Today, I happened to think about a long-ago trip to the 5 and 10 cent store with my Mom and my sister. What brought that to mind I do not know, but I did have to smile, remembering those visits to the local “five and dime” store. These stores had everything–the true “general store” of olden days. We would wander through clothing, sewing fabrics and notions, linens and blankets, cosmetics–a whole world of things that we could buy if only we had some money (mostly, my sis and I spent our meager allowances really fast). The store I am remembering was at the old Northgate “mall” in Seattle–before it was enclosed and became fancy. It was a pretty big place, or so it seemed at the time, and it took a lot of time to meander through it, which is what I recall mostly doing. Mom probably always had something she needed to buy, but I don’t remember ever going into the store and straight to an item and then out. No, we would spend a long time browsing the inventory.
I recall one time–I was maybe somewhere around 8 to 10 years old–I left the store with a packet of five sticks of gum that I had not paid for. When we got outside the store, I showed my prize to my sister. Good grief, you’d have thought I killed someone from her reaction! She was really mad at me and made me go back into the store and put the gum back where I got it. I think I was lucky that day. I know I never again in my whole life ever left a store without paying.
Nowadays, we have dollar stores. Not the same.