And He Never Returned…

My wife, and a number of other women around me, have a shopping habit that to me is completely insane. They buy stuff with the intention of returning it. All the time.

(The voice of Martin Sheen when he played Lt. Willard in Apocalypse Now pops into my mind just thinking about it. “Why the hell would he do that?”)

Why the hell would he do that?

Why the hell would he do that?

And I’m not talking about those times you get to the hardware store and you need a particular thing, but you forgot to bring the old thing with you so you buy both types of thing because it’s the smart thing to do. If you guess, you will guess wrong. That’s just logical.

No, these ladies just buy all the things with the intention of bring half back. I’m convinced it’s so that there is always a reason to return to the watering hole in the savannah. After all, the water “might go on sale.”

The returning things personality flaw only increases with the amount of women present on the shopping trip.

Dr. Wife and her mother will head out to shop and, upon the return home, they will rummage through the bags. Then by the end of the night or, worst case, end of the week, the purchases will be divided into piles to either be washed and hung up, or to be returned.

It’s like an alien abduction for trousers. I can just picture Crazy Frank the pleated slacks returning to the shop. “Where have you been???” The other pants would ask.

“You’ll never believe this…” Then Crazy Frank would describe the chaos of his trip from hangar to plastic bag and back. Being sure to tell them in detail what a mess our bedroom was.

This would be a mere curiosity to me except that, inevitably, I get asked to return the things, “since you’re going to be out running around anyway”.

Now I’m a fairly cliché guy, I hate shopping (except for toys). Ever since my mom dragged my ass around half the malls in Northern California, my feet get sore just stopping in the food court for coffee. I remember taking refuge in the center of those round clothing hangers but mom would always find me, say we were almost done, then finally leave two hours later. I’m still shaking from the trauma.

But I hate returning things even more than I hate shopping for them. If something costs less than $20 I will just ignore it until there is no more time left for returning it. That way I can guilt-free toss it into the abyss of a storage unit.

For me to willingly return something it has to be both expensive and prematurely broken. And I mean all the way broken, I’ll put up with a “jiggle the switch” situation over going to a store.

Yesterday, my wife caught me shooting the bag of too-late-to-return crap a dirty look.

“They’ll probably give you a store credit if you make a fuss,” She suggested, gesturing to the bag that a cat is sleeping on .

“F-That!” I said, “that means not only do I have to go into a store that I would never be in, I mean Anthropology just ain’t my jam, but I have to actually talk to the people there? Don’t get me started on the over priced pre-beat-to shit furniture in that place – we should rent out the kids to those people, streamline their “antiquing” process. Anyways, they’re never going to believe I bought all this crap. They’ll probably have me arrested.”


“I’m a 200lb dude in a Slayer shirt.”

So I took a stand. This is my Waterloo, this is my Philippines, and I am MacArthur, only “I will never return!” Is my credo.

Soooo, anyone wanna go with me to Anthropology this weekend? I’ll buy you a beer after. Two beers if you let me wait outside.”


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