I had been fearing the day. Dreading it with the same anxiety that I have traditionally reserved for the return of results from exams for which I strategically decided to study only two thirds of the course work, discovering upon turning over the page that the entire exam was on the unstudied third, and which subsequently destroy my grade point average in Government and International Relations.
That kind of dread, you know?
So, point is I had an unwanted dress; one which I had bought in a fit of passion for a yellow brocade trim on a skirt lining that would ordinarily not be visible to anyone, other than individuals with low morals and high determination. It had been on sale, dear readers, for about a quarter of its original price. But, alack, it was (as I had known at the time at which I bought it) too big and had to be returned.
On Tuesday, I took the dress, folded neatly in its tissue paper inside a pretty paper bag in to work so as to return it to the shop that evening. It sat beside me all day, like a tell-tale heart from my shadowy past. But it wasn’t returning it that was the problem. I should never have bought a dress that doesn’t fit me in the first place. It was the store credit.
Having lost the receipt, I could only get store credit. And receiving store credit is pretty much like being given free money. It’s like tax returns or something, as though I never had spent that money in the first place. What is worse, it was store credit in my favourite shop. And a favourite shop with a permanent sale section. I was, methought, in trouble.
I took Trixie (aka. Trouble). It was nearly four weeks into our detox and I thought we were due to test ourselves. Walk through the crack den only to collect our sneakers. Walking up to the shop, we drew breath. Trixie mentioned something about my cruelty in taking her there, while also suggesting she would walk around to ‘price’ things so that she could plan future shopping ventures in New York.
I did lose Trixie a few times. But we stayed on the ground floor. We – more or less – walked in the general direction of the checkout counter and then – more or less – walked out.
I had store credit in my wallet. Money that, by definition, has to be spent on clothes and accessories. But while I could have reasoned that as it was a pre-detox purchase I was returning, buying something with that credit – and for the precise value of that credit – would have only brought me back to where I started from and so, technically, was not a breach of my challenge. Yes, dear friends. It could have been all too easy and I could have conveniently decided such an action did not really warrant a blog happening, as it technically did, in the past.
But if there is anything I’ve learned about myself over these last few weeks, it is that I am endlessly objective and fair. I could not redeem my store credit on that day, nor will I redeem it at any point before May the 1st. I made a promise to you, dear readers, and I could fear to think of how I would fall in your esteem had I taken that perfectly legitimate opportunity to re-immerse, albeit briefly and technically in the past, in the rush of buying something new to wear. I just couldn’t do that to you.
The vanguard marches forward (with store credit!).