This was a post I had written for another site a while back. I just found it, and while it may be a bit dramatic, it still is absolutely true. Nothing makes me grumpier than a good trip to Wal-mart.
I apologized to my roommate today. She was an innocent bystander and I had no intention of dragging her into all of this. It began simply, really. It began with us deciding to get into the car, drive ten minutes, and appropriately step out of the vehicle when we had reached our destination- Wal-Mart. We did this quite successfully actually, but it was the minutes that piled up, one after another, that eventually brought me to my very end.
Here's the thing.. I despise Wal-Mart. It makes me want to throw that 1.25$ can of pizza-flavored pringles across the bloody store. It makes me want to ram my cart into the seemingly eighty-million other shoppers that have conveniently found themselves in the same six feet as myself. It makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs to all of America (except for that really sweet older gentleman with the Wal-mart blue vest on who always smiles as he greets me at the sliding doors) that there has to be more to my Tuesday afternoon than this... and by the way, why aren't all of you people at work like you should be?!
It usually goes something like this. In the beginning, I am optimistic and I feel good about my decision. I weigh out my options of shopping locales, and it seems that, gosh darn- it, Wal-mart is indeed the cheapest. So, I thank my low paying but nonetheless fulfilling job and walk through those sliding doors into the world that we can thank Sam Walton for. I know exactly where to find what I need. Cottage Cheese? Check. Pens? Check. Pita bread and my favorite kind of hummus? Check. But then, it begins to creep up on me. Slowly, surely, my mood turns from optimistic to "i hate my life" and I begin to get that trapped feeling. I begin to think about how much longer I have to stand, listening to screaming children, waiting in line while listening to the automated "self-checkout" centers that inevitably beep at you 4 out of the 5 times you try to use them.. I begin to feel my legs twitch, my head spin, and my wallet start pleading, "wait! please! don't give my money to this corporate monster that saves you so much money but causes you so much stress!" And then the checkout girl, the one I want to rescue from having to work at this place, smiles at me and asks me if I found everything alright. Of course I have to say yes. I mean, what am I going to tell her? "Actually, no, I had a hell of a time trying to find that extra-strength Gas-X.. and have you guys moved the Zit cream from aisle 11 to 13?.. that really threw me off.." So, I nod, move through the line, swipe my debit card like I'm made of money that I'm just dying to spend, snap at my roommate as she waits behind me in line, and take a swig of the one thing that can bring redemption to this moment- my lukewarm diet Pepsi.
By the time we're home and we've unloaded our purchases, my heart rate has slowed down a bit and I sit down. And then I realize... I forgot to get tape! Man! And I had even written it down on the list. And then, the unbelievable happens- I actually find myself thinking about when the next time is I can run back in to get some .... that place that made me want to karate kick some shins.. that place that made me want to punch the nice lady checking me out straight in the teeth. Yep. I'm already planning my return. It's amazing how quickly we forget.
My head tells me that's just the power of corporate America at work. I wish I could tell my head to shut up. But I know it's right. I'm just like everyone else who falls prey to that yellow, perky, obnoxious little smiley face thingy.. Maybe some day I'll have enough guts to stand up and kick it straight in the teeth. And maybe I'll throw that can of pringles at it too.
But first I might have to get a bigger paycheck.