When my girlfriend handed my father a pair of size-9 UGG slippers for men, which she had endearingly bought him, he swiftly handed them back to her and said he’s a size-10, but that I was a diminutive size-9, pointing at my somewhat horrified and embarrassed face. He doesn’t receive kindness well. In short, I was now the comfortable owner of UGG indoor slippers, for men. I removed my socks, specifically to feel the lush Australian wool on my bare soles, walking around the hardwood floor with a certain pride that I have an awesome girlfriend, despite an asshole father.
Just a few hours later, in the “Promotions” tab in my Gmail account, I saw what the reader should now be envisioning: one pristine ad for UGGS, of which I had never been the target before. I had been wearing my UGGs for just under four hours. “Jesus Christ,” I uttered a little too loudly, as my mother, who considers his secular invocation to hold the same transgression as an expletive, told me from the other room to please settle down. I said his name again, a little more loudly, this time with his initial H.
I reasoned with my girlfriend that Google must have known we were dating because she consistently uses my computer to log into her Google account, and that because she bought the UGGs online, Google reasonably figured I was the intended recipient of these wonderful size-9 UGG “scuff” slippers, for men ($75.95). We even went so far to surmise that Google probably knows that my shoe size is 9, as I had purchased shoes in that size online in the past. Thank you, Google, for paying some 23-year-old genius $120,000 a year to work on this.
In the time implicated herein that I spent at my parents’ house, in a desolate suburban wilderness of Starbucks, to which one needed to embarrassingly borrow one’s asshole father’s car to get, I addictively used my parents’ Keurig coffee machine every morning, multiple times each morning, at times adding two strong 8 oz. “pulls” together for my caffeine fix. Upon my return home, the next day, in my lovely “Promotions” tab, I rhetorically ask the reader what did I see. Yes, and ad for the handsome bastards of Keurig.
The logic here follows that Google knew I was at my parents’ home, since my internet connection there was coming from their I.P. address; or, at least, that I was at the same I.P. address from which habitual orders for Keurig refill packs had been made. And, as a gentrifying San Franciscan resident in his late-30s, I rather fit the demographic of a smug coffee aficionado, who would rather drink Keurig than concede himself to Frappaccino Hell™, and so even the most novice market analyst could surmise that, short of x-ray satellite peering through the roof, I was chained to that fucking Keurig machine every morning.
I ominously chatted my girlfriend about the UGGs and Keurig “timely” ads, asking her if I was paranoid. “Maybe just a little,” she said, with mild reserve. I then gave her the same logical run down as this very article (which itself may be dodging a handful of keyword sensitive ads) and then asked her again if I wasn’t simply just some diligent rationalist who might have broke the conspiracy of the century. Her response makes me wonder if she clandestinely works for Google, or if she really loves me, or if her chats in the window on my screen wasn’t actually manned, via remote access, by some sleepless drone in Russia, India, or our lovely Silicon Valley.
I looked out the window, my actual window, to see if I couldn’t see a satellite tucked just a little passed the vanishing point of possible human sight. I saw nothing, but felt something. A little off.