There was once a time, way back in elementary school, when going to Walmart was fun. I lived for the days when Mom would pick me up from school, and had to swing by the store on the way home to pick up whatever it was that adults seemed to always run out of on a semi-regular basis (fabric softener?). The trips always seemed to last forever – a solid 30 minutes of time in which my hip-high self could run to the electronics department and stare slack-jawed at the latest Super Nintendo games on display. If I was lucky, the kid playing them might even get called away by his mother and pass the controller into my sweaty little hands. I was a kid then, too small to see the world with adult eyes. Thank goodness too, because otherwise I’d probably be in major need of therapy.
These days, going to Walmart is just the absolute worse. Sure, my heart rate still increases when I learn that I’ll be going to Walmart – the difference is that instead of excitement, I’m filled with dread and the worry that I may not escape with my soul intact. Because now, I’m no longer going to Walmart with the singular purpose of drooling over video games – in fact, there are probably so many germs crawling all over those controllers that I gag every time I think of how I was this close to catching SARS or hepatitis. Now, I’m going to Walmart to get supplies so that I can continue to function as a human. But the awful (awful!) people that shop at Walmart make that difficult. Granted, not everyone who shops at Walmart is a scumbag. After all, I have to force myself to go there. Surely there are others like myself who have to brave those awful conditions. In the hierarchy of box stores, Walmart is right smack in the middle between K-Mart (never shop here) and Target (the upperclass Walmart). Still, that hasn’t stopped Walmart from collecting its fair share of disgusting clientele, as evidenced by People of Walmart.
I always try to keep my Walmart runs simple – to be efficient and minimize my overall time in the store. If I forget to grab a bottle of shampoo and don’t remember until I’m walking to the cash register – I’ll take my chances finding it somewhere else. I only shop in the peripheral aisles of Walmart, because everything I need is there. I don’t think I’ve ever stepped foot in the center sections of a Walmart. It’s because I value my life and my sanity. There should never be a reason that I need to purchase clothes in Walmart. Have you seen the clothing section of a typical Walmart? There are more clothes on the floor than the racks, the footwear section always looks like an avalanche of shoe boxes just occurred, and dressing rooms with hanging sheets to replace the doors that have either been destroyed or removed. If Walmart was Iraq, the clothing section would be downtown Baghdad. Just a vile, evil place where you can lose your life at any given moment.
I never use cash either. I’m all about using my debit card – the quick-n-easy method of payment. Unfortunately, the rest of Walmart’s clientele hasn’t caught on to this. They’re still paying with cash or, God forbid, a check. Lately, I’ve found myself waiting longer in line at the cashier than the total amount of time I spent in the store. Even the “12 Items or Less Express Lanes” are dominated by shoppers who are simply too stupid to read the item limitation – and the cashiers simply aren’t bothered enough to turn them away. And while you can avert your eyes from the crazy shoppers while holding your breath and sprinting from aisle to aisle, its always the checkout lanes that force you to stand still and really see your fellow shoppers. This is when you realize just how much trouble our society is in. Now, I work the kind of job that requires me to wear a legit suit and tie every day. I have to look dapper, it’s part of my job. But I don’t begrudge shoppers that wear jeans or shorts and a t-shirt. If I hit Walmart on the weekend, I’m right there rockin’ the same thing. The problem is that these people clearly don’t get dressed in front of a mirror. If the clothes aren’t too baggy, they’re way too tight. There’s also way too much skin being shown – it’s a Walmart, not a skeezy club. It’s enough to make one wonder – do these people have jobs? Do they go through life this way, or do they just save it for Walmart? I want to know the life story behind the man shopping in that store with “FUCK” shaved into the back of his head, wearing a stained, white tanktop with flannel pajama pants and flip flops. Actually, I don’t.
When I leave Walmart, I need to recollect myself. It’s a traumatic experience, and it reoccurs every single time I shop there. No matter where I go, every Walmart is the exact same. I’m at the point now where I just can’t take it anymore. I think that, for the entire year of 2012, I’m going to boycott Walmart. And even if the world doesn’t end this year, maybe fate can do us all a favor and wipe Walmart from existence. That would work for me.