28 Jan The Decisive Indecision of a Neurotic Consumer
It’s not surprising that someone as picky as me returns purchases as often as I do. I probably return things more often than I keep them. It’s quite neurotic actually but I can’t stand keeping something I don’t like in the end. I don’t discriminate either. Shoes, pants, shirts, electronics, furniture, accent items, even books. It doesn’t matter: if I can return it, I probably will. I’d return a bad movie if I could. I’d return a house purchase if I could.
Recently we purchased a new bed. That makes it sound like we had an old bed before the new bed but that’s not true. We have been married for 12 years and have never purchased a bed like proper grown ups. So last week we purchased a bed for the first time and it arrived on Thursday. We were pretty excited but my wife was ecstatic because she wants to create a sanctuary in our room now that we’ve finally extricated all the children from our bed/room.
After the delivery guys put the bed together I went up to have a look and it looked great. Later on, when everyone else returned home, kids and wife, they went upstairs to check out the bed. Liadan couldn’t even get on it. As the day went on I started to think it looked a little high. When I eventually slept on it I felt like I might be able to touch the ceiling. Granted, we’ve been on the floor but at least on a box spring and tall mattress that still put us at a reasaonble height.
The next day the bed seemed to get higher and higher and higher. I was annoyed. It didn’t look like that in the store. Our box spring and mattress on top of the bed frame was too much. I now hated the bed. It was ridiculous. It’s also not real wood and when you lean against the back and it bends a bit. What’s the point? This is when I get neurotic and obsessed with my decision making and what to do. I’m not sure we can return it, or if we want to. We could get a more low profile box spring and that would make it better.
But my neurosis and poor purchasing ability also reminded me that all the images of interiors that I love on pinterest or in magazines don’t show beds like the one I purchased. So what was I thinking? Every time we buy stuff for our house I can never get it right when it comes to the interior design look I value the most. So now it’s not even just that the bed is Mount Everest and I need rappelling gear to get down, but it’s not even what I want! I want more low profile, minimalism, clean lines, simple, but comfortable.
The following are texts I sent to my wife the other night when I got into bed and was completely annoyed by the fact that we had a grown-up loft bed:
– “My nose is bleeding.”
– “I’m getting altitude sickness.”
– “I might need to rappel down in the middle of the night.”
– “I’m stealing the kids ladder.” (for their bunk bed)
– “It’s like a high-dive.”
– “The dog won’t pee! What am I supposed to do? He always pees!”
– “Hold on, let me get down.”
So this morning I emailed the store to ask what their return policy was and they said I could return it. I often feel embarrassed when it’s mostly my pickiness that needs to return something instead of a defect or something. But my desire to not be stuck with something I don’t want allows me to swallow my pride in a way more profound than any other time. It’s actually a very interesting emotional skill I have developed at this point since I have returned so many things.
For example, just a couple weeks ago I bought a rug for our living room. It didn’t match so I took it back. The same woman helped me and I got the same rug in a different color. Took that home and we didn’t like that either. I took the second rug back and felt uncomfortable but made jokes and just committed to getting what I want. I got a third color version of the same rug and took it home. This was all in one day while it was snowing outside. I get a one-track mind and want to get things done all in one day. We tried the third one for at least a day and decided the rug was just not as comfy as our previous one.
Seriously? I’m going to return a third rug to the same store? I decided it was Kristi’s turn and assigned her this duty sometime in the week. Well, she never got around to it, so because I had a week off from feeling embarrassed, and a now replenished humble pie reserve, I took the rug back myself. The same woman was there and I just decided to ignore my embarrassment and make a joke of it. I still felt stupid so I hurried through the process and got myself out of there. I took three different rugs back to the same store and left with my money for all their time. I would hate me if I was the service agent — she was cool about it.
So today, we’re trying to figure out if we want a bed that could be used to clean windows on a tall building, or if we want a simpler bed with clean lines and a minimalist look. And if we do decide to return it, I will squeeze that fucker into my mini van and carry it awkwardly into the store with my tail between my legs because my satisfaction outweighs my pride. If the frame doesn’t fit in my van I will just carry the damn thing all the way back to the store, on my back, through the snow and cold.
This is called decisive indecision and there’s a small part of me that is proud of it.