Tag Archives: moms who write

Monkey See, But Monkey Do Not Do

21 Jan

Everywhere I look around the town I live in, there are shuttered businesses, “for lease” signs in each window. I felt fairly ambivalent about the closures until recently, when it hit closer to home. Affluence is an understatement in my neck of the woods. We are a dichotomy of young families who live at or beyond our means and aging hippies who were smart enough to hold onto the hillside houses with incredible views they bought in the 60s.

I’m not a chick who shops-by any stretch of the imagination-hence the ambivalence about stores closing in my town. Well, with the continued economic slump, they are closing everywhere—we are no exception. I have two young children though and when I do shop, 98 percent is for them. We had a gem of a toy store in town called Monkey Business. It rocked! It was my go-to store for every neighbor kid’s birthday gift and the occasional token reward for my daughter’s potty-training triumphs.

And, then, like many before it, Monkey Business was no more. Ah, a sad day for my family. I learned to live without it, find my toys elsewhere and wallow in the cynicism of what has happened to our country’s financial health.

Then, the other day, I happened to pass the old toy store, without realizing it had been filled with something else. I walked into the store next to it, one that was a mecca for another kind of child—a pet store. I’d been inside before a few times, but it’s a pretty high-end pet store, and though I love my dog more than life itself, I couldn’t bring myself to ever buy much. But here I was, in the store because my dog couldn’t resist all the wonderful smells wafting out. It seemed different, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I walked out without another thought about it.

And then it hit me…..the Monkey Business toy store space had been absorbed into the pet store space. The already large pet store was now twice its original size. I was surprised by how angry this made me. Why on earth did a high-end pet store need even more space and a sweet toy store for kids need to fall to the wayside? I’m sure the toy store lost its lease before the pet store took over, but still…….

Did I already mention how much I love my dog? Well, I do, he is an awesome “woman’s best friend!” But I’m still so put off by this revelation. I shouldn’t be surprised, I guess. Everyone in our bay side village has a “child” of sorts, be it baby, dog, cat or some other cute, furry creature.

I think it bothers me most that we, as a community, value an expensive pet store over a unique and imagination-inspiring shop.