Yes, once we had a Main Street. Those of us who are old enough still remember those days.

Do you recall TG&Y?

In case that name is unfamiliar to you, it was a five-and-dime store. In case you don’t even know what a five-and-dime store was, then I’m probably wasting my time here.

If you’re somewhere around my age, you probably recall this ad: “Your best buy is at TG&Y!”

But the big guys drove them out. Some employees from TG&Y ended up at Walmart and other big box stores.

In 2001 TG&Y’s owner McCrory Stores filed bankruptcy and all stores were eventually closed.

But back when “Leave It To Beaver” and “I Love Lucy” were on TV, you could go into a drugstore and order an ice cream cone. Sounds crazy, right? It was ten cents.

Of course this was back when we had a Main Street.

What We Now Deal With:

I just spent most of an hour trying to pay a credit card bill. It was from Wayfair. I couldn’t find my password. And in order to locate my account, it asked for the 3-digit security code. My card doesn’t have a security code.

It said if your card doesn’t have a 3-digit security code, call Wayfair. Which I promptly did.

A vintage Coca-Cola machine

Wayfair is no longer owned by Wayfair, said someone with limited English. Call Citibank, a woman from who knows what country said.

I called Citibank. Citibank’s automated system wanted my credit card number. I don’t have a credit card with Citibank. So I tried various ways to get to customer service.

Finally, I got to another voice I could hardly understand. He gave me a number that turned out to be Sears. But they didn’t recognize my credit card number either.

Round and round I went. Finally, I managed to figure out a password that would, I hoped, get me to a place where I could simply pay my bill and move on.

Somehow that got me to an account that looked familiar, but the last four digits weren’t the same as what I had on the Wayfair card.

Maybe this was an account number, I told myself. Fingers crossed. My bill miraculously came up and I paid the amount.

Now I could move on and write my daily blog post.

In Once We Had A Main Street, you would often walk down the sidewalk and see signs like Open & Shop

Waiting On A Representative:

But as I was trying to deal with this, I drank my one cup of coffee.

I waited on the phone as they dealt with other phone customers, and after a time I could almost feel that cup of coffee curdling in my stomach.

Once we had a Main Street. I remember it well growing up.

Actual Brick & Mortar Stores:

In the old days, back in the 1960s, I’d go into a store with my Granny. She’d get what she needed, then go to the counter and pay with cash or a check. There were smiles and exchanges of greetings.

“How you doing? Your garden putting out good tomatoes this year?” And so on.

When we actually had a Main Street, life was easier.

So who owns Wayfair? Is it Citibank? Or is it Sears? Another company altogether?

It’s entirely possible I misunderstood what they told me or they just gave me the wrong phone numbers or I missed hearing one digit. Isn’t it?

But, I thought, before I finish this disgruntled post, I’ll just Google “who owns Wayfair.” And you know what? It was neither of those places.

Who Owns Wayfair?

Entrepreneurs Niraj Shah and Steve Conine founded Wayfair in August 2002, as a two-person company with a makeshift headquarters in Conine’s nursery, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Wayfair was originally known as CSN Stores (the name is derived from a mix of Shah and Conine’s initials).

In 2022 Wayfair is launching their first brick and mortar stores for brands AllModern and Joss & Main. There will be 3 locations in Massachusetts.

So Wayfair still owns Wayfair?

Then what just happened this morning?

Update: I just got an email thanking me for paying my Wayfair bill. So all is well.

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57 Comments

  1. I do remember five and dime stores. Wow, how frustrating all those calls were! I agree, there’s nothing like in-person service.

  2. My sisters and I had this conversation recently on how much we miss our Main street with locally owned stores. The clothes were so well made and lots to chose from. I remember a few small jewelry stores I loved when I started working and some good restaurants with home made type food ….not greasy hamburgers! Woolworths had a lunch counter in the back. However by the time I made my own money to be able to eat there the counter was gone! LOL It was so delightful to go downtown to shop. We all miss it! On line has been a miss for me most of the time, particularly with clothing.

  3. My solution to keeping up with passwords is to send myself an email with (website name: username; password) in the subject line. I then moved the email to a passwords folder.

    It is so handy when I need a password I can’t remember to just do a search in my Gmail & quickly find it.

