I had this dream, although the word dream seems to conjur up warm fuzzy feelings and I assure you that is the polar oppisite of what this was...I woke one morning, did my one eyed stumble to the coffee pot, plunked down in front of the boob tube and sleepily got caught up on what was going on in the world. Two cups later I am all lathered up and rincing the previous days worries, stresses and slime down the drain, it's a new day and I have a date with a toothbrush, blowdryer and mascara, my morning ritual, constant companions as comforting as my well worn jammies. I fluff, paint and jump into the outfit of the day and dash out the door hoping to concur a few chores before work.
Runnig low on our mail order coffee I deside to pop into the coffee shop that, "used" to be my favorite. I pull into the strip mall and there where the store I used to frequent was, stood a Starbucks....not hating on the Starbucks, just hate the over roasted, (read burnt) taste of their beans, "Damn another one bites the dust" I mutter. Still half an hour before work so just enough time to drop my watch off at the jewlers to get my band fixed. Back in the car flipping channels trying to find at least one song that has any soul, heart or smidgen of intellect to no avail I was flying to the jewlers knowing full well that you can never get in and out with the adorable owners chatting you up and asking questions about your family, trying desperately to think of a kind way to let them know that I had NO TIME to chat. As my car came to a full stop, (I know I hit the brake but had no recollection of it) where it once read, "Jewelers" it now read, Quiznos....
I unlocked the door of The Wine Country and walked in, it was as if someone wrapped their whole body around me and held me tight...here is a place with soul, heart and intellect and standing there right at the entrance I felt like I was a part of something special.
That night I drove past all my old favorites and each one had been replaced with some giant chain many of which were repeated in one block after another, I was whirling past all the Outbacks, Starbucks, Subways, Best Buys and BevMo's listening to song after song of empty mindless music aching to touch, smell, feel and taste something that would touch me back....
This, "dream" began 10 years ago and each morning I wake to find that it is less of a dream and more of a reality. Small businesses are crumbling at an alarming rate and in this wicked dreadful economy they are suffering even more. A local restaurant took out an add in the paper that simply said, "Eat or we both starve" pretty telling no? If you like having a choice, independant restaurants to dine in, a jeweler or wine store where they remember you it is more important now than ever before to support them, they need you now so they can be there for you later.
The choice is ours....lets choose wisely.
Long Life Noodles – Yi Mein (伊面）
7 hours ago