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September 27, 2010

Beetlejuice, Part I

It happened again. One of our baby items, this time the formula I so carefully and lovingly selected from the shelf of our local Target, was recalled. And boy, do I have a few things to say about that. Things involving breaking our trust and putting my son's health in danger. Along with several deliciously graphic words explaining exactly where they can shove their tainted, beetle-infested formula.

But if I said those things, I would be getting a call from my father about my content. And while those calls are always exciting, they have a tendency to provoke the repressed teenager in the dark corners of my personality. And they make me want to litter my future posts with naughty, four-letter words.

So in the interest of keeping things expletive-free, I separated myself from the computer on Thursday morning after learning about the recall. Mostly because I have a tendency to fire off my mouth faster than a redneck can say NASCAR. Some of you may have noticed this character flaw in previous posts. Or, as I like to call it, the unpredictable sliver of my personality that keeps my marriage fresh as the baby's bottom.

That either speaks to the poop-infestation which has overtaken my marriage in the past nine months or my ability to keep my child's buttocks free of digested pancakes. I leave you to decide.

So in the midst of a Thursday afternoon downpour, Nathaniel and I braved the rain for a singular purpose: to buy baby food at Target.

Many of you know that I have a problem with Target. The problem being that I live within five miles of our local store, brimming with everything one could ever want or need. Jonathan agrees that I should be seeking therapy for this problem, especially since my grocery trips often involve mandatory detours down the baby aisle, which seem to be increasingly costly. Here's hoping the baby doesn't want his college fund.

Upon our soggy arrival to our local slice of heaven, we began the process of returning our half-used and potentially toxic tub of $24.99 formula. Of course, the formula rang up at the SALE PRICE! of $22.40, which was the first problem, never mind the beetles. This SALE PRICE! required a corporate authorization code and the manager's assistance to override. And in the end, the SALE PRICE! was all they could give me for the formula, since I didn't have a receipt.

May I remind you, dear Internet, I was not the one who rolled out the red carpet for a beetle orgy in the Similac factory. To the contrary, I am just a consumer, a cog in the machine. The machine that would only give me the SALE PRICE! because I couldn't present a receipt for a recall.

That was about the time that I looked at the employee and, with my professional mom tone, informed her that this wasn't right. Whether it was my innate politeness to the clerk or the fact that my eyes were shooting flames of death as I tried to keep my frustration in check, I may never know. But as I explained that I had paid full price for the formula, the clerk looked at me apologetically and quietly agreed that the SALE PRICE! wasn't fair. It was that expression of sympathy that gave me just enough patience to dry the napalm that was dripping from my flaming eyes and very sweetly ask if I could talk to a manager.

It wasn't that I needed the extra two dollars, but it was one of those principled stands. You know, the kind that usually requires a whole lot more money and effort than it yields. But you end up feeling so justified because you're going to stick it to The Man; that's why it's worthwhile.

The clerk called the same manager that had helped us before and quickly explained the situation to him. His reaction? WELL, THAT'S NOT RIGHT! IT'S A RECALL!

Apparently, he felt principled about the matter too. So principled, in fact, that he immediately put the extra money on my gift card and apologized for the trouble.

Incidentally, THIS is why I shop at Target. They may have a less-than-desirable return policy, but they want to do right by their customers. So with our freshly-minted gift card, Nathaniel and I purchased a pack of diapers and a brand new, beetle-free can of generic brand formula.

All was well. We went home, confident in our new, pediatrician-recommended formula until it came time for dinner and we discovered that our baby would not eat, something parents shouldn't experience until serving meatloaf to their pimple-faced teen.

Little did I know that this hunger strike would define our entire weekend.


  1. i am so sorry to everyone who is going through this. i am so tired of the FDA saying that this or that is deemed safe although it may cause blah blah blah. where do they get off deciding that this is ok? this is the most ridiculous branch of government there is. there are so many recalls now because no one is checking things in the 1st place. AHHH!

    aside from that, i'm so sorry that the baby is having a hard time. this never should have happened!

  2. The sale price on the return didn't even occur to me. I was simply pleased that they refunded my almost empty container. I will say the clerk was sympathetic of the situation and seemed surprised that she wasn't informed of the recall prior to 7 pm, when I brought it to her attention.

  3. I also have a problem with Target!I go in for one thing and come out with about 10 more. My husband won't let me shop there alone very much.