Anybody would have thought I’d have learned my lesson about buying scandalously cheap crap off the internet after the recent Overalls Fiasco.

That would be the fiasco in which I ordered scandalously cheap but cute overalls made by desperate malnourished children in Asia and they showed up and I tried them on, and I looked like a 300-pound halibut.

In spite of which, yet another package from the internet landed on my porch the other day. In my defense, I do believe I ordered it the same week I ordered the Large Marine Life Overalls, but it took two and a half months longer to arrive, because it was being shipped by messenger squid. This looked like a better risk anyway: it was just a simple tunic top. It would be hard to go far wrong.

Except, you know what? Chinese merchants think American women are the size of refrigerators. I ordered a nice uncontroversial Medium and put it on and I’m not sure the fabric touched me anywhere. It covers my ass, I’ll give it that. My neighbor’s ass might be in there too.

Well, this time I was not going to get caught up in trying to sew it back to my size. I would just return it for a smaller size. Or a refund. They said they don’t pay return shipping, but it couldn’t cost much. It doesn’t weigh much more than a few postage stamps. In the ad it looked as though it should, like maybe it was a nice sweater knit with a bit of heft to it, but no. Turns out it’s made of guppy scales and vapor. So.

I sent out an email to the Return People as noted on the invoice. I included the order number, the delivery date, the product name, and the reason for exchange. I couldn’t think of anything to add that was really any of their business.

We want to thank you for reaching out to our customer care team! Our goal is to ensure that you have a satisfied shopping experience on our sites! We’ve received your inquiry! To better serve your needs, we need additional information! To wit: order number, delivery date, product name, and reason for exchange. Please note customer must reply to every email in seven days or else.

I sent back the requested info, in boldface Baskerville font.

We are sorry you are not satisfied with the item. Customer is responsible for return postage. The return center is in Guangzhou, China. The shirt cost $21. The post office can get it there for a snappy $65.85. Please reply in five days if you want a return shipping label.

Dudes. Is this about that tariff thing? Because I totally did not vote for that mofo.

I wrote back quick. I was running out of time. “Um…”

Please note we must receive reply within three days to prevent detonation of closet monster. If this is not satisfying to customer, we are willing to offer 15% cash refund which can be used to alter item.

Which it could, if there were any desperate malnourished Asian children sewing seams in the Portland area. Alternately, it could be used to purchase a third of an egg roll, or one whole one if you promise to just lick it and give it back.

I probably should have taken them up on the cash smidgeon, but I’m down to the last day, and I’m afraid the next email would trigger legal proceedings to garnish my pension check for upsetting the customer care team. I’m already worried they know where I live. I’ll just wear it. I’ll wear it and I’ll like it.  I promise.