Billerica, Massachusetts has a strip mall that would do Detroit proud. An ongoing facelift brings great improvement, but the place still seems to aim at a Detroitish level of desuetude. When we arrived in town, the place featured Market Basket (a local supermarket chain), and an ideally rundown KMart. Burlington Coat Factory (a cut rate shop), and a liquor store also guest starred. The liquor store soon moved to another strip mall down the road. One store front had been empty right along, and remains so. Perhaps it makes a monument to economic wreck, the one we’re building right now.
We had issues with Market Basket early on. Both meat and produce proved poor. Prices were low on laundry soap and such, so we brought our custom. Perhaps a change in management woke the place up, because food quality seems to have risen. We don’t buy much meat there—Costco is the lad—but produce doesn’t hurt there anymore.
Improvement eventually started percolating thru out the mall. The liquor store was replaced by Dollar Store. A smoke shop, fitness center, and something called Big Lots! have filled in the mall. And someone’s even improving the building and the landscaping.
But really: Dollar Tree? Big Lots!?
Dollar Tree makes a categorical plea in favour of hopelessness. Everything, that is EVERYTHING, is a dollar. It’s like a real store, I’ll give it that. You can find pencils at Dollar Tree, and cosmetics, and things referencing Justin Bieber. And a good deal of other things that ultimately fuel China’s economy. You can even purchase food. You can find actual name brands, if you look closely, but you will also find what look like name brands, but aren’t. Retail mirages to make you feel like quality. Presumably the FDA looks elsewhere when these items arrive in the country.
I do not know why someone would enter the store a second time. It’s not like people feel like they are saving money. The motivation seems more likely to stem from a sense of an anvil called economic downswing landing with pert hilarity on the thinking portion of one’s head. Dream of crap? We have the gimcrack for you! Value is a euphemism for hopeless yearning. The crooks aren’t fixing things, they’re heading off to the Caymans. Yes, you buy that can of Turd’s Eye Peas, see what happens.
It’s is uncomfortable to think that candy, manipulated plastic, and a simulation of SAVINGS could be offered as value. Brothers and Sisters, it is the tail end of the American Dream. Tell Fox News that the peas taste like emptiness. Bill O’Reilly will tell you it is what you deserve. Karl Marx just wanted to wash the coal dust off his hands.
I seem to be heating up about this but why are these scrids deemed valuable by or for us? Thrill that your dollar, that is, your poorly dollar, can buy the labour of people under the foot. Quality is a perceptual impasse when you are just trying to gain a handful. You bought something useless so that you can save for the something that isn’t really there. I bought the same thing.
Big Lots! didn’t actually make sense to me, or at least to my expectations. It had groceries, furniture, and various stuff, distributed neatly if without evocation of wonder. I thought it would be more like Costco, where you are amazed at the larceny they allow you to practice. I got six months worth of toilet paper for the price of six month’s of something else! I guess you can get deals at Big Lots! but you have to go there with a purpose of finding them. You don’t just go to shop, you go to enjoin the machine to release something, anything. The store somehow underplays the value you might find. It’s enough, in the grand scheme, to know that you are fishing, at least. Save money on the juice drinks you buy your kids and you might be able to afford anything else. Someone asked to help us, when we were in the furniture area, and the cashier was willing to engage. That’s called human, and it feels rare. The store seems to be for people who wish to wander thru aisles. America remains home to many aisles. They can’t take that away from us.
KMart, I have to say, has thrown in the towel, if the one in this mall works as exemplar. Even with the facelift, the place delivers dinginess in monochrome festivity. We recently sought a simple Melita coffee maker after our bruising grinder/maker gave up the ghost. They had no Melitas, okay, but the selection hardly embraced interest. Nothing did. It’s all there because of a compulsion in us to get it. All I need today is Justin Bieber monocles and a report on Tom Cruses’ imported marriage. I think you can get a card saying you believe in savings. Is your laundry soap brashly inexpensive or shall I take my pleasure elsewhere? Some stores want you to see a clean floor.
Bankers and Facebook dilettantes and the nuance of capital gains while meanwhile the enriched campaign trail makes up numbers. The Dollar Tree grows downward. Mitt Romney and Barack Obamacare are both communist instigators.