I love L.L. Bean. I’ve loved it since I was a kid and summers home in Maine included a pilgrimage to the LLB store in Freeport to visit the trout pond and taxidermied meese. Now that I am living in a drafty house in New England myself, I love LLB because it has WARM THINGS, like flannel-lined jeans (my husband thanks you) and hearthside slippers.
Last winter when I had a painful fall on the stairs just after moving in to the house, a pair of hearthside slippers in chocolate brown protected my feet on the stairs and kept them warm and safe (albeit after the fact; my fault). For Mum’s birthday the following June, I sent her a pair of hearthside slippers in green tea so that she would be safe on my stairs too during their summertime visit. This style of slipper has a little bit of a sole on the bottom that makes the carpeted stairs a little bit less treacherous.
When Christmas came, I decided to get my grandmother a pair of hearthside slippers too, in cornflower blue, to keep her warm and cozy in upstate New York. I ordered the slippers online from the comfort of Massachusetts and took advantage of LLB’s free holiday shipping promotion to have the slippers sent straight to Nevada, where Grandma was visiting for the holidays, so Mum wrapped them and put them straight under the tree.
But Christmas Day came and the slippers were too small. They tend to run smallish at first anyway, and while I had guessed Mum’s size correctly the previous spring, I guessed incorrectly with Grandma. A return was necessary, but since L.L. Bean doesn’t have an outpost in the Nevada desert, more’s the pity, it would have to be a mail return.
Mum called Customer Service. And explained:
Daughter in Massachusetts
bought hearthside slippers online
to be mailed from the L.L. Bean store in Freeport, Maine
straight to Mum in Las Vegas, Nevada
where Mum wrapped them and put them under the tree
for Grandma, visiting Nevada from upstate New York
but the slippers, alas, were too small, so Mum in Nevada
has to package up the slippers and mail them back
to L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine
and then a new pair in a larger size could be sent
from Freeport, Maine
to Grandma, who by the time the slippers were available,
would be back at home in upstate New York.
The wonderful woman at customer service got such a good laugh out of our tale.
Three generations. Four states. One pair of cornflower blue slippers. One amazing “local” company that can reach across the country and make sure ALL their customers are happy with their product and their service. I can’t think of another company that would have done what the folks at L.L. Bean were able to do for one little pair of slippers and three women with cold toes.
And even more than before, if such were possible, I love L.L. Bean.