Monday, May 16, 2011

Maybe I'm reading too much into this

Most of the Borders bookstores here are closing down. This is sad to us, as Borders was always one of our go-to date night spots. We'd each pick out our books or magazines, go sit in the cafe and read. Usually we wouldn't even talk to each other. According to the Handbook, that still counts as a date, though. We sit together and Jason pays for my drink. What can I say, we like to party.

As often as we went to Borders, though, we rarely bought a book there. They're just too darn expensive here. It's very hard for me to bring myself to pay $25-$35 for a paperback book, when I know that it could be gotten for less elsewhere. I guess lots of others felt the same, and that's why they're closing. Last Wednesday, we went on a date to see Source Code, and beforehand took a walk through Borders. Everything in the store is at least 50% off now, and they're even selling off all the tables, chairs, bookcases, etc.

The books were pretty well picked over by this point, but we had fun looking around. I was tempted to buy Russell Brand's autobiography. Why? I really have no idea. It was deeply discounted, though, and that spoke to me.

We spent the most time looking at all the non-book items that they were trying to get rid of. All the furniture, office supplies, chairs, fixtures that go into running a business. They were even selling file folders and binders! The whole experience was a little melancholy, to tell you the truth. Sort of like when you walk through an estate sale of someone who has died--you think of all the activity that used to happen here, all the hopes and plans, about things coming to an end.

Now, anyone who knows me will tell you that this is totally in my nature, but I started to feel a little guilty. Like, if I'd done my part and actually bought something there more often, Borders wouldn't have to be hocking their listening station headphones. I started to feel personally responsible, in a way. I sighed as I put my weight on a nice round table, to see if it wobbled. Does it really have to end like this?If there'd been an employee or manager around, I would've apologized for my lack of customer loyalty. No really, it's too true. When I was a kid, my dad told me he would ground me if I said I was "sorry" one more time for something. And I'll give you one guess what I said in response.

But then, I snapped out of it when Jason and I saw a fog machine on sale. A fog machine! So cool! So many things to do with a fog machine! Like, create fog! We could hold our own middle school dances! Ava and Nate would be catapulted to popularity! Our church services could be all edgy and mysterious and, well, foggy. We stood there for awhile and tried to find a legitimate reason--any--that we could use to buy it.

We didn't really find one, and so we left it there. Bad consumers, once again! I wonder why Borders needed a fog machine to begin with. Maybe we should go back and get it. Do you think we should go back and get it? Maybe it would lift their spirits some? Like, hey, our multimillion dollar business is failing and we all have to go find new jobs but look--some chick just bought the fog machine!

Do you make sympathy purchases?


  1. Oh man! A fog machine! That would be so handy! I'm sure there are tons of awesome pranks you could pull with it. As soon as I think of one I'll share it...but go get it!!!

    The Borders next to me closed too. I rarely bought anything in there either. Sad.

    I laughed at you checking out the round table. You are on fire this week!!

  2. Haha I know, we strongly considered getting it, but it was still 300 bucks, which is a little high for a fire sale, IMO.

    Surely there's lotsa good reasons to own a fog machine.

  3. Hello, yes, I do make sympathy purchases. Just Sunday we were at a silent auction & I was the last-minute lone bidder on (and winner of) a trio of hand-crocheted baby blankets. The thought of someone donating their handcraft to be spurned was too much for me to take. I am not sure what to do with the blankets, though.

  4. I have made many sympathy purchases through the years. Recently we were in a survivalist supply store in Waynesville. Stuff for the end of the world as we know it is really expensive! So I'm looking around trying not to be depressed at the thought of having to depend on such items for my existence. Wayne examined a lot of things but didn't make a purchase. I, on the other hand felt sorry for the lady . So I bought a marble butter saver urn that needs no refrigeration. It was twenty dollars and I have never taken it out of the box. I would mail it to you except it weighs a ton. So, somebody's Christmas present is already wrapped....

  5. "it was deeply discounted, and that spoke to me."

    you win. you just summed up my whole spending philosophy in one sentence. i should probably send you a medal or something. or maybe a fog machine.

    yes, i'm totally guilty of contributing to border's demise. i didn't buy anything in there until things were 70% off then i got Cal some books and bookmarks. it was deeply discounted and that spoke to me.

  6. Maybe crochet the baby blankets into one really long baby blanket?

    In the end times, where are we getting butter? Will we all have our own cow or goat? Like things aren't bad enough, we have to tend livestock?

  7. Elle, that sounds exactly like something I'd do. Oh wait, cause I did. I bought a quilt once at a silent auction cause it had no bids! Granted, it is really pretty, but I wouldn't have bid on it if others wanted it.

    Liz (sorry--I've started calling you Liz), that philosophy contributes to many of my purchases. Okay--all. Your Project has inspired me to think differently, but it doesn't always translate into actions! BUT, you know what--I have not bought stuff this year cause of you! (I mean that as a good thing!) :)

    Mom, that is hilarious! I know now where I get it from. Beck, I think I'll just have to go butter-less. I think we'll all be too busy fending off the zombie hordes to churn butter. But? Guess what you're getting from Mom for Christmas??