My Year In Amazon Shame, 2014

I just peed my pants laughing at this piece by Valleywag’s Sam Biddle, chronicling his year in Amazon purchases (he loses iPhone cables and combination locks a lot).*

*Sure, I peed my pants LAUGHING. Metaphorically. That’s the ticket. Not because I am now 9 months pregnant and just pee indiscriminately all day long.

Like Biddle, I, too, have an Amazon Prime membership. I shouldn’t. I know this. Amazon is a bad company that treats its workers horribly, and I am, in turn, a bad person for giving it so much money. It is bad. I am bad. However, I also live in St. Louis, and as such the only places that sell the things that I want or need to buy are (multi)national chain stores that are just as bad as Amazon (Target, for example, which also treats its workers abhorrently), with the added “bonus” that I get to burn a bunch of gas driving to them. (Yes, I know, gas is soooooo cheeeeap right now, it’s like the 1996 of gas prices. Great. Definitely buy that SUV and forget all about fighting for better public transit and/or pedestrian and bicycle treatment in your area. It’s all fixed.)

All’s I’m saying is that for about a month when my husband first moved here, I tried as hard as fuck to buy local and used, and it ended up with my husband using a ThermaRest and two pillows in the living room as a “couch” (next to seven cardboard boxes as “shelves”) for like three years, and his only piece of household cleaning equipment was a $40 broom made by Ugandan schoolchildren from renewable resources that did not work as a broom at all. We still do buy a good amount of our stuff at one of the thrift stores down the street (and, before the impending baby, we tried to just limit the acquisition of stuff in general, as it makes me really anxious to have too much stuff — now with the little fucker on the way all bets are off, and the whole apartment is packed with teeny tiny things), but yes, I realize that by doing what I did viz. Amazon in 2014 I made the world a substantially worse place in all possible aspects. SO LET’S SELF-REFLECT, SHALL WE? Here, Biddle-style, is the complete list of things I two-day-shipped in 2014, reviewed. Have mercy on my soul.**

**Keep in mind that I buy things pretty much nowhere else. This is, more or less, the entirety of my purchases in 2014, insgesamt. Does that make it better? I don’t know.

JANUARYJan 18Tights with no waistband seem like a good idea at the time, but then when you’re halfway through your third class of the day and you can feel your butt crack hanging out of your tights, but you obviously can’t adjust it in front of your coterie of skeptical 18-year-olds, you come to regret this choice. Plus these were like $36. B-Jan 20 gloves
After losing every single cute glove I have ever owned, I came up with the theory that ugly gloves are easier to keep track of. It’s been a year and I still have these, and they are not only ugly as fuck–they look like a Christmas sweater that OD’d on candy–they are also falling apart. Also, the winter here hasn’t been cold enough to need gloves yet. A++ for irony.Jan 18 pt 2
his actually starts kind of sad rather than funny, so skip it if you don’t want to be sad. This is the first set of maternity wear I bought after my first pregnancy “made it” to 10 weeks. It turns out I had a miscarriage that was just hanging out in there, and for several months after this stuff arrived I kept it stuffed in the closet where I couldn’t see it. BUT, I ended up getting pregnant again right away, and I now wear those expensive-ass pants and that belly band literally every single day. I seriously do not know what I would have done without these expensive-ass pants. Yes, they were like $70, but at this point they are verging on twelve cents per wearing. They have fit all through pregnancy and they have held up without pilling or wearing out, despite being worn LITERALLY every day and every night. C- January-May; A+ May thereafter.

FEBRUARY Feb 9 ginger aleYep, we bought a case of artisanal ginger ale that regularly runs about $8 per four-pack. I regret nothing. A.Feb 15 brita filters Oh shit, I really need to replace the goddamned water pitcher filter if this is the last time I bought one. Jesus Christ. F-, but I am grading myself and my lax water-filterage. Feb 26 Chicago manual This list details only physical purchases, so the 9 billion Kindle books I bought aren’t showing up. Ergo, it appears that the only books I read in 2014 were the goddamned Chicago Manual of Style… (D-, the worst; I ended up paying a grad student to edit my book for me instead of putting myself through the trauma of this book)Feb 28 Kai Book…and my dissertation adviser’s book (A++).

MARCHMarch 5 vitamins Yes, I take almost all of my supplements in candy form. Got a problem with that? These are still gross, though. I can’t wait until I can stop taking them. B-March 25 chaise
March X home officeTo cheer myself up after the miscarriage, I finally converted our second bedroom (which at the time was basically just a junk repository with a mini foam mattress on the floor) into the home office of my dreams. The extremely manly leopard print chaise is now in the living room, though, because we’ve since then put an actual bed in (and I am curled up on it right now, LIVING IT UP, wheeee). The chaise was cheap but it’s really uncomfortable. But it looks fun in the living room now. The shelves and table are complete pieces of shit but they do the job. B’s all around.

