Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Staycation" Pt. 1..the Southside Sears

With the economy tanking (supposedly), I heard a rumor from a distant cousin that many of us are opting for a summer "staycation." A "staycation" is doing something cool and staying home, as opposed to doing the classy thing and spending money to travel somewhere else to do something cool. The really cool thing is that a "staycation" can include things that you didn't even realize qualified as a "staycation." For instance.. a vacation would be going to visit this really cool rocky sea shore in the picture..BUT a "staycation" is even cooler; instead of spending thousands of dollars to travel and all that, you can just look at this picture with computer icons on it and close your eyes and pretend to be there! Now isn't that way cooler?

Another example: I went to the Warren Theatre off I-35 in Moore to see Star Trek for the 14th time (hey, I hadn't seen it yet in Oklahoma!) and much to my regurgitation, since I'd been gone they added this cheesy "Voice of the Theatre" character who says corny things and reminds you that the economy has tanked before telling you you're on a really cool "staycation." According to the "staycationers," you can have way more fun staying home as opposed to snorkeling in Bora Bora.

So I realize, a "staycation" really can include practically anything, especially something mundane like going to your neighborhod cinema. So I had an idea to do a series of incredibly super fricken awesome "staycations." To pull this off, I actually went on these aforementioned "staycations." The first one I went on was a trip to the land of SW 44th and Western.. the Southside Sears!!

First of all, I would just like to mention what a magical experience coming to this Sears in particular has been. What else could you call the forces that have kept this Sears in business for 50 years? It will never close its doors, no matter what. In fact, the only thing more depressing than the parking lot of this Sears is probably Crossroads Mall, another wonderful Southside landmark. I counted 12 cars in the parking lot when I came..7 of which were dark green 1994 Buick Regals with bumper stickers about their grandchildren.

I decided I needed an excuse to be in there. I would pretend to be looking for their Ralph Lauren section, since I was wearing a Ralph Lauren shirt that day (they didn't have any Ralph Lauren, but the guy told me they had something called "American Living" that was "just like" Ralph Lauren..right, cuz anyone can make polo shirts and stuff to golf in). I walked in the front door and saw that they had a greeter, who probably drove one of those dark green Buick Regals. Turns out grandpa was a light sleeper, because he was woken up by the sliding door. I said to him, "Not much of a crowd you guys have got here!" Grandpa replied, "What did you expect when you're late! Our normal business hours should be 5 am to 9 am! Humbug!" I had officially been greeted to the Southside Sears.

I walked around a little, trying to find a section that was targeted toward the 20-25 year old age group. I found it, but I realized it wasn't really targeted toward my age group..but more targeted towards elderly grandparents buying something for my age group. I found a few racks of argyle pattern shirts, Wrangler jeans, tube socks, and snowflake pattern sweaters (in the summer). It dawned on me that I was probably standing in the very spot that all of the awful Christmas presents my grandparents always got me were purchased. It was a very special feeling.

I thought of my grandparents, and suddenly realized my dad was also getting to be that age. As a retired police sgt from the Lawton Police Force (probably the only police dept in the state that actually has crime), he definitely looks his age, plus twenty years. I decided it might be funny to get him a pair of tube socks from the Southside Sears. After picking a pair that was a weird bright-dark shade of green (so that it would match none of his shoes or pants), I went to the checkout station..where I waited for 5 minutes for an elderly woman to come ring me up. She told me I was buying a lovely pair of tube socks, and that I reminded her of her grandson. His name is Jacob..and he goes to Oklahoma Baptist University. She offered me a piece of hard candy. Believe it or not, Werther's Original is some prrrrretty good caramel.

So now we've experienced something magical, met someone interesting, learned something about family history, and tasted some delicious local cuisine of this land called Southside Sears. What more could you want in a "staycation" I thought, as I walked out to my rebelliously cool yellow SUV and drove off before I could feel any weirder.

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