Thursday, December 2, 2010

One Size Fits Most

“But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.” 1 Corinthians 7:7

It’s the holidays! Let’s talk about gift cards for a moment.

I was given a gift card approximately four years ago to a major retailer, but had never used it. The gift card resurfaced in our home sometime over the summer and I called the number on the back and magically it was still good. I made a conscious decision that I should use it as soon as possible since I was pretty sure I’d had it nearly forever in gift card years.

But it was to a store that we don’t frequent very often, and is at least 30 minutes away in the big town.

Anyway, the moment finally presented itself a couple of weeks ago. Leaves had been blowing into the garage and the leaf blower we’d had for 10+ years had a locked up motor from last year and hadn’t been fixed. I never liked that leaf blower anyway. It was a gas model and hard for me to start. I decided it was time to put my gift card into action and buy an electric leaf blower.

I started online. I found an electric model that was 5 lbs. lighter than the gas counterpart and would blow 225 mph. And it was on sale. Sold! I decided at this time too, that when I visited the store I would also purchase the gutter-cleaner-outer attachment for the leaf blower to make our lives easier. I had brief daydreams of being able to purchase these two items together and have the gutters cleaned out by nightfall, making my husband so proud of me!

Those dreams were squelched when I actually went to the store and found that the gutter attachment was not available for in-store purchase. I took my on sale leaf blower and went home, slightly disappointed.

Upon arriving home, I promptly ordered said gutter-cleaner-outer attachment off the internet. The description said, “Fits most….”


Kind of left it open, didn’t it?

But in my eyes, most says majority, and majority says a lot, and a lot seems to be readily available, so I clicked the “confirm order” button for my site-to-store pickup.

I got a little anxious and tried to click on the link in my order confirmation email a couple of days later, so I could see the status of my order. It took me to a place to login to my online account. I entered my email address, the one just used to confirm my order, and the site told me that email address had not been registered with an account. Hmm. First bad sign.

Then about a week later, I received another email confirming my gutter-cleaner-outer was ready to be picked up in the big town. I also got a call from a nice computer generated lady telling me the same thing, but I had to listen to it twice to be able to understand the whole thing.

The following day – yesterday to be exact – I traveled to the big town to retrieve my order. Sure enough, they had it and were able to retrieve it for me from the bowels of the store within 5 minutes – a sign said that was their goal!

When I arrived home, I began to understand what “Fits Most” meant. It meant it would fit gas models with threaded flanges, gas models with a button to secure attachments, electric models with a button for attachments, and electric models with threaded flanges – that were all ROUND.

Unfortunately, I had purchased the readily available blower with the RECTANGULAR flange.

So, this morning I took my third trip to the big town to exchange my blower for one with a round flange that would work with the attachment. I was assisted by one of the very helpful associates in my return and exchange of blowers. He took my $35.00 extra dollars, as this blower was NOT on sale, and told me this was the only one that was electric with a round attachment flange. Should definitely work.


We’re back to that word again.

A little voice in my head said I should try it before I left the parking lot since I’d had the forethought to bring along the gutter attachment. But there were a lot of pieces, and I had my kid with me, and my husband had actually tried it before and knew what piece should go directly on the blower. I was just sure it would work, drunk with the associate’s confidence.

I sobered up when I got home and actually tried it.

Most apparently means – will work for most everyone else, except me.

The flange was the right shape, but was just slightly too big. Big enough not to work. Big enough to require lots of duck tape alteration to get it to work. Big enough to send my blood pressure rising into the sky and a few choice words to come to mind.

With that, I resolved to return the whole mess of frustration and call it a day. I resolved to muster as much grace as one with an aggravated temper can, and not unleash my wrath on the next available cashier. I resolved myself to the fact that I was going to have to drive to the big town ONE MORE TIME!!

The fourth time at 60 miles round trip, but who’s counting??

I also resolved that they could figure out how to put everything back in the box the way it should have been as I did not have enough patience left to mess with it. Shoving it all in with my foot, and stomping on it while jumping up and down on the box, would probably have resulted in breakage and would have made returning my burden unlikely.

And so, after much gas guzzling and several scenic trips, a few choice-word thoughts and a credit on my credit card, I have nothing to show for my Plight of the Leaf Blower.

So, when you give that gift card this holiday season, remember the Plight of the Leaf Blower sparked by an old gift card that resurfaced after years of not being spent.

And remember not to give me a gift card. Sorry. Bad taste in my mouth.

And remember the perfect gift of Jesus, who truly is “One Size Fits All”, not “Most”.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23


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