I’m Not Normally One for Reminiscing…

But do you remember when you had to go to separate stores for separate things? 

Recently I needed a tin of tomatoes, a make-up bag and a pair of reading glasses in a strength greater than the ones I lost in Bayfield last weekend.  I had been meaning to replace them anyway so I wasn’t too upset that they somehow leapt out of my purse and ran away before I could notice.  But I digress.  In years past (many years past!) a person would have to make two and possibly three stops to fill that order of such dissimilar things.

You would have needed to go to the grocery store for the tomatoes unless you wanted to pay 2 or 3 times the going rate for a can from a convenience store.  Depending on when you made the trip, you could have been waiting in line behind Old Mother Hubbard because as far as I can recall, there were no express checkouts.  Then it would be off to the drug store for the make-up bag after which you would likely need to make an appointment with the optometrist for new glasses.   I could have chosen any number of retailers for my purchases but I went with Giant Tiger, or the GT Boutique, or Giante Tigre, as I prefer to call it.  This particular location, in London’s northeast, is beside a Dollarama where I probably could have also made all three buys, if I didn’t care where my tomatoes were packed (I do) and if I was super cheap about the quality of my glasses.  As it was, Giante Tigre had a shipment of Liz Claiborne readers for $7 each.  Score! 

There were so many things we had to do back in the 70’s and early 80’s that seem quaint and vaguely prehistoric now.  We had to plan our weekends well because there were no ATMs and if you ran out of cash, you were out until Monday morning when the bank opened.  And I’m sure there are plenty of minor inconveniences that I’ve forgotten.  I’m not longing for the old days, nosiree. I like having the choice of whether I can shop on a Sunday and use debit and the web and all of that stuff.   But because I bridge the generations I can appreciate the way things are now, the way a kid who grew up always having an email address surely can’t.

2 thoughts on “I’m Not Normally One for Reminiscing…”

  1. What’s old is new once again, for if you look back, the concept of the general store existed long before society shifted to the individual store focusing on a particular product line. In the 70’s if you wanted to do one stop shopping, you had the choice of several major department stores (Eatons, Sears, The Bay and Simpsons). The advantage of product specific stores primarily was selection and the concept of Big Box stores other than your major department stores didn’t exist.

    So, in fact we’ve come full circle. We now have big box stores where you can do one stop shopping although the selection is often limited and we have boutique stores which fill in the gaps offering a wider selection and frequently higher quality of goods.

    … the more things change, the more they actually stay the same!

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