Random Thoughts

On the Lay-Away Plan

... everything old is new again     

by Carol Nelson

Until very recently you could walk into Bernie and Phyl's and make a purchase, to be delivered tomorrow, and not pay a dime for it until next year. This kind of immediate gratification had been the norm until lately. Call it capitalism or competition, business acumen, whatever.

Back in the old days I suppose folks might have wanted things just as quickly but it was quite impossible, unless one was wealthy, to gratify these wishes on the spot, with empty pockets. In the thirties they came up with the "Lay-Away":  A down-payment held the object while week by week, or month by month, incremental payments were made until the total was "paid in full". KMart actually brought this idea back in new t.v. ads as Christmas 2008 barrels downhill in our direction, money becomes tight and we cut up credit cards for the landfill... The idea seems unlikely to fly  this time. It is a sign of maturity to be able to wait. We have become unaccustomed to it. In an all-fired hurry, we need it and we need it NOW.

Older people remember hard times that young people cannot possibly understand without experience or explanation. Life has its highs and lows, its pendulum swings, its little suprises, shocks and even tsunami. What we really need now is hope... even if it's on the lay-away plan.

December 5, 2008


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