APRILApril 26 hammer pantsU can’t touch this.

MAYMay 9 TP and a pregnancy test Buying TP on Amazon was kind of a rock-bottom self-aware joke on my part. OH AND ALSO I’M PREGNANT AGAIN HOORAY. You will see that from this point on my purchases escalate (along with my weight). B

May 22 drying rackOooh look a drying rack, I’m no longer sticking my brassieres in the dryer to fend for themselves, Izzy Mandelbaum style. Also I hate to say it but that ridiculously overpriced curly-hair “refresher” works fantastic and smells great. A.

June 23 sea bands
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA no seriously HA. F double-minus for morning sickness, which at this point had reached a near-unbearable nadir.

July 13 36D bra July 13 pregnancy stuffIn which shit begins to get real. B+

Sept 10 hanging shelves
Shit continues to get real: I can’t reach the high shelf of my closet anymore. A-Sept 15 Danskos …I no longer fit into my regular shoes, and just the thought of “cute shoes” makes my calves and backs scream in agony. A frumpy, Danish A++.Sept 17 breathe right strips …I begin to wake everyone in the house up with what has been described as my “thunderous night-breathing.” I’m so sick of wearing these fucking things at this point; they are killing the skin on my nose. B.Sept 20 big ass underwear
h god my ass. My huge, huge, huge ass that is now wearing “plus-sized” granny pantiez. B.

Oct 15 end tables
It took us 3 years to get an actual bed that wasn’t a mattress on the floor, and another 3 to stop using a folding chair (him) and 3 square feet on the carpet (me) as “end tables.” These are total pieces of shit but they’re fine. B.Oct 27 36DD bra
The realness continues, but I have to return this because it is TOO SMALL. Not in the boob part, but in the band part, as my ribcage has now expanded beyond the bra band size I have had since the age of 15. (In case anyone is curious, which you shouldn’t be, you pervs, when not knocked up I usually wear a B- or C-cup.) Rated DD for the cup size.

Oct 30 38D bra
I’ve got this motherfucker on RIGHT NOW. It fits great. It’s frumpy as all hell but this is the most comfortable brassiere ever made. A+.Oct 30 iron…aaaand I‘m anemic. Alas, they don’t make chelated iron gummies. But that doesn’t stop these fucking capsules from GUMMING up the works, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. Meanwhile, even though I hop myself up on iron every goddamned day (I even force down a few mouthfuls of fucking beef jerky to get some heme iron, which is hell on earth for me; I hate beef), I barely feel not-anemic anymore. My fingernail beds are still blue, and I still look like Gareth from the office. I guess I should be proud that I’m not craving dirt anymore? I don’t know. The babby, she is sucking out all of my iron and my will to live. C.

NOVEMBER, in which all I do is buy things.
Nov 4 humidifier
I have begun treating this humidifier as if it’s fully animate, and, along with my hot water bottle, often refer to it as “my buddy.” Instances of squeaky eye down approximately 100%. A+.Nov 5 Floradix
German “iron tonic” from the 1850s (or at least tastes and looks like it). Sort of works. Mostly doesn’t. Tastes like Multivitaminsaft that’s been left on the counter for 25 Jahre. C+.Nov 5 probies
PROBIES! The cure for (almost) all that ails. I’d tell you I limited these to oral consumption BUT I’D BE LYING. Oh yeah. That’s right. I shove these up my vajay. It’s good for you; deal with it. A+.Nov 9 frying pan
Pancake consumption chez Schuman up approx. 1000%. A++++Nov 15 slippies
…and thus begins the final countdown to babby Treat Yo Self mania. TREAT. YO. SELF. Slippies. Yessss. Yes. A++.Nov 19 wedge pillow
“I’m going to get this wedge pillow and then I’ll be able to sleep on my back!!!!” *head is 15 feet above bed; am still dizzy and queasy.* Now I use it as a backrest in the second bedroom, and as a backrest it’s marginally OK. B-.
Nov 23 blenderWe used either a moldering dish towel or NOTHING under the dish drain for SEVEN GODDAMNED YEARS. This babby is turning us into adult humans, finally.

