Gather ‘round, children, for I would like to tell you a piece of our world’s history. Life was a rough and hard thing. There were dark, hard times. There was once a primitive time; a time before Amazon Prime.
Only the strong survived it.
If you are feeling brave, I will share some of what it was like. Once upon a time when you wanted something you didn’t already own, there was a long and horribly complicated process for getting it.
In these dark and dangerous times, children, you had to get dressed to shop—at least to the level of pajamas and slippers. You could only escape this if you went to a store called “Walmart”, where you could pretty much wear anything—even things your mother wouldn’t let you out of the house in.
You would then have to get in a car or bus or walk and physically go to a building—it was called a “store”. You would park your car or get off the bus, and go all the way in to that “store” only to walk amongst seemingly endless aisles of things they wanted to sell. Most of what they sold were things you didn’t even want to buy, and yet you had to physically walk past them, there was no back button! Instead of a Search button, you had to read signs or ask an employee where things were, or stumble around blindly, hoping to find it.
A cart was an actual physical thing. Instead of a nice drawing on the upper right hand corner of your screen, with the number of items listed rationally in it, there was a big metal “shopping cart” with wheels and a basket where you actually placed what you intended to buy at check out. But there was no number in the cart to tell you how many items you had; you could have had any number of things. There was really no way of knowing.
When you were in this “store”, you might interact with other people, where you were expected to be pleasant, or at minimum, not run over them with your heavy metal “shopping cart”. You might even feel obligated to talk to some of them, because it was that primitive.
Once you found your item, you had to walk all the way back to the front of the store, stand in a line where potentially many people could be in front of you, pay for your item, sometimes even ringing up your own order by yourself, and then find your way home.
There was also no anticipation, children. You had the items right away and when you arrived home, you probably still remembered what you had just bought. No one cared. No one opened a box with you in anticipation of what might be inside that you had ordered two days ago—as you remember only that it was something you desperately needed.
Thank goodness those days are over; your parents survived them so you won’t have to. We can remember the pioneers without ever having to try to live that way.