the take-it-back attack

The Take-it-Back Attack

by Rana Nelson, Tofino


I want to return this cheese,"
I said, "because it's, well,
it's gross."

"That's a good reason," the clerk said affably, glancing at the six-dollar price sticker, "especially when it costs this much money."

Shortly before this, I had bought my toddler two fleece outfits and tossed them in the hamper to be washed without trying them on her. Then, when lack of clean laundry forced me to dig through the hamper for one of them, I realized it was almost too small. With no other clean clothes, I kept that pink outfit. Later, at risk of limb, I snatched the red outfit out of the gaping maw of the washing machine, shook off a few water droplets, dug the tag out of the recycling bin, plucked the hanger from her closet and plunked everything in the "To Return" pile on our stairway ledge - beside the cheese and a dog ball that was too small for the gaping maw of our German Shepherd.

I don't accept things anymore that aren't up to standard. When I open a newly bought container and find moldy yogurt, I no longer sigh with resignation and feed it to the dog. I take it back. If given clothes that don't fit, or books that I already have, I return or exchange them - with or without a receipt. Our "This Might Be Useful Someday" pile is shrinking as fast as the "To Return" and "Sally Ann" piles are growing.

Part of the reason for my mindshift is realizing how much unnecessary stuff we accumulate, and the other part is that I am now keeping track of the budget. Previously, when my husband created the budget, I could always convince myself that this filing cabinet or that pair of shoes was absolutely necessary, whether or not there was money for them. However, since I drew up our last budget, I take much more interest in how we spend our money.

Returning things takes time and energy - hot commodities with a small child around - but I refuse to eat rancid corn chips and stale bread, and to use smelly foam craft supplies. I also refuse to pay for them. There is a fine line between principle and perfectionism, but standards do exist: fresh yogurt, well-ripened cheese, properly cooked restaurant food. And if we as consumers accept low quality, we will get low quality.

My consumer activism seems to be hereditary. My father once took a burger back to the counter at Dairy Queen three times because it was pink in the middle. And eighteen months ago, my brother bought a sandwich at the Tim Horton's drive-thru in Chilliwack on his way to Kamloops. Back on the highway, he took a bite and pronounced it inedible. He saved it for two days, until he returned to Chilliwack. They took it back.

Rana Nelson operates Onwords Editing and Communication. She recently exchanged a package of light bulbs at the Tofino Co-op hardware store.

tofino | tofino time | activities | accommodation | events | directory
maps | travel | food | art & artists | photos | horoscope | tides
search | magazine | issues | articles | advertising | contact us

hosted in tofino by & studio tofino
© 2002-2014 copyright Tofino Time Magazine in Tofino Canada
© 2002-2011 Tofino Time Magazine & ThinkTank Design Inc.


tofino time february 2007

quick links:
tofino accomodations
tofino calendar

tofino surf report
tofino horoscope
september horoscope
tofino map
tofino fishing report
tofino tides
tofino weddings

tofino events:
tofino concerts
tofino events
tofino movies
tofino festivals
tofino yoga classes

tofino time magazine:
tofino time september 2012
captain vincente tofino
readers choice: the best of tofino
floating gardens at freedom cove
tofino event listings for september 2012
tofino concerts in september 2012
tofino movies in september 2012
tofino tide table for september 2012
tofino surf reports for september 2012
cox bay | wickaninnish beach
chesterman beach
tonquin beach
tofino brewing co.
horoscope for april 2013
tofino wedding guide

tofino accommodation:
tofino cabin
tofino camping
bed & breakfasts in Tofino
tofino hostels
tofino motels
tofino hotels
tofino vacation rentals
petfriendly accommodation

tofino bike rentals
tofino bear watching
tofino bird watching
tofino boat charters & cruises
tofino fishing
hot springs cove
sea kayaking in tofino
tofino storm watching
tofino surfing
tofino whale watching
tofino yoga

tofino art galleries
tofino books
tofino boutiques & gift shops
food stores in tofino
tofino outfitters

tofino yoga, spa & wellness
tofino restaurants
tofino internet cafes
tofino travel & transportation
tofino real estate
tofino vacation rentals
tofino weddings

tofino events
tofino concerts
tofino movies
tofino calendar
tofino cabins
tofino maps
tofino jobs
tofino media