If you share an Amazon Prime account with your spouse, you will have to explain: Jelly Belly Peas and Carrots Mellocreme Mix, 1 pound bag.

You’ll have to explain how it seemed like a funny idea to put peas on the plate at dinner for everyone discover they were candy, not mushy vegetables. All for the low low price of $9.95.

You will also, perhaps, have someone notice that your favorite Rhodia Steno Lined Notebook is an item purchased several times a year at a price triple what a regular steno pad would cost.

Heaven forbid you put books in the shopping cart. You’ll have to explain the books. Books you don’t need right now, but definitely want to read at some point. Books the library doesn’t have.

You might say, “No, I don’t need 642 Tiny Things to Write About at this moment, but it will be good when I am out of ideas. Same goes for The World According to Star Wars which, honestly, I thought you’d enjoy, honey.”

Money is shared in our house, and that’s great. But mostly I’m the one who handles the bills and the banking, the buying and the saving. And I don’t really like having my compulsive online shopping habits examined.

Should they be? Probably. Maybe. 

I have been married – to the same person – for seventeen years, and I’ve had to revamp my expectations about what information should be shared between two people. Oh, how things have changed. I used to quiz this poor man, asking him for “top 5” lists – top 5 things he loves about me, top 5 places he’d like to go, top 5 favorite movies. I would also, in my sweet naïve innocence, want to know what he was thinking at any given moment.

You know what I’ve learned? No couple needs to peer into every nook and cranny of each other’s consciousness.

Fifty percent of my online shopping doesn’t even result in purchasing. It’s browsing and relaxing. It’s imagining the life in which I need dish towels that cost as much as a pair of shoes. A life in which every season has its own dessert plates, and I buy different lotions for different parts of my face.

Of course, this is not how my husband relaxes. His web browsing focuses heavily on cars and weird science things. When I glance over his shoulder I try not to react. I try not to say things like: Of all the things in the universe, this is how you spend your time?

I’m a bit defensive of my online habits, recognizing how many diseases I could cure if I dedicated my efforts more productively. But I’m a writer, not a scientist, so I probably wouldn’t be much good trying to annihilate herpes. I definitely enjoy spending money more than I think a person should and constant connectivity makes it nice and easy…too easy.

Sure, my husband and I can share an Amazon Prime account. He can note the streaming videos I watch without him. He can raise his eyebrows about the piles of books. And I can pretend the boxes that arrive, addressed to him, are all presents from his devoted wife.

After all, the nearly $100 I save by not having my own Prime account sure can buy a girl a lot of swag.