Postmark Here

Postcards from Travel Near and Far by Jia-Rui

91203, Glendale


Squeaky, empty escalators at Sears

Dear ——–,

Bryan and I went to Sears at 10 a.m. on Sunday to buy a dishwasher, but we were the only customers in sight. It was so silent I could hear the escalators humming and the air conditioning blowing. To distract themselves from the emptiness, the salesclerks busied themselves folding golf shirts. I thought about how the department store was once the embodiment of the American Dream — a cornucopia of home appliances, necklaces with heart pendants and infant onesies. Was it that nobody was interested in this 1950s version of domestic bliss anymore? Was it the recession? Was it that most people could purchase these American standards more cheaply elsewhere? We left Sears empty-handed. The space under our kitchen counter was too small for most dishwashers for sale. It made me think we were looking for a more modest version of the American Dream than Sears had to offer.


Author: postmarkhere

I'm a journalist based in Los Angeles who has always said that writing postcards for a living would be a dream job. The posts -- short enough to fit on an actual postcard -- chronicle recent travels near and far. I could blab on about being inspired by epistolary novels, the short poems of Emily Dickinson, and the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" pieces, but I'll just say that I'm aiming to give you a sense of flavor of a place without boring you to death. Wish you were here!

2 thoughts on “91203, Glendale

  1. Great post. Guess that partnership with Lands End (and maybe Ty Pennington, too?) isn’t enough to bring the crowds to Sears.

    • Thanks, Cyndi! It’s interesting — I’ve noticed that most of the customers in department stores (at least in L.A.) are immigrants. Been wondering if immigrants are the only ones interested in that version of the American Dream these days!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s