It’s getting a lot harder to do CHRISTmas shopping. Well, actually, any kind of shopping. Why? All my favorite stores are closed or on the verge of closing. It seems like every day the news has information on yet another company going bankrupt. It used to be because of the economy, but now it’s the internet’s fault. I contribute to that problem, because I’d rather sit in my recliner and shop than walk the mall.
One of our favorite things to do is drive to Corpus Christi, get lunch at Blackbeard’s and shop at K-Mart. That was one of the few K-Marts left in Texas, and it was worth a two-hour drive, because we could also ride the ferry and watch dolphins. Win-win! We decided to drive over there a few weeks ago, and Ed checked before we left. Closed! Bummer. Now we’d have to drive to McAllen, which is almost four hours. Nope. Red Lobster is about ten minutes away, and Sea World is within twenty minutes.
If Sears follows suit, I’m going to have to revert to the old days of cooking in a fireplace, because every appliance in my house is a Kenmore. As a child, I used to love going through the Sears catalog. I’d pick out a family, decorate the house, supply the kitchen, and dream of my life as an adult. No, my real life didn’t even come close to my Sears catalog life, in case you’re wondering, but I think the catalog fueled my over-active imagination in a way few other things could. Nowadays, children probably have an app for that, but it’s not the same thing.
I used to love shopping at Mervyn’s. Once a year they’d put big tables of clothes in the aisles. The good brands, like Garanimals. I was able to supply my Salvation Army families with a bunch of good clothes and spend virtually nothing. I loved their long dresses. I had quite a few of them, and once Carol Burnett came on TV wearing one exactly like I had. No way did she pay what I did, but it was kind of cool to know we dressed alike. Where is Mervyn’s now? Gone.
One of the few stores I was always willing to drive a distance to was Montgomery Wards. Another store I grew up with and loved. So did my mother. Wards? Yep. Gone. Penney’s, Macy’s, Payless Shoes, Radio Shack, Gander Mountain, Family Christian, etc. Stores we grew up with and loved are either downsizing, gone, or going.
Since I do like to shop from my recliner, it’s not completely horrible, but there are many times I want to hold something in my hand and examine it before I buy it. That’s becoming a lot more challenging. In some cases, I must go on the internet to research what I want, where I can find it, and then decide if it’s worth it to drive there. Since I normally hate shopping unless it’s at Home Depot, the grocery store, some small mom & pop store, or an antique place, I do save a lot of money. By the time I’m done researching, I usually decide I don’t need it that badly.
I have a friend who hates Amazon. Actively hates them. Since I’m an Amazon prime user, I try not to mention Amazon’s name because it’ll send him off on a tirade. The bad thing is that he’s a postman, so he must deliver their packages. I think he probably carries heartburn medicine with him, just so he can get through the day. His major complaint is that Amazon has contributed to his favorite brick and mortar stores going belly up. He’s right, but I do think everyone can live together in harmony. In other words, do what I do. Shop both.
In writing all this, a thought crossed my mind. I’m old. When a friend found out the other day how old I am, she said, “You don’t act your age.” Since I was watching Zootopia at the time, I told her she was right. I probably won’t ever grow up, but the down side of being old is that things (and people) you grew up with are no longer here. I know I’ll see the people I miss again, but I’m pretty sure Mervyn’s won’t be in Heaven. The Bible doesn’t clearly describe what it’s like in Heaven, but I know I won’t have to be digging through tables of clothes looking for a good bargain. God will be supplying all our needs, not a department store. I just hope he remembers I prefer Kenmore appliances in my house and makes sure my little corner of Heaven has a good refrigerator.