Monday, November 21, 2011
Three of my favorite stores to visit are hardware stores, book stores and lingerie
shops. This fascination for things pertaining to hardware, books and lingerie goes all the way back to my earliest childhood. Doesn’t just about everything? Today, I am still captivated by the large assortments of products these stores carry to entice the consumer and woo me.
The hardware stores of my youth were a place of mystery and intrigue. My father, with hand on door knob, would often call out an invitation for me to tag along. He would let it slip that he was going on a “very important errand to get a few things at Downtown Hardware.” I was hypnotized by the assortment, color and shapes of the offerings. One of my first dates with my husband was spent at a lumber yard on Martha’s Vineyard picking up supplies for a small carpentry project. Now I walk around Home Depot positively dazed by the plethora of choices. Hardware stores leave me believing anything is possible.
Book stores offer a similar thrill. The book bindings lure me in with promises of knowledge, adventure and escape. I often find myself running a finger along the book shelves, playing where she stops, no one knows. And then, BAM, I choose to peruse this one. A book on Peruvian Pastries or Engineering Helicopters falls open in my palms. I have great respect for the authors represented in a book store; I know how hard it is to write a book, I see lifetimes dedicated to wordsmiths shaping their ideas to share with others. With a computer, those works become accessible to a wider public than ever before. However, at lest in my lifetime, books will continue to be printed, sold, and read. Thank goodness for book stores.
In my pre-teens, Sears and Roebuck provided me with hours and hours of delight. It was the Sears and Roebuck catalog that offered me the first glimpse into the pretty underwear and lacy bras that some women wear. In my family, bras were nude, white or black. Underpants provided full coverage. Slips came in three lengths, full-length, floor-length, and short. Underpants covered buttocks to belly-buttons, No tell-tale strings bespoke of a thong. The straps of bras were not meant to be seen, nor was the lace on slips. It was a secret world inhabited by women. As a blossoming teenager, I was drawn to lingerie shops like a moth to light. The silk, the lace, the lovely, private beauty kept secret from men...unless a woman chose otherwise. Now, in just about every town I frequent, I have my favorite lingerie shop. Locally, the Gazebo keeps an index card with all my purchases and preferences. They offer a confidential service to one’s loved one; they help steer them to the perfect gift for you. Lingerie shops manage to help women embrace womanhood with confidence.
Do I like coffee shops, shoe stores and electronics? Of course! However, given free rein to rome at will, you will most likely find me in Shirley’s Hardware, Bunch of Grapes Book Store or the Gazebo, spending my hard-earned money. There products closely align with who I am - even if a small part of me still loves reading the Sears and Roebuck catalog.