All this talk of film remakes has caused me to stumble a bit, to feel the need to hold onto the hand rail as I climb the stairs in case something else I normally count on gives way. Every time I get comfortable with a thing, it either changes or disappears all together.
First, there is a vote, and Pluto isn't a planet anymore. Then Marshall Fields becomes a Macys. Marshall Fields, I say with my best Chicago nasal tone and with emphasis and extra inflection because the store on State Street in Chicago is an institution. I went there on field trips as a kid (for home ec. classes believe it or not). I bought the material for my bride's maid dresses in the basement of that store. I walked past it every day on my way to work. I bought Frango mints as if they were essential food.*
Yesterday, I pulled through the drive through at Wendy's for lunch--a side salad and an order of chicken strips. Since they did away with their chicken strip salad, I've had to construct my own. When I opened up the paper sack, I found a note announcing that Wendy's is discontinuing the chicken strip, but they have many other ways to "enjoy chicken." If I liked the other ways, I'd order them. I want chicken strips.
Nioxin came up with a great texturizing hair spray that I used every day. I became an agent for the stuff, recommending it to everyone else I knew with thin hair. Even the woman who cuts my hair learned to love it and recommend it to people. Then months ago, I walked into the shop to buy another bottle, and the shelf was empty. Nioxin decided to discontinue the stuff--my stuff--the stuff that keeps my hair from looking like rabbit fluff. There is no fair substitute on the market, and now I am left with an empty shelf and bird feathers for hair.
I know better than to place significant value in things--"Away from the things of man" and all that. And I know in a week or so I will have found a replacement for Wendy's chicken strips (which honestly, were sometimes a little dry), but it would be reassuring if, while I am here on earth, I could walk on solid ground and not have to hang on to the hand rail. It would be comforting to be steady on rock, knowing the things I appreciate and depend on will not sink in marketing quick sand beneath my feet.
*I never actually had to buy Frango mints because they were given away as incentive for applying for a Marshall Field's credit. Being penniless, I could apply over and over again with no hope of actually being accepted. It was a dark day when they finally gave me a card and stopped giving me free Frangos.