My “Odd” and “Strange” Emotional Attachments to Stores and Shopping at Certain Stores
September 16, 2022
Recently, I just found out my closest Bath and Body Works store will be closing. Even though this is a sad thing to say, it isn’t such bad news! I found out the store will be moving into an empty store in the mall. This new store will be bigger than the current one. Even though the old store is currently open, it will close soon before moving to the new location.
I’m very happy about this because it means I will not need to travel further away to see the products and smell them in person. Yet, I’m still sad about it. The store’s location holds a special location in my heart because of the memories I made there.
Now, whenever I used to say that specific sentence, people would look as me sideways. They would scold me for being so materialistic before demanding I get my priorities straight and start focusing on what’s really important in life. I would always stand or sit there, listening to them try to “set me straight” or try to give me the moral training I “didn’t have when I was a kid”. As you can probably tell, I was pretty offended at this commentary about my life by people who never paid attention to anything I used to do for a living.
I don’t like talking about this, but some stores I could care less about. Some brands I don’t care for at all. Yet, certain locations of those stores are special to me. This is because my friends and I would work at the stores. I didn’t work at them a lot because my health problems became such a problem I had to quit very soon after I started working there. I always thought it would take me a few months, possibly just a year, for me to heal up and recover enough to go back to work. Then, I’d work with my friends again and save some money to go back to college.
Unfortunately, this didn’t happen. It doctors nearly ten years to make a treatment plan and, after the treatment, it took many more years to recover due to complication from my allergies. By the time I was healthy enough to start working in a store again, my friends had moved on in their work lives and many of the stores I worked at had closed.
Seeing stores close is just a reminder of a chapter in my life that was painful, unfair, but somehow still felt extraordinary. I had hope for my future. My life was right in front of me. Nothing was stopping me, until poor health did.
This is why whenever I see the stores close, I feel sad. I couldn’t use them as a way to keep myself employed. I couldn’t do what I wanted and needed with the money I earned from them. Even though I feel sad whenever I see them, there are still happy memories. I remember visiting the Victoria’s Secret store I talked about in this post. To cheer me up, my friends would take me there during the Semi-Annual Sale and shop. Back then, it was the only way we could afford anything Victoria’s Secret. The Bed, Bath, and Beyond store I talked about in this post? I would go in there and browse with my friends for wedding shower and wedding presents. We would also go there and browse for housewares. We would talk about how we would decorate our houses, what sheets we would use, what kind of silverware we would use, and more.
I made so many memories shopping at those stores. Yes, they were stores. Ultimately I need to let them go and move on with my life, and I have. Yet, the memories of the stores stay with me. I spent time with my friends in those stores. Precious time during a crisis time in my life. We would talk about anything while shopping. It was a time when I felt like I could let my guard down and just let all my feelings show in a way I never could with anyone else. I need their support and they were more than generous with their support. It just so happened it occurred while shopping at certain stores.
This is why, whenever I would hear backlash about my “materialistic” mindset, I would look at the people that say it in a different light. Why would they say that? Why would they talk down to me? Why are they supportive to me outside of shopping like my friends are? My friends and I don’t need to shop to be supportive friends of each other. Yet, that’s all anyone would see. They seemed completely blind to the fact my friends and I are busy, or in my case sick, so we can’t meet up whenever we feel like. We need to schedule a time. In order to be more productive, we would shop for things we wanted or needed while we catch up. Well, they were either blind or they knew it was happening. They just wanted to make me feel worse than I already did so they could feel better about themselves. (I found out years latter that the latter was the actual answer)
Even though I’m sad to see Bath and Body Works move, I have good memories of the store. Thanks to the staff that worked at the store in the late 2000’s, I learned how allergic I am to certain scents and what to look out for when I purchase fragrances. This is why that store became my favorite store. I couldn’t work at the store, but knowing the staff is so knowledgeable in allergies and fragrances made me a loyal customer at that store. This is also why my friends took me there. They knew I had allergies, but they believe I was allergic to other things I didn’t know about. Knowing they cared about me, and the store was run with such a knowledgeable staff, made me enjoy shopping there with my friends.
I am excited to see the new store. I am happy for the location and that there will be a larger store close to me. Yet, I’m more attached to the memories I made at the old store than the actual building. It has always been this way and it will always be that way.