    Also easy to find and delete old ones. Even if I forget to do that, the latest one is easy to find since all the saved emails are in date order.

    I could never keep up with them on paper. There are online sites & apps that can organize passwords but this method works great for me.

    Easy to update when you have to change your PW, too.

  4. I also recall TG&at. I loved shopping there when I was a little girl. When we moved from to a more rural age of Mississippi when I was 9 years old, we had a Ben Franklin store and a TWL. Both were five and dimes–long since gone. Our little town has a grocery store (Piggly Wiggly) and ever changing owners of a couple of boutiques that never have enough business to survive. It reminds me of a soon-to-be ghost town–it would be doomed like the one in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes were it not for the local school and hospital. Those by-gone, cherished times seem to be less stressful then. I wish our children could have experienced such a lifestyle!

  5. Brenda the Wayfair credit card you have had up to now is serviced by Comenity Bank and it is no longer in use. Wayfair recently changed their credit card partnership to Citi and new Citi cards were sent to Wayfair credit card holders.
    It is not a Wayfair ownership change, it is only a change to the credit card company that services Wayfair’s proprietary credit card.
    As a Wayfair Comenity Bank credit card holder, you should have received a new Citi Wayfair card; however your new Citi card could perhaps have been returned if you recently changed your address and had not yet updated it with Wayfair, etc.
    If you call Wayfair Customer Service (not the credit card number), they should be able to direct you to a Wayfair-dedicated line at Citi. You may need to request a new Wayfair card from Citi if you have not received it.
    And yes, I do remember McCrorys and Woolworth stores:) – we would order Coke Floats!

    1. I heard nothing. I ordered something just a few weeks ago and just used the Wayfair credit card on their site/my account. I didn’t know about any of this. And I do order stuff from them, but not as much as from Amazon.

  6. In the little community where I lived as a child and still live now we had Woolworths and a Ben Franklin store. Woolworth was so fun to shop in and they had a lunch bar and so much of everything. One time when Mom and I were in there they had just gotten in a shipment of the cutest little green parrots,live ones. Mom and I stood and watched those green parrots play and climb around for such a long time.. I know she wanted one as bad as I did. We came so close. But then I think she thought about what my Dad would have thought about having another pet,and we left without one.
    Ben Franklin store was when I first realized that Santa Claus probably wasn’t real. They had an ugly old woman dressed up and pretending to be Santa. I remember it really freaked me out.
    I remember whispering to Mom that the Santa in here is an old woman. Mom said,”Well it sure looks like it.” That was all she said about it. I guess it wouldn’t be a shocking thing now days,but back then, when I was a little kid it sure shocked me.

  7. I grew up in Tulsa … we lived on the corner of 41st Street and Trenton. I could walk to my first job at the TG&Y just one block up 41st from Peoria. I was a cashier and responsible for the school supplies section of the store. 😊 Those were certainly the good old days!

  8. Hi Brenda,
    It’s me again. I found one that is by same company as my password book. So look for this on Amazon
    “ C.R. Gibson Password Log Notebook for Websites and Blogs, 192 pg“

  9. Brenda I have a password book I got on Amazon several years ago. I gave them as gifts too. True lifesaver! Anyway the one I have is no longer available so go to Amazon & search for
    “ password book with alphabetical tabs”.
    Then keep it where you use you laptop or iPad. I write down those secret clues some websites make you answer.

    Good luck!

      1. At work I used an address book but now that I’m retired I use a xcel spreadsheet. Printed out it’s four pages! Passwords are the bane of me.

    1. Great idea! I’ll order one. I write them all down in a notebook, but the pages, after being handled so much, fall out. I end up scribbling over usernames and passwords because sometimes I have to change them. And it all ends up a mess I can’t even read.

      1. I ordered mine from Amazon. Be sure to have some whiteout handy for changing passwords! It seems like it’s every other time you log in that it says change your password!!

  10. Brenda, it seems as if nothing is easy to do any more. I hate having to call CS for anything, it always frustrates me. Thankfully all turned out well for you! How is your foot?

    1. My ankle is doing great! I have not had any significant pain since I got it. I only wear it a few hours a day to start out, as the doctor said I had to build up a tolerance to wearing it. It makes walking MUCH easier. I feel safer because my ankle is stablized.

