I needed a specific gift. A family friend is turning 60 and we are throwing her a surprise party next Friday (shhh… don’t tell) and the invitation says no gifts, but I had a sort of gag gift in mind that I wanted to bring. Three or four years ago I was in Mexico with this friend and she was flying home before I had to check out of my hotel room, so used my hotel bathroom to shower. She forgot her orange Havainas flip-flops in the hotel room. The next time I saw this friend back in Seattle she asked me if I happened to get them out of the room and I informed her that I thought the hotel’s room cleaner had left them in our room, so I didn’t take them. Havaina flip-flops range from ~$20 to $150. The pair she lost in Mexico was not $150, but she thought it was funny that I assumed the hotel staff left them in our room. It has been a while, but we still talk about this story and she jokes that I thought a stranger had left their shoes in my room.
I wanted to buy her a replacement pair for her birthday and I typically try and buy all gifts online to save time. My two favorite online shopping sites are Amazon and Nordstrom. With my Amazon Prime account I get free shipping and it is usually fast. Nordstrom’s website also offers free shipping and it is (too) easy to buy things on this site. In addition, Nordstrom’s return policy is amazing and I know if I buy someone a gift there, they can take it back without any issues. In this case, Nordstrom does carry Havainas, but didn’t have the style I was looking for. I went to Amazon and found the style I wanted. Havainas are sized in European sizes and while I think I knew the gift recipient’s shoe size, I didn’t know if the European size was in Men’s or Women’s. At this point, I’m still crossing my fingers that I ordered the right size. Another pain point is the shoes were not available for Amazon Prime because I actually bought them from another retailer through Amazon. I didn’t have to pay for shipping, but the shipment is supposed to arrive the day of the party and is taking more than a week. If the size doesn’t work out, I will have a tough time rounding up the gift that same day.
I’m fine with the price point I paid for this gift, but other than that there are multiple things I would have rather done to get this gift. First, I would have rather bought it from Nordstrom so that my friend could have returned the gift if she wanted another style or needed a different size. Second, if I had to buy it on Amazon I would like to be able to use my Amazon Prime and have the gift delivered much faster. Finally, this might have been a gift that I would have preferred to buy in-store because of the sizing issue. If I was looking at the shoes in-person I would have known immediately if they were the right size or a men’s size. I really hope the size works out so that I can give the gift at the party.