Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The end of a fifty-year love affair

Hot passions usually don't last that long, but this one did. In fact, it perhaps began as early as 1959. Then, still a kid I wanted a pair of Levi's jean like today's preteens would probably pester their parents for an i-phone, so after enough praying and cajoling, my Mom bought me one. She had a hard time locating them and wasn't sure it was such a good product after all. She probably didn't notice the two horses trying to tear the garment apart by pulling it on either sides, as pictured on the stitched, fake-leather label on the back, but the main thing was that I got them! Since that time, I probably have “consumed” 80 to 100 such jeans, in various denominations, from 501 to 550, never straying away from the brand and skillfully avoiding names like Lee or Wrangler. I was a true believer, a customer-for-life!

This was until yesterday. In the past, I have at time committed the American consuming crime, consisting of buying more than one item at a time, in order to stock them up, under the pretense that they were on sale, it was a great deal and I thought I was saving money. Sometime last year, I bought two pairs of Levi's at once. In recent years, my waist line had more or less followed the stock market by fluctuating, the peak coming in 2002 when I needed 34” to feel comfortable inside my pants. Recession, lots of exercise and more sensible eating brought that down, first to 33” and now to 32”.

Since one pair of these two jeans bought last year had not been worn and still had the labels on, my wife took them first to the Levi's Park City store to exchange them, something quite routine where we live. The employees gave her a terrible time and refused the exchange because she didn't have the receipt with her, even alleging that she could have “stolen” the precious, thirty dollar pants. Yesterday, I finally put my hand on the receipt and returned to the store with my it and over-sized Levi's under my arm. First they couldn't find the size I wanted and finally unearthed a different model that I didn't quite like but was nevertheless ready to accept. Then they saw my receipt and lectured me because it said on it that returns were only accepted within 30 days of purchase. This wasn't a return, it was an exchange, but I didn't argue, I just told them that Levi's had lost me as a client forever...

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