DECEMBER, in which I decide that once the babby comes I will never be able to buy anything for myself again, so I have no choice but to hit Treat Yo Self Factor Full Haverford-Meagle.
Dec 1 robe
$120 Luxus-Muppet robe, like being hugged constantly by Cookie Monster after he loses a fight with a Costco-sized vat of fabric softener. Treat. Yo. Self. A+.Dec 8 babby shelves
The babby shall love hanging shelves as much as I do, by God. B.Dec 14 bamboobies
MOAR HANGING SHELVES, plus something called “bamboobies” that was on my babby registry but nobody bought (nobody bought any of the breastfeeding stuff — WTF, family? I’ll sic the lactivists on you!), which I haven’t used yet.Dec 20 my brest friend
This is the breastfeeding pillow Michelle Duggar uses. I find that family abhorrent in every possible way, but I am guessing when it comes to nursing infants they probably know their shit. We’ll see.Dec 21 garbage can
My mother-in-law is coming to visit in three days, so it’s finally time to outfit the second bathroom like humans should be able to use it (instead of just throwing used cotton pads on the floor for a week and then scooping them up into a plastic bag hanging from the door handle). B+ for its ability to fit into a tiny space.Dec 30 misc babby stuff
The rest of the stuff nobody wanted to buy on the babby registry. I realize that a garbage can specifically designated as a shit receptacle and/or bottles specifically designed as tit receptacles aren’t glamorous, but I needed them. They haven’t arrived yet. Whee.

The end. Happy New Year. I sicken myself.

15 thoughts on “My Year In Amazon Shame, 2014

  1. I want to nominate this as the best post of 2014. I have tears (of laughter) running down my face. Also, no judgment at buying from Amazon. I once found myself ordering a 12-pk of canned tomato sauce from Amazon and asking myself “WTF is wrong with me? I live fifteen minutes from a Trader Joe’s.”


  2. whoa, those are the exact same things no one bought on my registry either. which was on amazon. ditto on amazon being evil, but I have to read everything on kindle because I have a baby and therefore only one hand. and yes, I turn the signal off. plz keep using “fuck,” esp. since in a few months you will have to stop saying it around your baby (unless you want a baby who says “fuck” to her dad’s boss). 🙂


    • I guess nobody wants to be remembered as “the person who bought the tit pillow and the shit pail”–but really, I NEED that tit pillow and that shit pail, so I would have been delighted. My mom, for example, wholesale rejected most of my registry in favor of a gift she decided I “needed”–a monstrous rocking chair. Luckily this kid’s dad is still technically an academic, so he doesn’t really have a boss, and what “bosses” he does have would be pretty amused to hear a little kid saying “fuck.” My parents cursed up a storm in front of me and I TURNED OUT FINE. Or at any rate, I turned out as a person who knows the difference between swear words, whose “badness” stems from Puritanical sexual taboo, and actual “bad” words, i.e. hate speech, which was never uttered in our house. I remember one day I came home from school with the word “fag” (I didn’t know what it meant), and my mom sat me down and had a BIG talk about how that was basically the n-word for gay people (I knew all about gay people because of my uncle, whose orientation was explained to me like this: “You know how some people have a girlfriend? Uncle Joe has a boyfriend.” “Oh.” The end!), and thus REALLY mean, and I cried and never said it again. Then in the same week, my mom accidentally slammed the refrigerator door and what resulted was a condiment apocalypse on the floor, and she was like FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. The rule was that we weren’t supposed to say “shit” and “fuck” outside the house until we were in high school, because then “the other kids’ parents won’t let them play with you.” Schuman Family Values! ❤ my parents.


  3. Since using technology requires cursing its very existence, you actually need to raise your cuss to euphemism ratio (CER). I mean we’re talking about Amazon, for fuck’s sake! It’s like trying to write about driving by ignoring road rage, aka driving at What the Fucks per hour.

    Your soon to be born little Kafka kisser may well cuss, but I’d rather my own kid mutter Carlin’s 7 dirty words than far more offensive rhetoric surrounding gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, hierarchy, censorship, and well, you get the picture.


    • Yes, exactly. My last comment to “wahm” was about exactly this. I may have learned all the best swears I know from my parents, but in our house we did NOT use *actual* bad words, i.e. slurs, even the “acceptable” ones in the 80s (“r*tard,” “homo,” “f*g”), all of which would get us a serious yelling-at. I think there are homes across America right now where you could get grounded for life for saying “fuck” but where you regularly hear “r*tard,” “homo” and “f*g,” and I don’t have any need to let those assholes tell me what is and isn’t “proper.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This post, including the comments, will be fun to share with your daughter some years from now! Btw, it’s odd that some blog readers think that they should be the ones to say how much you should curse, since most of us love the blog in part for That Very Fucking Reason.


  5. I stumbled in here, quite by accident, and only because my mothers maiden name was Schuman. Someone posted something on Facebook, I think, and I read the article, and saw your name. One click after another, and here I am. I love how you can take such enjoyable journeys, by simply following a link to a link, to another link. I read this page to my girlfriend, and we both had a very, very good laugh. She said, ” she types like you talk!”. That, combined with the humorous style, is perhaps why I’ve enjoyed reading so much of your writing on here. I moved to the St. Louis area a year ago, so now I feel like we’re neighbors.. Ha..

    I plan on checking back here, and I hope at some point we get to see this little creature, that has forced you two into adulthood. I wish for you the very best birthing experience possible, and look forward to reading all about it. 🙂


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