It is the Christmas shopping season, and somewhere in my online shopping adventures I noticed that Amazon has a record of every thing I’ve bought from them in the past 13 years. Thirteen years, people. My shopping history is practically as old as Justin Bieber. It’s also a strangely annotated version of my life through the years, kind of like snooping through a virtual copy of my bedroom closet.
I made my first purchase at the very end of 1999 when I was still a teenager and had yet to learn of the horrors of credit card debt. It was college and Kevin Smith was the center of my humor universe. Future historians will be able to date my advanced age by noting that I ordered Clerks on VHS. Yes, I am an old lady of the Interwebs. I can remember the electronic screams the 56K modem made when I connected online to order these things. We had to wait MINUTES for pages to load. In ten years I think I’ll look back on the current speed of my smart phone data connection with the same feeling.
In 2000 I hit an anime phase. I was also into a thing I can’t talk about because that’s the first rule of that thing I can’t talk about.
This was the year I lent a video tape of the Tony’s (yes, children, we were still using video tapes) to someone in my public speaking class—and the bitch never returned it! I wouldn’t have cared except the beginning of the tape contained my mom’s only recording of one of her favorite movies, The Man from Snowy River. (I can’t count how many times I’ve watched her watch that horse ride straight down a cliff. Start the video at the 2:30 mark. How does it do that?) Diligent daughter that I am, I ordered a replacement off of Amazon and got the sequel to the original movie while I was at it. But if I ever see that girl from my public speaking class again…I probably wouldn’t remember what she looked like. Oh, well!
My order history for 2002 is strangely skimpy. I think this was when the credit card debt I foreshadowed above finally hit me. I was doing the poor college student thing. I did buy the special edition DVD of Memento which was my first introduction to one of my now favorite directors, Christopher Nolan. The DVD had such a confusing menu I had to download a fan made booklet to figure out how to access everything, including the three different commentary track endings.
It looks like I discovered video games in 2003 when I probably should have been studying for my final semester of college. I don’t see Final Fantasy 7 on there, but I played that game for a week before graduation when I really should have been, oh, I don’t know, LOOKING FOR A JOB instead of breeding Chocobos. (But I needed to breed the black Chocobo to get to the island with the Knights of the Round Table attack so I could beat Sepiroth! This is an accomplishment I am still proud of today, sadly enough.)
I also seemed to have discovered indie music this year.
In 2004 I bought a digital camera boasting 3.2 megapixels! And now even the cheapest camera phone has higher resolution than this.
As you can see, 2005 was the dawn of my weight-loss and healthy living revolution. Or my Dance, Dance, Revolution. Whatever. I’ve since lost my copy of this game. Or rather I think my lil’ brother lost my copy of this game, which makes me feel silly for still owning the gamepad.
The most frightening thing about my purchase of 15 blank double-layer DVDs in 2006 is…I still have this spindle sitting on my bookshelf. I’ve only used three of these in that past 5 years. The double-layer discs are more expensive, so I never want to use them. I should really get over that.
I ordered this book in 2007 and still haven’t made any hats, on Saturday night or any other day of the week. This is demonstrative of the fact that I think buying craft books, tacky glue, and googly eyes will make me become a craft person, when it’s really just turned me into a Girl Scout troop leader without the troop. (But, but, I can’t get rid of it! I might want to make a raspberry beret someday!)
In 2008 we were up to 7.1 megapixels! And I’m pretty sure my camera phone still has a higher resolution than this.
I was also starting to develop my escape plan from my corporate job to the world of freelancing.
When I finally did quit my job, I had to buy stuff to work from home. Only now this stuff wasn’t just frivolous shopping. It was tax deductible shopping! Sweet.
After escaping the office, I started planning my escape from Indiana. Hello, North Carolina! Don’t you look pretty today?
I also bought a case for my smartphone, a device I’m pretty sure the 1999 version of me would have considered a prop in a science fiction novel. I mean, the 1999 version of me was still awed by broadband Internet and the MP3 file format.
