Monday, November 3, 2008

GOODBYE, MERVYNS AND MOTHER’S

I’m feeling terribly guilty. I recently learned that Mervyns is closing its doors forever. Shortly after receiving this shock, I heard more bad news—Shoe Pavilion is also going out of business. The last straw came only a few days ago: Mother’s Cookies will no longer be providing us with after-school/work/dinner snacks.

And it’s all my fault.

All this time I’ve been taking these stores and products for granted, certain they’d be there when I needed them. Like black Gloria Vanderbilt jeans when my old ones are full of cat hair. Like discounted Skecher shoes because I don’t have a pair in that shade of tan. Or like a bag of Iced Raisin cookies that make a great breakfast when dunked in a latte.

Now, thanks to my neglect, they’re history. I’ll be lucky if I can find any of that stuff on eBay (wonder what a bag of cookies is going for these days?) This little dip in the economy is really getting on my nerves, now that I’m losing the things I love. I’ve already cut back on luxuries. We don’t eat out as much as we used to (still got plenty of leftover Halloween candy to live on). I haven’t bought any new clothes other than a Halloween costume (a black witch’s dress that can easily double as a cocktail gown). We haven’t been out to a movie, concert, or Broadway show since we joined Netflix (Guess we’ll have to wait until “Wicked” goes to video). And we’ve cut down on water, gas, electricity, and even got rid of one of our remotes (lost it.)

But when I learned one of my favorite stores—the place where I get staples, like fuzzy socks, elastic waist pants, holiday themed t-shirts, and fluffy towels—was throwing in the towel, I nearly had a panic attack. Where else would I find clothes at up to fifty percent off on everything from ladies’ underwear to men’s pajama bottoms? Where would I buy my husband’s Charlie Sheen Bowling Shirts at such a deep discount? Where could I go to find sheets that didn’t cost more than the bed and baby clothes so cute, they made me want to get pregnant?

I figured Mervyns would always be there, along with Shoe Pavilion and Mother’s Cookies. Instead I’m losing an institution—the place where I bought my kids’ school clothes, the place where I found pants that actually fit, the place where I could return my fashion mistakes—and there were many—with no questions asked.

I live in fear of the next “going out of business” announcement. Not those bogus ones that sell “Persian carpets” or “raw wood furniture.” They’re always going out of business, but never do. We’re wise to them. It’s the idea that real stores—our favorite stores—will go out of business and we’ll be left with nowhere to shop but the Persian carpet and raw wood furniture stores.

I’m going to do what I can to stop this madness—force myself to buy more Sees chocolates, drink more Starbucks lattes, consume more Lucky Store cupcakes, eat out more at Pasta Primavera, charge more clothes at Nordstrom, and generally do my best to keep the economy thriving. Because if one more store goes out of business (please—not Target!), or I lose one more of my favorite snacks (God save Nestlé’s Ice Cream Drumsticks), I’m going to open up my own going-out-of-business store—and sell all the products I still love but can’t find any more.

Like Mother's Iced Raisins cookies.

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