“We asked CNN readers to share memories with us and received more than 600 responses.”
—CNN, March 16, 2018
“I was 6 months pregnant and really excited to scan thousands of baby items for my registry. Then my hubby Shane said that the eggshell-white changing table looked exactly the same as the alabaster white. I told him that’s like saying a home birth in a tub with a doula is the same thing as a scheduled C-Section with an elective tummy tuck! They're not the same Shane!
Shane here to set the record straight: All I said was that I didn’t think the shade of white (WHICH ARE EXACTLY THE SAME) would impact our baby or its future. Anyway, this fight was the beginning of the end and now she has sole custody and I’m stuck with an inflatable birthing tub.”
—Carmen & Shane Williams (Austin, TX)
“Our favorite toy memory? My three-year-old was so moved when we presented her with a plush alpaca woven from actual local alpaca wool. It brought her so much joy to watch artisan alpaca farmers and weavers make the doll for her at the Sunday morning farmers’ market.
Oh! you asked me about Toys ‘R’ Us. I think I remember seeing one from the rode when I drove to alpaca yoga. Seemed like an okay place. I adore alpacas.”
—Shannon Webb (Los Angeles, CA)
“Yeah, I remember Toys ‘R’ Us. Once I was running late to a birthday party and everything had hit the fan. Anyone knows that getting one kid to leave the house on time is a fucking nightmare. Well, I have four kids so we were running what felt like weeks late. And we still didn't have a gift.
So I shepherded my gremlins into the store and after chasing them all over the aisles, we finally get to the line. Let’s just say I was a little frazzled. A lot fucking frazzled. And well, I lost my shit on my kids at the checkout line while the parent behind me look deeply offended. It was embarrassing and upsetting.
Anyway, I ended up writing the wrong name on the birthday card and was judged again by parents at the party. Rot in hell, Toys ‘R' Us.”
—Kelly Enfield (Dayton, OH)
“Toys ‘R’ Us is a great place to get toys. But the last time I went with my seven-year-old I had to shield him from the horror of the woman in front of us. She was screaming at her four children because she didn't know whose party they were going to.
I had to spend the next hour breastfeeding my son to comfort him after that trauma. Some mothers should be ashamed of themselves. I'm going to miss Toys ‘R' Us' deals on child safety gates, corner guards, and a blindfolds—it made it so cheap to shield my son from everything in the world that he should never be exposed to.”
—Gina Vandenberg (Dayton, OH)
“I don’t really remember how I ended up here in the Disney aisle. I don’t even have children. I just know one minute I was crossing the street and the next minute, wham, a bus creamed me out of nowhere and I was suddenly in an aisle filled with Frozen merchandise.
This three-year-old with blank eyes that only speaks backward Latin keeps pressing the “try me” buttons on all the Elsa dolls. They won't stop singing “Let it Go.” It's just “Let It Go,” endlessly. I can't sleep, I can't think.
Did I live my life that badly? Do I deserve this? The unending torments of Toys ‘R' Us Oh god, it wouldn’t stop. Why won’t it stop? Make it stop!”
—Jeannie Lewis (Innermost Circle of Hell)
“Ok look: maybe I got caught up playing “Mario Brothers” on a display console. And maybe I forgot that my kid was wandering around. What's the big deal? If it's really such a problem, arrest me.
No, wait! Don’t arrest me. I mean…can they arrest me? I found my kid eventually. Is it a crime that I didn’t start looking until I mastered the final level? I'm asking honestly, is that illegal?
But look after I beat the King Kupa, I went and found him and I bought an entire shelf of Legos out of guilt. Okay? Happy now?”
—Victor Andrade (Wichita, KS)
“Hillary Ruth Michelle, my seven-year-old, asked to go to the Toys ‘R' Us to get a Barbie Doll. I was beside myself. I mean, who in her highly-vetted friend circle is exposing her to this? I sat her down and explained to her about systemic misogyny and how these “toys” will only end up giving her body dysmorphia. I gave her a stack of books to read and a list of the reputable all women’s liberal arts colleges for her to apply to in ten years.
I've never set foot in one of the stores and I guess now I never will.”
—Renee Burns (Brooklyn, NY)
“We remember the all the hours worked, all the smiles and laughter in helping kids find their favorite toys, but mostly we will remember that all we all abruptly lost our jobs with no severance.”
—31,000 Toys ‘R’ Us Employees (USA)
“Sigh. So many memories.
Those kids really hurt me. I mean physically, really hurt me. They'd kick me if they didn't get the toy they wanted. Once a one-year-old tried to drag me out the front door and everyone thought it was adorable when my neck got stuck in the automatic doors. It wasn't adorable. I couldn’t crane my neck for months.
Some kids rode on my back all at once. Another group collapsed an entire shelf of Bratz Dolls on top of me. We're talking hundreds of pounds of toys. It all led to chronic pain, which I self-medicated and ended up with a serious opioid addiction. Just got out of treatment, actually.
Where will I end up now? Maybe if I’m lucky, my head will be mounted on the wall of Jeff Bezos' office.
—Geoffrey the Giraffe (Store Doorways, Everywhere)