Dear REI / by Susie Lubell

jacket

This is a little note to say thank you for being so awesome and for standing by your lifetime warranty. I went into your new Tustin store wearing my ten year old REI shell and carrying the down jacket that zips into it. Both were dripping wet since it's been pouring rain here for the last 152 hours. I took off the shell to reveal what looks like a horrible case of dandruff dusting on my shoulders. It is in fact from the jacket which, after traveling with me through countless countries and snowy peaks, has begun to disintegrate from the inside. That is why I brought this old friend in to your store, to see if I might exchange it for a newer model. A lovely cashier looked up my membership, which I have have had for going on 15 years, and discovered that the jacket transaction was on record, purchased in Manhattan Beach in 2000 for $200 cash. I remembered the price too because it was a lot of money when I was 22. I mean 27. The cashier asked if I'd like store credit or cash.

I walked to my car in the pouring rain in my t-shirt with $220 cash in my wallet. Now THAT is a lifetime warranty. Because that jacket and I had been through a lifetime of adventure together, packed into ten fun years. A part of me is sad to see her go. But an even bigger part of me is RICH and eying a sassy red Patagonia number, size medium.

You just earned my lifetime guarantee too.

warmly (once I get my new jacket),
Susie L.