On returning stuff


Recently, my roommate starred in a music video of one of her songs (it's great--I'll post it when it's edited). Even though I had been minimally involved in the bureaucracy of staged productions in college, I'd never seen a real stylist in action. I'd never seen a team of people so passionately engaged over which pair of patterned tights would go with which bracelets to effect the ideal tone. When I showed up on set to watch it all go down, I was impressed: yes there somehow was a vast, ineffable chasm of cool between a runner-up outfit and the winning one. These people were slick, and they were good!

Also, I never really considered the reality of a stylist's life: that you have to "pull" a bunch of outfits, and then inevitably return a bunch. Suddenly, I started noticing stylists everywhere—they were impeccably dressed and usually flagged by similarly styled acolytes, and they'd canvass the entire store like they were a SWAT team and this was not a smug Eastside boutique but an obvious front for black market chattel. I stepped wisely aside as they swooped in to indict or acquit an entire fleet of size 2s.

I've never been there for a returns session, but I'd imagine it has a corresponding urgency. The only thing I've ever returned was when I was nine, and supervised by my mother—a Christmas gift that was too small, and needed to be upgraded to be properly and gratefully displayed whenever that relative would next be encountered. What about you? Do you have any qualms about returning stuff you buy? Or any good stories if you've been the one behind the counter"¦