Every job comes with downsides. Big e-commerce days are the job hazard every tech reviewer accepts with grim resignation. Usually, that ire is saved for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the two holiday shopping days that every company meticulously schedules fall product launches around. Every year they ruin my life for months. But this year, the fake shopping holiday has me imagining Jeff Bezos’ untimely death is Amazon Prime Day.
In the wee hours this morning, Amazon announced that this year’s Prime Day would fall on October 13-14. Normally, Prime Day is a summer event but covid-19 forced Amazon to delay. And while today is the day the dates are official, I have known and dreaded Amazon’s invented firesale for weeks, as my fiancé works in e-commerce. Prime Day is one of those times where all I can do is slide a glass of water and a plate of food towards the husk that was once my beloved, and hope the 48-hour period of deals deals deals doesn’t end with his premature death by exhaustion.
Under no circumstances, could our wedding fall within a week of Prime Day if we wanted to feel any remote sense of joy. Weddings—even a tiny, hastily thrown together one like ours—are stressful enough without the looming specter of simultaneously planning around another big work event. Adding Prime Day content planning to the mix would’ve been an unmitigated disaster.
Originally, our bootleg pandemic wedding had been planned for Labor Day weekend.... except that fell through due to various work and family obligations. Mid-September was also a no-go because, in the world of consumer tech, mid-September is traditionally Apple launch season. Late September was also impossible because late nights tackling review embargoes for fitness gadgets meant I would be a dehydrated corpse. On my “special day,” the last thing I want is to be so tired from work that I stumbled through my vows like a zombie. November was out because of Black Friday and Thanksgiving; also, whatever shitshow arose out of Election Day. December was out because I am not freezing my ass off. Neither of us wanted to wait another year, possibly two, for a widely available vaccine. Mid-October was our best window for 2020 for an outdoor, socially distant wedding.
October 11 would have been perfect. We could’ve saved a couple of hundred dollars in fees. There were also a few good deals for a short camping trip around then. Except no. My partner knew Prime Day would start the 13th. That left us with October 3, but also meant we’d give up any semblance of a honeymoon in 2020. (World’s smallest violin, I know.) It also meant scrambling like a headless chicken to get everything squared away while meeting work deadlines and navigating family politics. (Turns out, when you limit the guest list to fewer than 10 people, your aunt in another country who you haven’t heard from in months will suddenly care about whether her son gets an invite.)
These days, as I manage my wedding-related stress, I can’t help but add Prime Day to my matrimonial shit list, an ever-growing document where the next person to get on my nerves will end up alongside the wedding industrial complex, and Moms Who Suddenly Have Strong Opinions About How Weddings Should Be Celebrated Regardless of Pandemics.
Technically, if Prime Day didn’t exist this year, I would’ve only gotten an extra 10 days or so of planning. But honestly, I would’ve taken it. My deadlines are looming. I still haven’t written my vows. My phone keeps ringing with questions from family who struggle to understand the social distancing measures we’ve put in place despite my explaining it several times. There’s paperwork to address. As my stress mounts, I can only look at these Prime Day announcements with increasing resentment and disdain, longing for the reprieve an extra 10 days would’ve gotten me. But no. I will have to power through.
Amazon, consider yourself on notice. These Prime Day 2020 deals better be fucking worth it.