Now, It’s Toys

TSTAs Muri and I pulled up to the La Mirada Playhouse to see Boeing Boeing on Saturday afternoon, we noticed that the Toys R Us that used to be next door was gone.   Did you know the one near us is closing, too? Muri said.   I didn’t know and it shouldn’t have mattered because I’d only been in a Toys R Us a few times in the past five years.  In fact, for the last two years, I’ve bought virtually all of my grandkids toys (and a few of mine) on Amazon.  Still, the closing of our Toys R Us made me sad.  WhenTRU our children were little a holiday tradition was a trip to Toys R Us right after Thanksgiving.   We’d wander the aisles and fill the cart, imagining how they’d enjoy each of our choices.  Wandering the aisles in places like Target just isn’t the same … Toys R Us was just toys and just for the kids.

I suppose to some degree I’m feeling the kind of nostalgia that every aging human feels as they see the world they lived in morph into something entirely different.  Even when you’re a progressive old goat like Older Eyes and can see the benefit of the new ways, it’s hard to see the locales of some of your best towermemories disappear.  I spent many happy hours flipping through the racks in record stores in search of new music, so happy, in fact, that owning a record store became a daydream of my twenties … and a CD store a dream of my thirties.  Music stores like Tower Records have vanished, and the half-hearted CD sections in department stores can’t capture the nostalgia.  Yet I’ve contributed to the demise … I buy virtually all of my music as mp3’s online.  Muri and I have always loved books, and if you love books, you loveborders1 bookstores.  We spent many cozy afternoons in our local Borders until it closed … it’s now a Sprouts market.  They don’t appreciate us reading in the produce aisle.   Today, I heard that Barnes and Noble is beginning to close its stores because of the increased popularity of ebooks.  I’ve participated in that, too.  It seemsThought Number One on this Top Sites Tuesday #188I just follow the technology … it’s faster, it’s easier and in some ways, it’s even better.  Then I look up and something good is gone.

The thing is, part of the holiday experience was being in that Toys R Us with all the other parents, excitedly picking out toys for their children.   And in a record store, there was a shared love of music.  The guy next to you might notice that you were looking at a Modern Jazz Quartet album and say, Have you heard the latest Brubeck?   Or the new Lovin’ Spoonful album might be playing on the store’s sound system.  Bookstores were full of book lovers … you could just see it in the way they caressed the clean new cover of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as they lifted it off the shelf.  You were with your own kind, for Pete’s sake.  Today I bought a new Peter White mp3 and downloaded 11/22/63: A Novel, the new book by Stephen King from Amazon.  I’m sure I’ll enjoy both but it was a solitary experience.   That’s the point, isn’t it?  Thought Number Two: As we shop more and more online, we gain time and efficiency but we lose a sense of community.  That’s too bad … the world needs that.  I wonder if we’ll ever get it back.

What do you think?  And, by the way, do you think you could push my button … gently … to make me Number One on Top Sites Tuesday #188?  I’d appreciate it.

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8 Comments on “Now, It’s Toys”

  1. cherperz Says:

    I agree with you that the dwindling numbers of brick and mortar stores makes me sad. My husband owns a company that does asset managing…so essentially is always working with “going out of business” companies. Those signs on the Borders store are, in fact, our signs. BUT then there are others that continually grow and merge. Hubby is working on 30 stores in Canada that are going to be bought by a larger company and become part of a recognizable big box chain.

    Currently there are a handful of really well known stores that are on the brink of going away…it is sad.

  2. liggybee Says:

    I miss some of those stores you mentioned, especially Borders. It was one of the few stores I actually enjoyed going into at the local shopping mall. Oh well…thanks for the memories!

    Here’s a click for you! (BTW, I didn’t post for the week but I thought I’d stop by).

  3. crockettr Says:

    The loss of community I haden’t thought of before, I think you are right. That is a very important quality that once lost may never return.
    For what it’s worth:
    Today my wife went to Toys R Us and brought our grand daughter a Big Wheel. Guess she was feeling a little nostalgic too.

  4. Wolfbernz Says:

    HI Bud,

    No, I really don’t think we’ll ever get that same sense of community we had years ago as technology progresses. The only sense of community we’ll find will be online in different groups, communities of bloggers, and thing of that nature. The past is just that, the past and technology seems to be moving fast and forward as time goes by.


  5. Trina Says:

    I feel the loss of community to sometimes. As a cruiser the boating community is helpful and friendly, ready with advise, and even that is being replaced with online information. It seems that we are all gravitating toward more individualism through the use of online networks for our discussions with people.. we don’t even make calls anymore we email or text…

    As time goes by, maybe we’ll see the folly of technology and the internet and the lack of face to face interaction.

    Great thoughts,

  6. territerri Says:

    I’m just as guilty of contributing to the demise of stores like Borders. I own an e-reader and I buy plenty of e-books online. But I still LOVE books. I love to look at the cover art and love to browse slowly through the store, checking out various books. It makes me sad that we seem to have to make a choice between the old familiar and the new convenience.

  7. Rick Gleason Says:

    I too find myself mired in nostalgia at times. It’ll be a sad day when book stores go the way of record stores. Sad indeed.

    Great post and lots of pictures too!

    ~~ Rick

  8. The closing of Barnes and Noble stores really breaks my heart. I have spent countless days, night, hours, in that place. I am hoping and praying the one near my house survives the cuts.

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