Thursday, April 15, 2010

feeling nostalgic for the way things used to be

I just went downtown to purchase white dress pants for Spring Formal. The department store that carries them (the only one) is in the same location they have been in since God was a boy. Time has stood still since about 1978. I feel pretty confident that the saleswomen who work there have been there since then, too.

I didn't want to just go in, get the pants, and leave. The store made me want to linger. So much of this stuff was the same kind of things that were in department stores when I was a child. Classically styled clothes. There were a pair of shoes that I know must have been sitting there since 1982 back when they were first popular.. or perhaps they still make them, I don't know.

Of course I wouldn't know - I haven't been in a department store since about 1985.

No. I have become a slave of WalMart, Target, or even Goodwill. Making the "most" out a dollar.

Our parents were basically the last generation who took their children once or twice a year to a sweet downtown department store, most of which were two stories tall. To get to the upper floor, where the kids' clothes were, you either had to go up a large, polished wooden staircase with handrails that were much too big for a little girl's hand, its clean, brown rubber treads on each step.... or perhaps you'd use the small elevator with little round push-buttons, each kid getting a turn pushing either the "1" on the way up or the "2" on the way down...... or maybe your department store had an escalator, which tested the agility of small feet, something you still sort of fear even to this day when you go to the mall.

This generation of mothers would not be in a hurry on this special shopping day, nor would they be in bad moods because there were genuine, nice, smiling salespeople who helped pick out items from mom's list, which was usually a couple of stock basics: spring dresses, dress pants, Easter hats, undergarments, or shiny, new shoes. Even if mom didn't run into anyone she knew and pause to chit-chat, the saleslady was nice enough and had been there long enough that she remembered you. Sort of like an old friend, but one who has never been to your house for a cookout.

Then, happy moms and kids would go out for a sandwich and ice cream at a local dairy bar. If they were really lucky, daddy worked nearby and could meet them for lunch.


lizzerd said...

looks like somebody had a little trip down amnesia lane. i hope you left a trail of breadcrumbs to find your way back. ;)

:o) mg said...

oh, you mean the breadcrumbs weren't for eating? oops.

Anita said...

Ah...memories! I want to go to that place and get stuck in the time warp.

lizzerd said...

anita, better to get stuck in the time warp than in the aforementioned escalator!! hehee