Sunday, September 13, 2020


Originally published in The Miami News-Record, June 2020

I honestly couldn’t tell you how long I’ve been an Amazon Prime member, but let’s just say that the time in my life before Prime was bleak and dismal and probably not worth remembering anyway. That was back when I had to wait sometimes a week for items to arrive and *gasp* I paid for shipping. Yeah. Those were dark times indeed. 

I don’t know how families survive without it to be honest. We get our music from Amazon, our Kindle books from Amazon, our groceries and household items as well. My online shopping with Amazon has only grown since March when the lockdown went into place and we quarantined, but I was a pretty heavy user even before then. During quarantine when things were sad and scary and I wasn’t sleeping much, online shopping was my comfort. I mean, so were Coffee Nut M&Ms, but that’s another story altogether.  I am a member of a Facebook coupon code group and I just have to say, that group has gotten me such wonderful bargains as a metal shelving unit for $34 (those run $80 and up at Sam’s Club), approximately 843 snack size bags of Cheez-Its (I might be exaggerating slightly, but it was a big box), a pair of Crocs flip-flops for $14, an air fryer for $40 (it has changed my life, ya’ll) (the directions are in Chinese, but I’m figuring it out), wireless phone chargers (another life changer for sure) and much more. 

I’ve also gotten some duds as well. After a herd of wild hogs decided to uproot half of our front yard I found a discount code for some ultra bright solar powered motion lights. The pictures showed the lights mounted over a door and appeared to be as wide as said door. I was so excited for them to get here in hopes of pairing the flood lights with the new security camera (also bought with a discount code) and nabbing the nasty oinkers. Imagine my surprise when a box no bigger than 3x5” showed up on the day of their expected arrival. I should’ve read the actual dimensions rather than rely on a picture. They’re very, very tiny. And really, they’re not bad lights, just definitely not as wide as a door. I am also anxiously awaiting a paint-by-number canvas I ordered in March. In its defense, it’s coming from China and well, that’s a whole ‘nother story, too. 

Having an app now makes it even more convenient to just pick up my phone and order with a few taps. I can be having a conversation with someone, they mention they haven’t been able to find item xyz and I can literally find it within seconds usually. We’ve found replacement cables to TVs and computers, stick-on lights, stick-on bras (don’t ask….well, honestly, you might want to…), a set of Golden Girls refrigerator magnets, allergy medicine for a fraction of what it costs at the store, and according to my daughters, the most comfortable underwear you’ll ever put on your tush. I honestly don’t know how a family can go without it. 

Also during quarantine and the aforementioned not being able to sleep well thing, I relied heavily on my sleepy herbal supplements and Benadryl to force the rest on occasion. It was during one of those nights that I sleep-ordered a giant box of Slim Jims, a box of essential oils, and a 50-pack of AAA batteries. Some part of me, deep down in my subconscious must have known those items were going to be needed in my home. Or just maybe all those sleepy pills gave me the ability to see into the future when I would order a five-pack of stick-on touch lights and would need 15 of those batteries to power them up. Most likely it was just the power of Amazon, sending waves of needfulness to me whilst I slept. It’s probably just one of their many services now. 

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We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...