  11. Brenda, I use the birthdate of my son who was stillborn as part of my email address and his name is my password on my checking account. I feel like it helps me to remember that although his life was short it was important in my life and the experience of carrying him for eight months was actually a blessing that helped me to grow spiritually. It’s also a way of keeping him close to me even though he’s not in physical life now. I don’t know if you feel that you ccould keep the passwords that remind you of Gracie with similar tho’ts in mind or not. Just tho’t I’d share my experience in case it is meaningful to you.

    Hugs to you, pats for Ivy.

    1. I do have Gracie’s name in quite a few passwords. I can’t even look at her box of ashes or paw print right now. It’s just too much.

  12. A lot of the smaller towns around here still have a Main St. Being a Midwesterner, I’ve never heard of TG&Y. Guess they weren’t around here. We had Ben Franklin stores.

    I have a password book (I think I got it on Amazon years ago) where I write down all my usernames and passwords for sites and accounts.

    I’ve never heard of a credit card that didn’t have a three digit security code on the back!

    Yes, Wayfair is owned by Wayfair. Sounds like someone didn’t know what they were talking about or just didn’t care and were trying to get you off the phone. Customer Service at a lot of companies these days is awful.

    1. I hadn’t heard of a credit card without the 3-digit code either. But my Wayfair card didn’t have one. I’m going to order one of those password books. I just have no stomach for customer service anymore. My stomach clenches up as soon as I dial the number. I know many towns still have a Main Street. It was a metaphor.

  13. I live in WV now and we have a Main St. It is always decorated with beautiful flowers in the spring and summer. We have Festival Fridays in the summer months. They have musical entertainment and a farmers market! When I was a child I lived in a small town with a five and dime store called The Ben Franklin! My mother worked there for many years! In the town next to ours they had a drugstore with a soda fountain! Those were wonderful years. Everything was innocent. The great shows, as you mentioned, Leave it to Beaver and The Lucy show! I feel sorry that the youth today didn’t get to experience that!

    1. The youth now are plastered to their phones and social media. Everything is immediate. Texts, likes, everything. I feel sorry for them too. How are they going to learn to problem solve if they never have to use their creativity?

  14. You are so right Brenda, and though on the West Coast where I grew up, there were different names…yes, indeed we had those five and dime stores. When we moved to a very remote Washington town in 2004, it was like going back to at least 1960…yep had a soda fountain in the store etc. LOVED living there…we were only there 20 months but we cried when we left. People care about each other there too…imagine that!! I share your frustrations in trying to do any business these days…takes most of the day sometimes. I guess it is how they keep more jobs for more people…wasting out precious time and energy on silliness mostly…sigh….

    1. If only more of those jobs would go to Americans. I’m sure they pay the people in other countries a pittance and then pay almost nothing in taxes. It’s a real racket. It’s guided by sheer greed and it’s shameless. It isn’t customer service at all. It’s nothing but aggravation.

    2. You are so correct in that it often does take most of a day to resolve anything and what you need to resolve has been done by the hands of the company for which you need resolution. You wait on hold in excess of an hour in hopes you just might be lucky enough to get a somebody that is “empowered” to be of help, only to find they can’t, and sometimes, will not help you. Then it is call this or call that and the wait starts all over-a real rinse and repeat thing. You try to outsmart them when they insist they must transfer you by asking them for the direct number in the event you are disconnected and guess what? They tell you they don’t have the number and you must be transferred only to then be on hold forever and then get disconnected. Credit cards now being serviced via Marcus by Goldman Sachs are the worst, but then again, in my opinion Goldman Sachs has always been a nefarious company, deeply embroiled in the previous housing bubble. It is my hope that businesses will finally “awake” once again to customer service vs. employees calling all the shots. As I often say, vote with your dollars folks, vote with your dollars.

  15. Would you believe we still do have a Main Street? Believe it or not, small town life is still alive and well here in our little Texas town.

    We have a town Square that still contains original historic buildings now filled with restaurants and boutiques. We have monthly Market Days on the first Saturday of each month and vendors set up along the square and the streets are closed.

    A horse and carriage runs all day, giving rides through the downtown and past historic homes. At night, the carriage is lighted.

