Thursday, July 21, 2016

Buy It

A man stands on the corner with a posterboard. Half a block away, another man with the same advertisement.

 Going out of business sale
75% off

Ugh. It's a favorite store of mine. It's where I buy running and walking shoes; it's where I bought my last pair of roller blades. It's where I picked up a yoga mat and some great shorts. Now it's gone. Even the light fixtures are for sale.

It pains me each time I see another retail store close its doors. Yes, I shop online, but I need a real space to try on real shoes; I need to walk around and make sure the curves don't pinch my toes.

Today, Mom and I walked into a hardware store on the island. It was packed with merchandise. Tons of merchandise. Hardly another soul in the store besides the two of us. We purchased the needed lightbulbs then had a few minutes to pass the time before the movie started. The store was our entertainment. When I saw this towel,
 I immediately thought of Margot's mother who hasn't had a good night's sleep in two and a half months.

"I need to buy this for Mandi," I said. Holly too. Both daughters/mothers don't get as much sleep as they need.

I picked up the towel and saw the price. A little high for a simple towel. Then I wondered how I'd send it home with Mandi whose suitcase is already overstuffed when she travels. I thought it would be more fun to put in their Christmas stockings. Do I really want to buy it now and store it until Christmas? I'll probably forget I have it. Then I had an even better idea. I'd take a photo of the towel and send it to both of them--message accomplished.

Then it struck me--this is why retail stores keep going out of business. They order, stock the store, pay the employees, pay the rent, and provide entertainment before the movie starts. Technology, specifically phones, often take away the need to make a purchase. This local store needed my business.

I bought two.

This is a plug for the beloved and vanishing book stores which provide the same services: the merchandise, the advantage of perusing what's available, the leather chair to peruse. They pay the employees and the rent. It's why when I go to the bookstore and find a book--I buy it. It may be cheaper on line, but every time a bookstore closes, a fairly village disappears.