Living in the Amazon and Loving It
Have I mentioned how sweet I am with Amazon.com, and how I gladly pay them an extra $79/year to get free two-day shipping with their Amazon Prime Service?
Do you consider me impatient and extravagant?
Am I just lazy, when for thousands of years, men have hunted
(and gathered) in the wilderness, or what we now call the shopping mall?
Do you feel you can’t trust a distant and faceless company with the very personal act of delivering to you what you used to get for yourself?
I used to feel that way.
Then something happened.
I became a dad, and I lost all of my free time.
I am a very proud 21st century father of a little boy who just turned two.
(In fact, my son had his big party last Saturday.)
But I’ve got to admit that life has gotten a bit disorganized lately. I need a little help. So I like to use available hi tech tools.
Who’s Got Time for the Brick and Mortar Store?
I don’t know how parents multitasked before Y2K, but I regularly tap the power of online shopping.
In fact, I find buying our basic supplies online not a convenience but a necessity. Getting in the car to get to a store can take an hour or more.
A few clicks on Amazon, and I’m done in three minutes.
Yes, buying online took some getting used to.
It felt like I was cheating.
Not doing it the right way.
Worried it wouldn’t work.
But once I got started, I never looked back.
Life is Messy
Let’s take a look at a slice of my daily life in the jungle…
(and then we’ll discuss Amazon some more)
I used the last of the kitty litter. Looked at my watch. All the stores were already closed.
My wife reminded me we needed Bacitracin ointment for my son’s boo-boo under his chin. What I’m calling a boo-boo are actually three stitches he received at his first trip to the emergency room.
He tripped and fell at home last week, while I was standing guard.
Even though the doctor said there wouldn’t be a scar, I’m still feeling super guilty, as I was only a few feet away from the ‘incident.’
A couple days later, a colleague, who is a father with daughters tried to be helpful after hearing my story, and he suggested that scars give boys character.
(Anybody out there know the name of a good plastic surgeon?)
All this happened while my wife and I were in the middle of final preparations for our son’s birthday party.
(Yes, that shiner on his chin looked really great on his big day. The good news is all of the other toddlers at the party were jealous and commented that his stitches really gave him character.)
And had I put off getting his birthday present to the last minute? Of course.
Amazon to the Rescue
It’s now 10:30pm – I need help.
Time to sit down and boot up. Hello Amazon Prime!
First step- Cat litter.
Amazon had about twenty options, though not all were offered on the Prime plan.
(You need to pay attention to this detail as not all products fall under the Prime plan.)
I chose Arm and Hammer and clicked through.
Next was boo-boo maintenance.
Typed in ‘eye patch’ for my kid. (just kidding)
Almost immediately, the Bacitracin ointment was on its way!
Finally, the birthday present.
It was a Kettler tricycle that my wife found in the One Step Ahead catalogue that came in the mail.
But before I sealed the deal at onestepahead.com, I did a little research at Kettler’s website, and found a better model, which also happened to be on sale for just a bit more at Amazon. Sweet.
(Amazon often has more competitive pricing, though not always.)
11:00pm – I’ve hunted. I’ve gathered. Mission accomplished.
Order has been restored.
King of the Forest…for Another Day
This particular shopping expedition was an expensive one, because of the Kettler bike. But often, I’m just picking up little things here and there.
The beauty of Amazon Prime is you don’t have to worry about meeting minimum order amounts to get the free shipping. And it’s wicked easy to return the occasional item.
So you can buy with as much haphazard organization as life requires.
You can see how the $79 Prime fee pays for itself really quickly.
And it even has its own fledgling video streaming service that competes with Netflix. That’s a nice bonus, but it’s not really why I’m so excited about Prime.
For the past two years, I’ve had a little bet going with myself that I’ll never have to run out of the house at the last minute to buy diapers.
For me, that mini emergency represents the ultimate level of disorganization I hope to never sink beneath. (Even I have some minimum standards to meet if I am to remain king of my little forest.)
With the help of Amazon, and other online shopping sites like diapers.com, I’ve been holding that line. So far…
Amazon Prime doesn’t work for everything.
(Sometimes you’ve got to get out there and squeeze the melons.)
But it comes pretty close.