The First Letter of Your Last Name Is Your Shopping Destiny

This is interesting and rings somewhat true: people whose last names come late in the alphabet — the Williamses, Youngs, and Zuckerbergs among us, etc. — tend to make a bigger deal about being first in line to buy things as adults than people whose names come earlier in the alphabet. And not just hot new items but literally anything, from groceries to “backpacks on sale” (?). Presumably this is a result of all those miserable years spent being called on/chosen/thought of/placed last at everything done alphabetically, and it apparently cannot be reversed by simply getting married or becoming a famous musician and changing your name. (Cousin Bob and I lost our minds when the iPad came out: “Did u get it yet?” “LOL obviously” “Me 2 I got it hrs ago” “OMG I’ve had it so long I’m already bored of it” “I hate mine i gave it 2 a homeless person.”)

“The idea holds that children develop time-dependent responses based on the treatment they receive,” the authors explain. “In an effort to account for these inequities, children late in the alphabet will move quickly when last name isn’t a factor; they will ‘buy early.’ Likewise, those with last names early in the alphabet will be so accustomed to being first that individual opportunities to make a purchase won’t matter very much; they will ‘buy late.’”

So, we’re nerdy losers with lots of cool things that everyone’s jealous of. No word on whether this also applies to why some of us with late-alphabet surnames show up chronically, painfully early to everything we’ve ever been to. “Oh, hey! Wow, OK.”