my ex girlfriend: sears

In 1994 I owned two horse farms, an off road driving instruction business and held a full time job as a contracting computer annalist for Duke Medical Information Systems. I was in the process of selling the smaller of the two farms, and did not keep any animals there, but still had to keep up the property, plus care for the 40 acres under the world class training center my wife, at the time, was running. She was the brains, I was the brawns.

It was during the spring, on a Saturday and I broke a Craftsman 9/16 deep socket ratchet working on the front end loader of the tractor. I remember it as if it happened yesterday. I did not have a replacement. Horses do not have an off switch, so I had to go to Sears and get a new socket. Craftsman tools have a lifetime warranty, in that if you break one of them, they will give you a new one. It is damn hard to break one, but over the years, I have once or twice.

Dakota, my black lab, jumped into the truck and we headed to town. Getting to Sears, Dakota did her duty of guarding the truck, and I ran into the store. I spoke to the Sears guy and he said to pick out what I needed to replace and bring it to him, that I would have to sign a receipt. Of course in looking around I thought it would be prudent to buy a second socket the same size, so then I would have two,  just in case I broke another one. That way I would save the trip to town. The 9/16 is one of the most used sockets. Passing the tape measures I remembered I had knocked the end off of mine so I picked up a new one and also grabbed a case of drill bits. I remember what I got as if I could lay my hands on it. At the counter I realized I had no cash or credit card on me. The guy said I could fill out the thing and get a Sears card and be on my way. No prob. Zip, zap, zup. Got my things and Dakota and I bounced off to Subway for lunch…

That was spring of 1994. Over the years I have had other calls to use my Sears Card. Christmas tree stands, tool boxes, blue jeans, socks… I can remember a thousand things I have bought using it.

Cut to last week: It is spring of 2010 and I would like nothing more than to start a little garden to grow some veggies. I need a planter, some soil, seeds and a tray thing so when I water it there will not be a mess. My move to Cali obliterated what little budget I had, and I am strapped to the gills. I happened to find myself by a Sears and thought about my garden. So in I went, and I gathered my things, and up to the cash register… Apparently my account was closed in 2005 because of inactivity. Inactivity?!?! The account is free. It doesn’t cost them anything to keep it there. It just sits there waiting for me to use it. They closed my account because I did not use it. What is that? They grant credit, and then took it away for spite? Did I hurt their feelings? Sears is treating me like they are the ignored girlfriend: I didn’t pay her enough attention so she dumped me. Now I guess if I bump into Sears running down the street and she is with JC Penny, I will have to act like I don’t care. Maybe Sears will go through a wild streak and date wild like an Ed Hardy store, part to get me out of her system and part to make me jealous. Or maybe Sears will become depressed, go goth and date a Toxic store…

Sears dumped me and I didn’t even know it. I really do wish her the best.

 Hey, Wal Mart… you lookin gud in nim jeaaaaaanns!

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