I always thought my family knew me the best. But, in reality, it's really Amazon.com.
My family has no idea how many contemporary jazz CDs, Napa Valley wine books, single-cup coffee makers and non-fiction business tomes I've bought and enjoyed over the last seven years. And they have no idea about the musicians, titles, and brands selected, and prices paid for each and every item. But the plucky Internet seller certainly does.
The Amazon folks keep shooting me a regular stream of emails to tell me that, because I ordered this-or-that, I might be interested in purchasing a similar this-or-that. To satisfy my own curiosity, I can even punch up my complete order history...a nostalgic stroll down the memory lane of Internet commerce.
I can't even remember what I bought for my brother's birthday or for my sister's Christmas present -- for 2009. The warmth of family and friends falls into the fog of commercial dementia. But my electronic department store is always open and ready with too much information. Maybe I'll invite them over for a byte to eat.