Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Diasporic Dining XII: A Dollar Saved is a Dollar Earned

Photos by Hallie Cohen

It’s Easter weekend. The cashier at the Dollar Tree is a veteran of both Price Chopper, where she was recently hit by an old woman with a cane, and Walmart, where there were long lines. By comparison, the Dollar Tree Where Everything is $1 is on a far more homey, human scale. In the window are signs advertising frozen and dairy foods for $1 and the “Wow Item of the Week,” some unhappy looking Easter bunnies. Dollar Tree is a backwater compared to discount juggernauts like BJ’s and Sam’s. No membership is required at Dollar Tree, and there is a whole wall dedicated to festively wrapped balloon weights. The Dollar Tree book shelf is composed of the equivalent of minor league hitters who have struck out. For instance, there is a book called The Cult of Perfection: Making Peace With Your Inner Achiever, which doesn’t seem to apply to anyone who walks into the store. The real achievers, those who buy paper towels in bulk, are too ambitious for Dollar Tree. They are to be found waiting patiently on line with their wagon trains of groceries at the big discount clubs. At Dollar Tree, there are mutations like the four-divider pocket notebooks that didn’t make the cut at Mead. At the other side of the store are the rudimentary Easter items. No one who walks out of the Dollar Tree need go hungry or be deprived of a chocolate Easter egg or crucifix. The big epistemological question at Dollar Tree remains: is everything really only a dollar? 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.