By Marilyn Baron
I’m writing to you from the closet in our new home. It’s quite a big closet since it has to hold clothes, shoes, purses and other paraphernalia for all 12 of the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales. It’s a carpeted, cedar-lined closet, with racks for all of our shoes and special compartments for our purses. I’ve asked Miss Maggie where my winter coat is, because I’ve been looking in vain for it for hours, until I remember that I don’t have one. Well, I have the one I’ve had for years, which I still like, but I wanted a new one this winter season.
At the end of December, I went shopping for a new winter coat. By then, most of the coats had been picked over, but I found a beautiful black faux fur coat for a nice sale price.
I wore it out to dinner one night and my husband started sniffing when I got into the car. He wrinkled his nose and said, “What’s that awful smell?” Then he sniffed some more. There was so much sniffing going on that I thought he was going to mark his territory. “It’s your coat. It smells like a chemical. You need to take it back.”
The thing about me is, I don’t have a sense of smell. So I couldn’t smell it at the time I purchased it. I called the store and asked them about it. The sales associate said it would just take time for the smell to dissipate.
“I don’t have time,” I explained. “We are about to go out of town and my husband won’t let me in the car with that coat.”
“Well, why don’t you take it to a dry cleaner and if that doesn’t work, bring it back and we can try to get the smell out,” she countered. “Then you can come back and pick it up. “
“But we’re leaving town tomorrow.”
“That’s ridiculous,” my husband objected. We’re not going to pay to get a new coat dry cleaned.”
We tried hanging the coat up in the dining room, to see if the smell would dissipate, but the smell did not go away.
So we spent three hours fighting traffic to get to the mall at Christmas time and returned the coat. The saleswoman took it back without question. She probably thought I was insane to buy the coat in the first place. I’m sure she and the other sales associates had a good laugh about it.
That night we went out to dinner with friends. We drove the car we used to return the coat.
“What’s that smell,” my friend asked. “It smells like dry cleaning.”
I wondered if my husband had put her up to saying that. So we launched into our story about the Stinky Coat.
Now, I feel like I’m in an episode of the TV sitcom Seinfeld, like “The Smelly Car.” Only mine is called “Stinky Coat.”
Has anything like that ever happened to you? What are some of your funniest return stories?