The Last Sears Store Closed:What Would Dad Think?
My friend Megan recently posted a story about the closing of the last Sears store and asked “what was your favorite Sears memory?” The only thing I think of when I think of Sears is my Dad.
My father believed that anything you really needed you could get from Sears. He had a Sears credit card which he paid in full every month. When he dropped me off at college in 1986 he gave me one in my name just in case I needed anything. He told me the account was in his name so I need not worry about the bill. I don’t know exactly what he thought his 18 year old daughter was going to buy at Sears. I did not have a car at the time so I didn’t need tires or oil changes, nor could I drive to Sears to shop. I didn’t have a house so I didn’t need any large appliances and small appliances were strictly forbidden in my dorm. At the time I didn’t have any other credit cards, just a checking account that came with paper checks, you know the kind you write out with a pen. But I did have that Sears card and to Dad that was all the security I needed.
My father LOVED Sears. He shopped there for everything. He wasn’t a fix-it kinda guy, so I’m really not sure why he loved it so much. He got all our appliances there, his lawnmower, his eye glasses, his clothes, his car tires… you name it, he got it at Sears. When I moved from Boston to Chicago I was so excited to take Dad to visit the Sears Tower and told him he probably paid for a floor or two. Sears represented security and stability, both of which were important to my Dad. Giving me that credit card was my Dad’s way of saying I had nothing to worry about.
I never purchased anything from Sears in my four years of college. In fact, I don’t think I ever used that credit card. Flash forward to after college when I was married and my husband and I were applying for a mortgage. Something came up in the credit report about my Sears card. I hadn’t used the card and my father had died a few years before so he certainly wasn’t using it. Turns out that because my father had spent so much at Sears over the years the credit allowance on the account — which no one had closed — was so big that it was negatively impacting my credit score! So much for security and stability! Actually, it was a reason to laugh and reminder from my Dad that he still cared about my security and stability. He wanted to be sure I payed my pay by bills monthly and have my accounts in order.
The closing of Sears is the end of an era but not an end of the memories. What is your favorite Sears memory?