Dreaming of Department Stores    by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

I would like to share a childhood dream of my own that came true, and how it sparked many wonderful enchanted memories!

Recently we took a short vacation break that included three nights in London. But where to stay? My husband mentioned hotel names to me that the supplier had offered. I couldn't help but be intrigued with the name "Selfridge's". After all, wasn't that the name of the biggest department store in London? I remembered it being equal to Macy's in New York City. I said, "Let's go with that one." And we did.

I was hoping the hotel was close to the department store but I never dreamed it would be so close! It was literally outside the back door of the store -- about 50 feet from all the giant food halls that are a part of the store. I was shocked! This was a dream come true. I could wake up and go for breakfast by roaming food halls that brought in delicacies from around the world, and I could stop there after touring and have a snack or lunch, again from anywhere in the world!

Suddenly old memories of my love of department stores floated to mind. I remembered going with my mother to Malley's in New Haven when I was a young child. I remembered my anticipation as we got off the trolley and neared this glorious store. It was full of giant wrought iron elevators and pneumatic tubes that ran overhead. I loved the sounds of those tubes rushing money and receipts back and forth. I also loved standing in the elevator as the attendant named all the wonderful possible purchases available on each floor! Of course, I was particularly interested in children's clothes and toys! Yes, let me off at those floors! I couldn't wait.

Later, as I grew older, we moved to Bridgeport and then it was another department store. Reid's had a lunch counter and my mother always took me for a tuna fish sandwich and/or coffee ice cream. I even got my hair cut there and the toy department was endless. My real dream was to sleep overnight in the toy department! I would hide out with all those wonderful Alexander dolls. This was a dream that went unfulfilled in childhood.

So, here I was as an adult -- almost living out an old dream. And live it I did, except instead of tuna fish I ate delicacies from Thailand, and as I lingered over my cafe latte I had a chance to watch people from all over the world pass by. Instead of toys I shopped for cosmetics! It was a lovely experience. Those early memories layered themselves so nicely on top of my 'adult' vacation making a three-day hotel stay really something special.

Have you ever had something positive come around again? Perhaps the shape had changed but the essence was almost the same? If you have, can you share it with us as I did? Or if you can't think of anything in particular, try to remember several wishes of childhood and think about how they would reinvent themselves now. This can be fun to do and can even lead to a determined effort to finally make an old wish or desire come true.

About Author:

Dr. Holstein is the originator of The Enchanted Self and a psychologist since 1981. She is the author of two books: The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy and Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!Dr. Holstein speaks on radio, and appears on television in NY and NJ. She gives lectures, seminars, retreats and audio interviews on LadybugLive.com and is in private practice in Long Branch, NJ with her husband, Dr. Russell Holstein.

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