I Hate Returning Things, or The Exchange Rate

I spent $146 and three hours of my life on a $20 tablecloth.

I found the tablecloth I wanted online. I didn’t want to pay the $6 shipping, so I drove to the store with an 18-month-old child who has very recently gotten extremely long arms.

I had measured the table. I carried the measurements with me on a little post-it note. I carefully compared the numbers on the post-it to the measurements on the packaging. I bought the tablecloth for the size table I have.

Between my long arms and the baby’s, I spent another $100 while I was there.

I got it all home. I saved the shipping costs. Yay me! Very proudly, I decked out the table with my lovely, bright, stain-resistant, microfiber tablecloth.

It was too small.

Because it wasn’t FOR a 52” x 70” table. It was actually 52” x 70”. So it hangs over the edge like an inch.

Yeah, I’m an idiot. And now I have one more thing in my house that I do not want or need.

I can hear you saying “just return it.” As if “just” made it a non-effort. As if I could “just” hop in the car and run to the store. I’m guessing you don’t have two children under the age of four, a full-time job, and an hour-long commute. You can probably decide to go to the store and actually pull that off the very same day.

For me, getting to a real store takes several days of planning and close coordination with spousal counterparts. Just getting out the door takes an hour. So if I manage to pull off a trip to the anything, I had better get it right.

And I didn’t get it right.

They will bring it right to your house!

They will bring it right to your house!

So I went online and ordered one in a bigger size.

The first tablecloth cost me $20. The second tablecloth cost another $20 plus $6 shipping. So I’m spending $26 so I do not have to spend another two hours in the car and a narrow-aisled store with a long-armed baby during my few non-working hours. Because screw it. I have to be done with this now.

The first tablecloth? In a few years, I may donate it to charity, write off $6, and save $2 in taxes. But I will not spend the rest of my weekend chasing around the perfect tablecloth.