    Hubby and I sit on our front porch and sip sweet iced tea and watch and wave to them as they pass by. I’m totally honest and not exaggerating. It’s just like stepping back in time.

    Our home was built in the late 1800’s and the visitors from the city consider it a novelty. Lol. We talk to neighbors over the fence and share baked goods. We love small town life! In a way, we’re living the “good old days” right now in our tiny town.

    And, I do recall TG&Y. We also had a department store called Gibson’s here in Texas.

    1. When I lived in New Braunfels, Texas for 5 years, it was the same there. I often look back to that town and wish I’d never left it.

      1. Oh Brenda! New Braunfels is wonderful! I wish you’d never left, too … because then you’d only be a couple of hours away from where we live. The Texas hill country here is beautiful especially this time of year. I travel 20 miles to the nearest shopping and the route is nonstop roadside wildflowers now … the bluebonnets are really putting on a display this year! You should take a road trip here someday if you’re able!

  16. I lost internet for 2 days. Havoc & very stressful because even though I have password managers, they are in the cloud. But when you can’t get to the cloud, you are stuck. I had to call a friend to look up how to contact the provider. I had all my doctors & utilities on my phone but not the FiOS number.

    Last week, my friend discovered her oven has to be internet connected to get updates. She’s had it about 2-3 years but didn’t get a manual (she bought the builders show townhome & they didn’t leave any manuals since they had been using it for show for about 2 years). Anyway, the oven wouldn’t turn off and there was now way she could move it out to unplug it. She spent hours on the phone trying to get some support too. She called me several times as she was getting so frustrated being sent to so many different departments without getting any help. It turns out the oven can’t be turned off when it gets hung up unless you unplug it. The oven needed an update to correct the issue! And there goes another few days as she couldn’t get it to connect. That is such a fire hazard. She didn’t leave her house until the update was finally in place. Good thing the fire department is really close. She’s now looking for a replacement that doesn’t require internet ever. She’s alerted her neighbors (they didn’t know the oven required updates via the internet either).

    That is scary to me. I’m afraid of fires. I don’t know what you would do if you didn’t have a cell phone or other access to the internet.

    1. Wow! That is so scary! Sounds like she was terrified. There should have been a way to do something to keep her safe. The company let her down. I blew up a gas stove when I was 17 and pregnant. I’m still terrified of gas stoves. Won’t have one now even though that was many years ago.

  17. Oh yes!! I remember TG&Y very well. There was one in Utica Square where we hung out. I bought all my 45 records there. $1.00 each. I would go in there every day and stand in the doll dept and pine for Chatty Cathy! I grew up right across 21st street on Xanthus. One year I was supposed to take my youngest sister trick or treating and I wanted to hang out with my friends. I took her to TG&Y and bought her a sack full of candy for a penny a piece. Thankyou for reminding me of those good ole days.

  18. Because like ALL companies now, they outsource their customer service to over-seas call centers and they didn’t understand you or what you were saying… period. Wayfair has the same ownership they have had since the beginning. Just that they outsource customer service (like many companies do – it is cheaper than paying full time employees in the US and that is why they do it).

    1. I know. It’s all about greed. I don’t begrudge those people a job, but the companies that hire them are doing us a disservice because communication is so difficult. I might have found a way earlier if not for the miscommunication.

  19. You might try a little book set up for passwords. It’s a little more organized than what we might set up ourselves. I’ve seen then all over the place but have included the link to the ones at Current, the place that sells checks and cards. They’re a lot like address books and I suppose you could use one of those as well. I use an online password manager, Last Pass. It is very good but sometimes can get complicated. Everyone always says to make passwords complex and unique and difficult to figure out, but don’t write them down!! Easier said then done.

    https://www.currentcatalog.com/for-your-home/home-office/organizer-books/password-and-pin-keeper.html

    1. Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out. Lord, how would I remember all the many passwords if I never wrote them down? That’s too much for my brain.

  20. In Michigan where I grow up in the 60’s and 70’s we had a five and dime called D&C’s. I remember going there to get ice cream too. You could buy penny candy and get an ice cream cone. Happy Easter. xoxo Kris

  21. I guess I simply things too much but, you don’t have to order decor from Wayfair or Amazon or Any business that is difficult to deal with. Why do consumers keep buying crap from crap companies and then complain when the experience or the items are crap? Still plenty of “ Main Street” stores out there but they eventually will be gone if consumers keep supporting the horrible business practices of these mega companies!!!

