Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

The Post-Holiday Rush to Return (Almost) Everything

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

The Post-Holiday Rush to Return (Almost) Everything

Article excerpt

I am usually the first person to complain about our new crop of not-particularly-helpful department store employees who: A. Have no social skills, whatsoever; B. Know almost nothing about the merchandise they're supposed to be selling; and C. Go out of their way to avoid customers and anything else that keeps them from playing with their phones.

Still, when you need to return something, these same employees are absolutely delightful.

"Hi, I got this shirt and it doesn't fit and I don't have the receipt, or the tags, and you don't have any more of them on the rack, so I was wondering if I could exchange it for another shirt that's more expensive?"

"Sure. I don't care. Do whatever you want."

"Thanks!"

Back in December, I took my father to one of these stores because they were having a sale on sweat pants, which is pretty much all Dad wears nowadays.

He loves clothing stores. I hate them, because they're always crowded and noisy and airless and because I have too many clothes, already.

Of course, when I'm forced to go to one of these stores, I buy even more clothes. And that's precisely what I did last month, picking up two pairs of flannel-lined pants, a gray hoodie, a gray flannel shirt, a gray ski cap and two gray thermal undershirts.

I'm anticipating a long, gray winter.

I tried on none of these things because I hate going into fitting rooms, which is why I had to go back to the store last week. One pair of pants fit, the other did not, so I had to bring the non- fitting pair back to the store and find another pair that did.

Ugh.

I hate fitting rooms. They're like public bathrooms without the plumbing. They're eerily lit. They're filled with empty hangers. And I always feel like someone is watching me.

Dad, of course, insisted on coming with me for this return engagement, because it was January and he hadn't bought any sweat pants in two-and-a-half weeks.

"I really want black sweat pants," he said, on the drive to the store, "but your mother won't let me get them because they make too much lint on everything else in the washing machine."

"Can't she wash them separately?" I asked.

"I don't know. …

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