A Gift From Amazon

Earlier this week a somewhat battered Amazon package, about the size of a shoebox, was delivered to my office. I figured it was something that Kish had ordered, so that night I lugged it home. As I carried it, it felt kind of weird, with the weight of the box shifting around as I transferred it from one arm to another on the walk home, in a way that indicates that you are carrying a liquid. Intrigued, I wondered what in the world was in the box.

When I got home I presented the box to Kish. She was puzzled because she wasn’t expecting a delivery from Amazon, so we opened the box, somewhat gingerly . . . and found a shrink-wrapped two-pound plastic bottle of “April fresh” Tide detergent with “a touch of Downy.” Even more mystified, we then took a careful look at the bottle and the box. The bottle was sealed with a sticker that read: “The person who lovingly packaged this item wants to know if you love it. Share a review.” The packing tape on the box said “Wow, now that’s a gift,” and the label indicated that the box came from “Amazon Fulfillment Services.”

Putting all of this together, we concluded that Amazon has sent us an unrequested but “lovingly packaged” container of laundry detergent through the mail as a gift, and hopes that we “love it.” Normally we don’t think in terms of “loving” ordinary household items like a bottle of Tide–even if it includes a soupcon of fabric softener–but we are certainly appreciative, because you definitely never want to run out of laundry detergent. And we also are left to wonder what might be the next gift we receive from the friendly folks at Amazon. A bottle of Windex or Lemon Pledge, perhaps?