For all of you that think women’s liberation is a war that is won, think again. Now, I always wore a bra in the 60s—never burned it. I had too much respect for the local fire department. I never wore the ugly shoes, and I suffered under panty hose. I did have tremendous respect for those who brought up subjects like equal pay, ability to work at any job, and rights for wives or single women.
Now for why I am on the warpath. I was not out marching because I thought only other woman had problems. I did not.
I never ran the sweeper in pearls like June Cleaver; however, I did get married to the man I loved more than life, and we both had jobs we loved. Then we had two sons we liked a lot, OK OK, loved, and for us life was good. I was a high school teacher before we were married, and I had my own Sears card. I put my bridesmaids’ dresses on it. When we moved into our first house we bought everything at Sears; electronics, appliances, tools, etc. Craftsman tools were the best. Sears kept my children in T-shirts and blue jeans. I had every catalog they came out with, and even taught people from other countries to read with those catalogs. “This is a blue sweater, a pink sweater. Repeat after me and point to the picture.” My brother Arch always said, “When we were young, we thought Santa Claus put out the Sears toy catalog.” Sears was American, it served all of us well, sort of. Until it didn’t.
My original Sears card was from 1971. Bill got his own card in 1974. Mine was paid off and one day when he came home, we only had one baby at that time. He said, “I stopped by Sears today to get the toys we wanted for Will and I closed your card. Since we both have one in my name, I thought it would make it easier. Each of us will have a card with our name on it and one bill will come in the mail.”
“Good idea, where are the toys?” said I. And we never thought of it until today.
Sears has gone out of business, and I think it’s because they became money jockeys instead of family businessmen. They sold away Craftsman tools which were the best in the nation, ever. With the interest rate they put on their cards, you wanted to not keep a balance for fear they would repossess your child. Bill got disgusted with them years ago and just stopped buying from them. Evidently so did many others. Instead of service and community, they were money brokers.
But I was a die-hard gal. I kept my Sears card and did a little shopping on the internet. At one time everything from our furniture to our underwear came from Sears. This store was part of Americana, and the quality could not be beat. Until today.
We are traveling in a few weeks to Florida by car. It is Bill’s 50th year of his Wing graduation. We want to see friends and relatives along the way through Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, and coming back to Louisiana, and finally to Texas. I called to let them know I was taking my Sears card to different states. I gave them all the pertinent information and a very nice lady said, “Now may we speak to your husband?”
“He is not here; he’s holding court right now. I have given you all the information and we are traveling together.”
“Well, ma’am I am sorry, you can not travel with that card unless he gives you permission.”
Can you say Atomic Bomb! I declare war and I will wear whatever shoes to do it. I asked to speak to a manager, and he listened as I raged on about how we got the vote in 1920 and those of us who worked under restrictive environments are real people, who are due respect. I told him Bill thinks Sears had not lived up to their reputation for years.
I told him to expect a check for my balance and I am done. I need my husband’s permission to travel?! Where do they get these guys, graduates of the Taliban University? Bill is thrilled. Roaring Mouse roaring again. Out.
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at [email protected]