THEN: Elderly shoe salesmen would attach themselves to you as soon as you entered the store. They would sit you down, measure your foot, bring you various shoes to try on, provide a shoehorn (and socks, if necessary), extol the virtues of various shoes, make sure there was enough room for your toes, have you walk around with the shoes on, ask you how they feel, and be attentive and persistent until you marched to the counter with a shoebox or two in-hand. It was a bit creepy at times, but at least you felt like there was someone who knew shoes on your side.
NOW: Young shoe salesperson grudgingly shows you where the shoes are, offers ill-informed and unhelpful advice only when pressed, and scampers away, leaving you to your own devices, as soon as possible. She’ll resurface only to take your money while scrupulously avoiding eye contact, making one wish one had just bought shoes from Amazon after all.
POSTSCRIPT: Yes, I know I sound like a grumpy old man who starts every sentence with a quavering “Back in my day…” Tough berries. If I have to look my 40 year birthday in the eye soon, I’m at least entitled to some of the crotchety pleasures of the older set, including blogging about young people and their hula hoops, soda pop, pokemon and rock and roll. Later, for an encore, I’ll tell those dern kids to stay off of my yard.