Me: (opens email, first message reads “Details on your Amazon order FDS436578”) Babe? What did you order on Amazon?
Wife: Oh just some boots for the girls. Don’t worry though, they’re probably going back.
Me: What do you mean they’re probably going back? They haven’t even gotten here yet.
Wife: My mom is sending some boots for them. I want to see which ones I like better.
Me: Why is your default mechanism to buy it instead of just waiting?
Wife: Just … don’t question me, okay? I know what I’m doing.
Three days later, Amazon box of boots sits on chair where I usually sit at kitchen table
Me: BABE! What is going on with this box?
Wife: Oh, you can return it. I like the ones my mom sent better.
Me: I’m sorry, I can return it?
Wife: (makes puppy dog eyes)
Me: (forcefully grabs box) Gimmie this thing … where’s the computer?
I go into office to use printer and execute return
Me: (yelling because wife is in different room, likely ordering another product that will soon be returned from her iPad) Babe? What is the reason for the return?
Wife: I don’t know … just say we don’t need it.
Me: If we use that reason, they charge us for return shipping.
Wife: Well, what are the other options?
Me: There are like 20 of them and I’m not screaming them all to you.
Wife: What about, “We like it, but we found something better and cheaper.”
Me: If we use that one then it prompts me to tell them where and at what price. How about this one: “Ordered by my wife after she asked my mother-in-law to ship the same exact thing except better and at no cost.”
Wife: Hardy har. Just say it doesn’t fit.
Me: This doesn’t feel ethical. What if the boot company alters its entire sizing chart to account for our feedback?
Wife: I don’t know … what should we do?
Me: Oh geez, I have things to do. I’m just choosing “doesn’t fit.” There. Now I need to go to confession. (prints return label)
Wife: (walks into office, looks at printer) Why is this printing in color? I NEED THAT INK FOR MY WORK STUFF!
Me: I told you, I can't figure out how to print in black and white from the computer for some reason.
Wife: Ugh! Do you know how expensive ink is?
Me: I do. And may I remind you that it was not my idea to order these boots in the first place.
Wife: It’s printing twice! What is happening?
Me: Amazon requires one return label on the box and one in the box. I know this because I find myself doing Amazon returns all the time.
Wife: Isn’t Amazon in Phoenix? Couldn’t you just drop this off to them like, before work or whatever instead of printing all this stuff out?
Me: I’m going to pretend that suggestion was not just made. Where’s the tape? I need to get this label on the box. (finds a roll of tape, grabs it)
Wife: Not my work tape!
Me: I can’t even right now.
One week laterMe: (opens email, first message reads “Return on Amazon order FDS436578 has been processed!”) Cool. (second message reads, “Details on your Amazon order PDC332876”) BABE!
Note: This column appears in the 1/9 issue of The Glendale Star and the 1/10 issue of the Peoria Times.