So, I had a mission to complete that I’ve been putting off because I wasn’t sure what the parameters should be. I’d purchased two sports bras on-line before the challenge. One fit, the other didn’t. It was a much-needed infusion of brassieres, since, as a nursing mommy, my old ones have taken quite a bit of abuse. Now, ordinarily, the old me would discover that something I’d ordered on-line was not quite right, but I wouldn’t want to go through the trouble of returning it. Wasteful. This challenge has me thinking about the quality and value of things, and if something isn’t perfect and what I’d use, then I need to return it. Well, this item could be returned directly to the store even if purchased on-line because REI has an awesome return policy. Yay. The trick was that I’d have to go into a brick and mortar store.

The question here also was, could I trade in for one that fit better? Could I trade up if it cost more? I decided that if I managed to find something just right for the same price or less, then I could do it. But, if it cost even a bit more, then no way.

So, here, folks was a test of my resolve.

To be honest, I don’t often purchase anything from REI because I don’t buy into the outdoor gear thing , especially not the lifestyle stuff. If I need something for camping (or in the past, rock climbing) then yes, on occasion…if I can’t find it cheaper elsewhere.

We got there and immediately I felt that ‘kid in a candy store’ sensation. You know, like when you had a few spare quaters in your pocket as a kid and you could buy a few jaw-breakers from that shelf full of colourful, all sugar, treats.

I wandered the aisles, touching the great Patagonia gear, trying to feel if I had any overwhelming desires for any of it. In passing I would think, that would look really nice on; or that would be great to run in; but for the most part, very easy to pass up. The selection of bras was slim and priced much higher than the item I had purchased on sale. No go there.

Here’s where it got tricky. I saw some sun hats that were reasonably priced and cute. I am forever living in hope that my girls will keep their hats on. Summer is going to be upon us and that California sun can be intense. The battle to get the girls to stay protected from the sun with inconspicuous, light, comfy hats begins. I could, I calculated, buy both girls a hat with the money from the returned bra.

But then my toddler began asking for me to pull down all the hats to try. And then she wanted to try on shoes.

Suddenly, I snapped out of it.

How would these hats be any different from the handful of hats I had for the girls at home? Here was my little girl already becoming a shopper before my eyes.

I put my efforts to cajoling my toddler into getting on board with me and our mission. A simple ‘in, return, out’.

And so that’s what we did.

Phew. That was close.

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