Brookstone needs to accept that Mom is a tough sell

Retail chain doesn't seem to know when to take no answer as an answer


With Mother's Day fast approaching, I thought I would be a good son and do this little favor for my Mom.

Dear Brookstone,

My mother would like to ask that you stop sending her your advertising catalogs.

I am doing the asking instead, however, because she ... well, Mom -- Mary McNamara -- isn't with us any longer.

She died, unexpectedly ... on July 1, 1989. 

Twenty-two years seems like a long time to be sending advertising solicitations to a woman who has passed away, especially one who passed away two months before the mall hosting her local Brookstone outlet - Emerald Square, in North Attleboro, Mass. - even opened its doors.

(2011's 25 Geekiest 25th anniversaries)

It's not as though Mom had anything against Brookstone, mind you, though near as I can recall, she never even mentioned the chain, and, in all likelihood, died not knowing of its existence. I'm sure she would have loved one of those massage chairs, though, I mean had she lived long enough to have given one a try down at the mall she never got to see.

And, my-oh-my, did she ever want to see that mall (if not necessarily Brookstone). Mom was a shopper; loved to shop, that woman did, and few pet peeves rankled her more than the fact that Southeastern Massachusetts of the '70s and '80s lacked a mall worthy of the name. You cannot imagine her excitement as Emerald Square neared completion.

"Pity she never got to see the mall," was whispered more than a few times at her funeral. ... No one mentioned Brookstone.

My gosh, that seems like a long time ago, doesn't it. So imagine my surprise when yesterday, while visiting my Dad at what has been the family home for 53 years now, I spy one of your latest catalogs addressed not to him but to my dear departed mother. The back of the catalog indicates that you've got her assigned a customer number, although it's not at all clear to me how or why that came about given that ... well, you get that part by now, I'm sure.

I wouldn't presume to tell you how to run your business, but I doubt there has been enough activity in her account over the past 22 years to justify the continuing expense of sending her, er, Dad, these glossy catalogs.

It's tough to let go, I know - we all still miss her terribly - but it's time.


Paul McNamara

P.S. Mom probably would have liked one of those fancy foam pillows, too, if they made those things back in the '80s.

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