Marginalia, no.227

Is not general incivility the very essence of love?

~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

I was once thrown out of a furniture store for daring to return a bunk bed I’d picked up thirty minutes before. On opening the boxes at home, I’d discovered it wasn’t made in the U.S., as was claimed, and was not really solid wood. It smelled of glue and formaldehyde. We didn’t want our kids breathing the fumes at night. “I don’t get you people – environmentalists!” the owner of the store snarled at me. The bed was a special order, he said, and non-returnable. It didn’t matter that no one told me it was a special order. The bed was my problem, not his, and if I didn’t leave the premises, he’d call the cops. Seeing how much he loved me, I tried not to take offence.

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