I’ve decided that 2012 is my year of power.
Something about being in Sudan and celebrating a wedding with a bunch of amazingly vibrant, in-their-bodies Sudanese people has really helped me to see myself and why I do what I do more clearly. Mainly: I act small and nice a lot of the time out of fear of making other people uncomfortable. Dude. I’m so over that. Who knew, but Sudan was the exact tonic I needed. One of the biggest gifts that Sudan (and my new, awesome extended family there) gave me is this: I am allowed to take up space. Even if it makes other people uncomfortable. And sometimes BECAUSE it makes other people uncomfortable.
So I’ve found myself doing all sorts of crazy things, like haggling like an old biddy at the market in Omdurman. And just straight up asking “Do you want my advice?” And having some difficult but necessary conversations with people I love. I mean, all of these things feel a little risky and scary to me, and they might get weird or end up making people feel bad, but I’m actually one of the best people I know at cleaning up those kinds of situations.
My most recent and triumphant experience with this was when I was trying to buy some shoes for J online. **Please note that I do not get paid for any recommendations I make on this blog. Seriously. Look around. Does this look like Design Mom to you? (obscure mom blog reference) So anything I’m saying here I actually just want to say, in the spirit of, “Hey, you should totally check out the bagels at that place on the corner…they’re amazing.”**
So. J needs shoes. And all sorts of things actually. Pajamas, a hat, a coat. Which is shocking to me because this is really the first time I’ve needed to buy him clothes, and he’s nearly 2 and a half. Till now, we’ve gotten by on gifts and hand-me-downs and one big bag of used clothes I bought off of Berkeley Parents Network. Suddenly, we need clothes now, and I don’t want to pay full price for them. I’d rather use our modest savings on some nice new shelves we want or a weekend away. So I did a bit of shoe research, because I think Jonah doesn’t fall down as much when he wears those flexible soled shoes, and everyone’s all nuts over these See Kai Run shoes. I’ve seen ’em before, and they’re super cute. But I just always assume that they’re $50 baby boutique shoes and I’ll never be able to afford them. And I was pretty much right. But lo and behold, the See Kai Run website had some sale shoes, and I bought ’em and wound up being pissed off. So instead of being pissed and shrinking away, I invoked 2012! Year of Power! and wrote this email using their generic online form emailer thingy:
Hello. I’ve heard great reviews about your shoes, and wanted to buy some but have a modest budget. Lo and behold, you had some sale shoes at $22 which was exactly my budget. I proceeded with checkout by paypal to see what the shipping charges would be and right before I hit submit, it showed me that the total was $22. Amazing! I thought. I can still buy them. If the shipping was over $5, I was going to try to find them used. So I hit submit and then my receipt popped up with the real total including the shipping. I just think you all should know about this and change it, so that others don’t feel duped like I did. And I’m not going to get all agro about it, and honestly don’t expect to hear a word from you. but I think if you all want to be an up and up business, you’d credit my card the shipping charges and then I’ll be a lifelong customer and referrer…
Less than two hours later, I had this reply:
Thank you for writing. I have informed our website manager regarding this oversight. I have also refunded the shipping cost to your PayPal account. We apologize for the confusion when placing your order.
See Kai Run
Apparently, I’m a pretty cheap date, since all they had to do was give me $6.50 of my own money back and now I’m writing a whole blog post about them. But seriously. I just have to celebrate a business that has that kind of responsiveness and integrity.
Not all of my 2012! Year of Power! experiments have yielded such immediate and satisfying results. But whatever. I’m rocking it sometimes.