Do you have a receipt?

Apparently you need a notarized letter to return an item to the store. I took back a coat I purchased a few days ago. I had the receipt. The tags were still attached. What began as small talk with a clerk turned into the Spanish Inquisition. She went through the questions employees are trained to ask, “Is there something wrong with the coat?” I smiled and responded politely, “No.” With furrowed brow she responded, “Then, why don’t you want it?” I have to be honest, it caught me offguard. “I just don’t like the way it fits.” I spoke slowly glancing from left to right looking for some sort of hidden camera. “I have the same coat and I like it,” she mumbled while clicking keys on the cash register. I am indecisive. I struggle if you give me more than one option for anything. Then, I second guess my decision for days and beat myself up for not choosing something else. This was not a personal attack on her. “I just don’t want the coat.” She glanced up long enough to flash a June Cleaver smile.

She was lucky I didn’t climb over that counter. I was already in a foul mood. Thirty minutes earlier I was trick or treating with my children. That is supposed to be fun, right? I remember skipping from house to house eager to get another piece of candy. We didn’t go home until our bag was full. I am sure my mother would tell a different story. My 7-year-old son was giddy. It was like watching Batman tiptoe on clouds. My daughter was a grumpy princess. Well, she was excited for about five minutes. Then, she decided it was too much work. “Why don’t we just go get more candy at grandmas house?” It made sense. It was cold and raining. We were trudging through mud to beg strangers for candy. Plus, she couldn’t even eat the candy until I check it for razors. I wanted to say, “You’re right. F*ck this!” However, an unspoken rule of parenting is that your glass always has to be half full. So, I tried to convince her how much fun we were having. She wasn’t buying it. She went to three houses and spent the rest of the time under an umbrella in the wagon. I should have left the tags on her costume. She didn’t use it. Then again, I don’t want to endure another interrogation at the return counter.

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