Before you go any further, I should warn you that telling this story gets a bit grammatically and punctuationally challenging, so read carefully.

Last year, my sons gave me an Echo dot for Christmas. It sits on a buffet about eight feet from our dining room table. I use it primarily to listen to music on Pandora, and occasionally to get a weather forecast, set a timer, or look up useless trivia.

My oldest son loves baseball hats, and he collects all kinds. He has one in particular with the words “Freedom Artists” across the front. It is a running joke in our family that he refuses to tell us where this hat came from.

The other night at dinner, I reported to my family that “I saw someone in town wearing a Freedom Artists t-shirt.”

We were all a bit surprised when we heard a chime, followed by Alexa’s voice saying “I have put….t-shirt in your cart.”

None of us heard exactly what kind of t-shirt she had put in my cart, but we were all a bit surprised that she had put anything at all in my cart.

So, naturally I went to my Amazon cart to see what was there. While there was nothing actually in my cart, I did find this:






“Wearing freedom a fine mars t-shirts!?” — I immediately saw why Alexa thought I had to have this. And I appreciate that she had the courtesy to ask “Which ‘wearing freedom a fine mars t-shirts’ did you want?” before having me check out. After all, I had choices!

Before finding out that “wearing freedom a fine mars t-shirts” was a category, it had never occurred to me that there would be more than zero options. I clicked on the button that said “Choose wearing fr…” and that’s when stuff got real.

A window popped up with the results for “wearing freedom a fine mars t-shirts,” and I have to admit that I was a little surprised. Here they are:

Water shoes, a wood burning kit, a post-surgery comfy cone for my dog, and a four pack of underwear. Honestly, I have nothing against any of these things, but I do not get the connection to “wearing freedom a fine mars t-shirts.”

The savvy online shoppers among you have, no doubt, realized that this is only page 1 of 3. Here are the next two:

Without a doubt, my favorite suggestion is “Fine Lady Something Blue Rhinestone Starfish Pearl Foot J…” — the last choice on page two.

I am not upset that Alexa was eavesdropping. I am not upset that she tried to put something in my cart. I am a bit confused about how she came up with her suggestions.

I cannot come up with any profound takeaway from this experience — I would be more than happy to hear yours.