How Many People Use Your Amazon Prime Account?

If it’s just one person, then you’re doing it wrong!


The Amazon Prime account that my sister and I use actually belongs to our father — he’s the one that pays the $99 a year and reaps the benefits of Amazon’s delightful original programming and whatever else comes with it. As secondary account users, all we have is access to fast and free shipping, which is exciting enough in its own right. I’ve let my friends use it over the years, adding their credit cards and addresses, allowing them into the deepest and darkest recesses of my digital life: my Amazon shopping cart.

I’m slowly coming around to online shopping, but Amazon Prime has been my gateway to testing my limits. Letting other people use my account is fine, but it has made my Amazon shopping cart — what I once considered to be a safe space for the dumb shit I think about buying but actually don’t — no longer safe.

The things I buy aren’t embarrassing, but what I leave to languish in my cart paints a pretty clear portrait of who I am. Every fall, there are clogs that cost over $100, face masks, hand creams I’ve read about that cost more money than I’d normally spend, and a book or three that I’ve read about and would like to eventually buy. More often than not, there’s cat litter and occasionally something dumb I added that I thought I really needed when I was really stoned, but actually didn’t — a Himalayan pink salt lamp or a curtain of LED lights that I imagined I would drape somewhere in my home as decoration.

An old rooommate used to send his father Christmas presents using my account. For months after, my recommended items were full of hardcover coffee table books about golf. Another friend uses it to buy hair products and dog treats. My youngest sister orders vegan beef jerky and books about baseball. Right now, it looks like somene has saved a sweater for a dog and a dustpan + broom set for later, right on top of a number of toddler-sized fleece costumes and hospital scrubs. I’m not quite sure what’s happening there, but I would love to find out.

Having the detritus of other peoples’ purchases intermingled with mine makes me feel better, only because it puts the sheer stupidity of what I want to spend my money on in context. Nothing we purchase is meaningful; most of it is utilitarian, and all of it is fine. It’s stuff that we want or stuff that we need but didn’t have the time to get in person. It’s still a safe space. Now I just care way less about what others think when they see what I’m buying.

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