They Take Everything

At the risk of just sounding like another old person complaining about change and the world leaving them by, I was very angry earlier today when I drove by the empty Toys R Us one town over. As it was going out of business I refused to shop the clearances, knowing how Bain Capital (remember them?) had bought the store and promptly killed it. At the time it just disgusted me in some vague way I couldn’t totally articulate. Now, I think it’s just a raw hate for how those with money and power just gobble up everything and discard it without a thought, as if putting 30,000 people across the country out of work is just one of those things you do any given day.

It’s also stealing something from kids. Toys R Us had some faults, but it was still a fixture of my childhood. Going to Toys R Us was something that would fill me with wonder in a way that going to KMart or Aames or Meijer or any of a dozen other stores simply couldn’t match. Walking into a massive store and being engulfed by towering racks of toys was akin to walking into the Gardens of Babylon. For a child, it was just weirdly beautiful and enthralling.

My oldest got to enjoy Toys R Us in this way. A store dedicated entirely to the one thing he actually enjoyed shopping for as a child. But my youngest will likely never know what this was like, at least not in the same way as she is just too young to likely remember any visit to Toys R Us. Now, she has WalMart. She has Amazon. She has the remaining KMarts, I guess.

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