Today was the first good chance I'd had to return the black Gap sundress since I altered it, and so was dismayed to realize that I was one day past the receipt announced thirty day limit on returns. Of course, I know that Gap often has very lenient and forgiving return policies, and it seemed unlikely that the clerk would even check the date, much less do the math, but still, any hitch in the returning process revs my nerves into high gear. So I summoned all my artistic fortitude, gathered my courage... and got a coworker to return the dress for me. She wasn't nearly the stickler that I was for return dates, and had no trouble at all.
Even if the dress had been unreturnable, it would not necessarily have been a loss. I've made two other pieces that I haven't gotten a chance to return before the deadlines were quite past, and so I kept them. One is a dress from H&M where I painted geometric patterns on the underskirt:
The other is a pair of pants with an elongated pocket, also from H&M (the preponderance of unreturned H&M sprouts from a thirty day return policy plus stores that are inconvenient to my usual schedule).
I imagine that if I were to show Shell Game in a gallery setting, aside from the photographic documentation, one component of the display would be a rack with a collection of clothing that I altered, but either didn't get a chance to return, or was for some other reason unreturnable. The clothing on this rack would have art prices on their tags; hundreds or thousand dollar prices, instead of the twenty to eighty bucks that my altered pieces go for at the Gap, H&M, etc... in the instances that they are presumably successfully resold.