Finally in 2011 I bought a cat feeder because I do not like to be awakened at six in the morning with a cat sitting on my head.
So that’s that. It will be interesting to see what I’m buying from Amazon in 10 years and if they’ll ship it via flying car.
My daughter is caught on video talking about this place called amazon.com where she found an obscure architecture book to give to her sister-in-law for Christmas in 1999. This post makes me want to go check out my order history. Almost.
This is fun! I will have to check there and a couple of other sites where I buy and see what my history is! Mine will be more in the printed book and music area — I am not into movies at all and have only purchased 2 DVDs, because a friend of mine is in them — and they are music documentaries, not movies.
fun post! makes me want to scroll through and blog about mine too (sure to trackback to you if i do). we can’t order as much cool stuff on amazon.CA so for me it’s largely books. not much of a DVD or games or CD person. (not saying i don’t watch movies or listen so music though….)
wow. that is so funny! by the way… i just put your books on hold at my library… they are being shipped in from two other libraries that i am too lazy to drive to 🙂 cant wait to read them!
Stephanie O'Dea says
I am so scared to look at my history. but I should. I should face the fear.
Love love love this… who needs the stupid facebook timeline when you have this? I never knew The Man From Snowy River left Australia! 🙂
If you guys only knew the stuff I left out of this post. And if anything, the history of my Amazon wish list is even more interesting.
Oh my. I knew it went back a ways but not *that* far. Mine goes back to 1997 when I was intentionally screwing up their cross-selling by ordering weird stuff in the same orders. (“People who bought this kayaking book also bought Lois McMaster Bujold, an Old Norse poetry book and a book on aikido.”)
I might have to do this too. How fun!
I also had a looooonnngg history in Amazon that I would often refer to all the time; e.g. when I was trying to remember exactly when I bought some piece of electronics or to remind myself what version of this-or-that that I had purchased for a gift 10 years ago…
THEN. My Amazon account was hacked. Luckily, Amazon caught it immediately, but very unfortunately for me…they automatically closed my account and informed me I had to open a new one. I had elaborate wish lists for all my kids and relatives, not to mention the convenience of, when pulling up a particular product while shopping, getting that helpful banner across the top that said, “You purchased this in 2003…” ALL LOST.
I tried to get the info back for weeks. I was finally able to get some of my wish list info transferred to the new account, but the order history is gone forever.
Appreciate it while you have it. And never underestimate the value of a very strong password!
This is a fantastic idea for a post! I’m going to go peek at my torrid amazon past as well now. By the way, I’d love to hear if that cat feeder is working well. My cats are little assassins in the morning re: their food. I’ve been contemplating buying one for ages.
@Erin – The cat feeder has been working great. I originally bought a different one that dispenses food sort of like a gum ball machine, but it was inconsistent and sort of unreliable. The 5 tray rotating model is much better. Check prices though. PetSmart had it for $70 in the store, but I got it for $40 on Amazon.
Debbi Does Dinner Healthy says
So I had to go and look at my history before commenting. I didn’t order as much as I thought. Mine only goes back to 2007 starting with Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicous cookbook. Then in 2008 is your first book along with Cake Wrecks. Chocolate and Vicoden made an appearance on Amazon in 2010 along with some more cookbooks. Mostly cookbooks, books, and a few games. However, my kids spend a LOT of time on Amazon and dream about winning the lottery so they can buy all the Star Wars Lego on there. I think they even made a list once about how much money they would need to buy it all. 🙂
@Debbi Does Dinner Healthy – I’m happy to hear my books made an appearance in your order history!
This is hilarious. I would be scared to actually look and see how many cookbooks I’ve bought from Amazon.
I just wanted to let you know that I finished Half-Assed last night. It was so good! I absolutely love PastaQueen.com and can’t believe it took me this long to read it. (As you can see, I really did read it, because I managed to find the shift key 🙂 which I don’t even do for my own blog. See! I am a true fan.) You really are an amazing writer.