On Friday I loaded a bunch of unwanted presents into the car and started what would become a three hour journey to return them. My son sat happily in the back seat with a container of newly washed grapes, a cup of water and a smile. I’m not certain, but I think he was still delirious from spending three straight days playing with new toys. It was a beautiful day and I was happy to unload the unwanted gifts before the new year.
I didn’t have gift slips for any of the presents my family received, but I recognized the brands and read up on store policies before attempting to return them. The process started out pretty rocky. In Kohl’s I was offered $2 for two of my items. “No thanks,” I told the cashier, “for $2 I’ll donate them.”
I should have walked right out of the store, but instead wandered by the 70% off rack and ended up buying $35 worth of new clothing for my son for next year. Not only did I fail to return anything, but I walked out with stuff I didn’t even intend to buy.
In Babies-R-Us I was able to perform an even exchange. Not exactly a failure. I returned one $3 item that was too small for another in his size. I didn’t like the color or pattern, but at least the new shirt will fit him.
My son was smiling at all of the cashiers and wishing them a Happy New Year, so I decided to press on. A quick stop in the pet store just to look at the pretty parakeets and fish and we were on to TJ Maxx.
I save all of my receipts in a handy-dandy plastic binder, but for some reason the receipt I needed couldn’t be found anywhere. It took ten minutes for the cashier to enter all of the information required for a return without receipt. I have no one to blame but myself and I’m thankful they accept returns, but ugh that was a lot of time wasted in line and at the register.
Old Navy’s line was incredibly long. Two registers open and ten people in each line. I completely lucked out when a cashier finally opened a new register and waved me over. (For the record I told her other people had been in line before me, but she quickly exchanged my item anyway.) It was another $3 item.
Honestly, if I had known the first two shirts cost $2 and the third and fourth one were only valued at $3 I probably would’ve stayed home.
I hit IKEA on the way down the road and then considered calling it a day when I noticed my son was still wide awake and happy. I decided to make one last stop. This time to Costco. When I walked in the door there were already ten people waiting in line at customer service, but the line moved quickly and I completed my returns without any problem.
A smart girl would have taken her cash and walked right out the door, but I decided to wander around the aisles for just a minute and somehow walked out with a $500 Vitamix.
That’s right. I failed to return two $2 items. I successfully exchanged two $3 items and then spent $500 on a device.
My husband came home to find a very large box sitting on the counter and was shocked to find out I spent $500 on a blender. It is completely out of character for me. I almost never buy anything for myself and certainly nothing that ever costs more than $100.
Did I buy it because I was tired and frustrated from a long day of returns? Possibly, but I don’t think so. For some reason I’ve dreamed of buying a Vitamix for quite awhile now. I asked for very practical gifts this Christmas and this was a luxury I really wanted for myself.
Now the real question is will I keep it or decide that $500 is simply too much to spend. Only time will tell.