    1. Most of the things I can choose in my town are shipped to me as well. It’s not like the good old days when you walked into a furniture store and walked out with what you wanted.

    1. I do that. But then I’ll get a password wrong or something and have to come up with a new one and scratch that old one out and finally it’s so messed up I can’t even read them anymore. Need to start a new notebook I guess.

  22. So sorry for the ridiculous runaround on trying to pay your bill online..
    regarding passwords..I keep a small notebook with all my passwords, account numbers for the accounts i have..
    this is my choice, and should anything happen to me, my son knows where to find the book..this way , he can notify my creditors of my demise..
    I also have a folder for all of my final wishes and wants with copies of my medical Power of Attorney and Living Will.

  23. Ahhhh Main Street – I remember it well. We’d park in the lot next to Piggly Wiggly and wander down Main Street popping into Foster’s the local five and dime to purchase a handful of things i.e. thread, elastic, paper dolls or a coloring book for me (not both), etc. Then we’d wander into the one and only department store just to grab some socks for my grandfather. Final stop the Drug Store (not Pharmacy) to sit at the soda fountain to have a treat. In my case it was a small hot fudge sundae. Ahhh Main Street, I remember it well. Life was so much easier and people were so much kinder. When my mother and I moved to the big city we’d visit TG&Y to purchase one large spool of crochet thread so she could work on doilies, etc.
    Sadly, today I don’t enjoy walking into the brick and mortar stores and it’s too difficult to explain why.
    I’m sorry you had such a debacle with WayFair. Enjoy your Wednesday!

  24. We still have a Main Street, one overpriced grocery store, 3 overpriced hardware stores, a dirty family dollar store, A McDonald’s, and a Taco Johns. That’s it. You can still shop on main street here, but the only thing you will get are overpriced items, out of the item you wanted, and gossip. Thank goodness there is a Walmart 30 miles away and the ability to shop online.

    1. I live in the city and could go to Target or Walmart. But they are really too big to shop at with my ankle and so I order online. Guess I just have to put up with the problems with online ordering.

  25. Oh yes, I remember Main Street and all the lovely locally owned businesses. We had a Woolworth’s five-and-dime in my hometown.

    Many online companies who offer a “company” credit card actually have a 3rd party service provider. For a Wayfair credit card, Citibank is the servicing company.
    Go to the Wayfair website using this link — https://www.wayfair.com/wayfaircard
    Scroll down (almost to the bottom of the page), and you’ll see the following disclaimer:
    Wayfair Credit Card & Wayfair Mastercard is issued by Citibank, N.A..

    Stay safe & well.

    1. Well, I didn’t see that. But when I called Citibank I got the run around too. Maybe my Wayfair credit card is too old. It might have let me get to my password if I’d had the 3-digit security code. But there wasn’t one on my card.

  26. This is so commonplace any more and it’s so aggravating and tiresome!
    For some bizarre reason,I thought Wayfair was owned by Amazon,but now thinking about it that makes no sense since they sell the same stuff,learn something new every day!
    How’s the ankle doing with the new brace?

    1. Online some people thought the same thing. And some thought Walmart owned it and on and on. The brace is great so far! I bought really good socks at Flemings where I got my expensive (but really good) tennis shoes before the first of the year that I wrote about. They were $18 a pair and I got 3. However, they are fantastic socks that are soft with a padding in the bottom. So I guess you get what you pay for, as Kendra often says to me.

  27. I get this post. God forbid you forget your password. I’ve spend hours redoing and redoing. It’s a basic nightmare. Which is why I Always buy Apple computers, phones, etc. I can actually reach a PERSON, A LIVE PERSON. They are so knowledgeable and polite. I must have called them over 50 times in the last year for big and little issues. It’s fabulous. The same is for my printer. I would never buy anything but HP printers because they have LIVE PERSONS!!! What a relief and a joy!! This is not an ad for these two companies, just a comment on frustration and a couple of solutions.

    1. Many of my passwords have Gracie’s and Ivy’s names in them. It will probably make me cry every time I see them. So I’ll probably have to change it.

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