down our Amazon large and odd-shaped packages into tinier and tinier bundles. Handsome Hubby ordered a super-long pole-shaped device to install some of those energy-efficient lightbulbs into hard-to-reach ceiling fixtures. That box required the skills of an origami master to meet the exacting requirements of our city’s trash collection agency.
But for all the excesses of my Amazon shopping, there is one thing I haven’t bought online … dirt. Yes, dirt. A lady I know bought gardening soil from Amazon! That I feel is really sinking to an online low! Yet, I pity the poor woman. She may have gotten her dirt delivered, but she has no idea how to maneuver that huge haul around to her backyard where she needs it.
A Sadder, but Wiser Amazon Warrior
All this online shopping madness makes me wonder. Did Wonder Woman, that great Amazon warrior, really leave her island-nation of Themyscira to fight evil, or was it because Amazon would not guarantee two-day delivery?