Today I was at Walmart - a place I avoid like the plague on a good day, and don't even drive near on a Saturday, but found myself there today. You see, I needed contact lens solution and miracle grow plant food...where else would I find both of those items, but at Walmart? So there I am. Of course as I enter there are no shopping carts despite the fact that this Walmart has just undergone a huge renovation and bought mass quantities of new carts...there were none for me today.
I see this as a bit of a bonus. First of all, it means that I can get in and out more quickly, not having to steer a giant metal contraption around the gawkers. Also, it means that I can maybe, just maybe get in and out of Walmart without spending triple digits. There's something about that store, the convenience of it all, that makes me toss things into my cart that I have no need for...it's like everything is so shiny and I cannot step away!
So, I wander around the store trying to find things in the newness of it all (they moved everything just to make me stay longer). Along the way I pick up a pack of fleece material to make a sleep sack for Little Miss, a birthday card for a friend, and I almost got new lawn chairs but fortunately I could not carry them. I wandered through the baby clothes section, looking for the right sizes on some cute outfits...luckily they did not have Little Miss's size since she probably has enough clothing to get her through high school. When I realize my hands and arms are full, I know it means it is time to find the cash register. I line up in the 10 Items or Less aisle. There are six cashiers at six stations and one by one the automated voice announces "Please go to cash number __". It's quite simple, keeps the line up moving and works well for people like me who couldn't find a cart therefore are only carrying less than 10 items.
My dear hubby says the 'impulse sections' are made for me. I find myself scanning the items on the left and right of me, my eyes darting back and forth as quickly as possible to decide what I will buy. I used to have a magazine addiction, so it was easy to find one to buy...now I try to stay away from the cost and tabloid-like reporting, so I scan for other things. The shake-weight, banana clips, venus razors, maybe some AA batteries, chocolate bars, chocolate bunnies, gum, tic tacs, I could go on and on. Today I was trying to decide between a chocolate fondue set, or some cashews. I decided to buy gum - sugar free...cheap and not bad for me.
The guy behind me in line is eating something. It smells kind of bad - like meat but has a weird sounding crunch. Strange meat. I try to casually turn to see what it is inside the crinkly bag, but he moves as well so I cannot get a good look. I am thankful I am no longer pregnant, because surely that strange smell and crunchy sound would have made me lose my lunch.
I am now second in line, and the people in front of me are called out like on the Price is Right, where they go running to the next cash waving their arms in the air and screaming 'Woo Hoo'! Well, okay, they were called with "Please go to cash #5." They step forward, walk past cash number five and go to cash number 4, where they seem to know the cashier. They begin to chat. I step forward to go to empty cash number 5, when they realize they need to get to their cash. They turn back to come to cash five, when the cashier at cash 4 calls them over saying she'll take them. It's all becoming chaotic and twirly. I wait a second and the cashier at #5 indicates that she will take me. I step forward, and as I do, weird meat man steps right up to cash five behind me. He continues to stand there waiting while the next three customers are called to cashes 3,6 and 1. I look at him wondering why he is just standing there, content with waiting long past what he needs to. He just stands there. Then I start to wonder if he plans to follow me, maybe attack me in broad daylight in the Walmart parking lot.
As I leave I step aside to find my keys, so I can hold them like a claw in my knuckles. I turn to so where he went - he is still at cash 5. I quickly make my way to the direction of my car parked about 7 miles from the entrance...really. I walk behind a man and his daughter, hoping they'll protect me if meat man comes after me. I see my car ahead, on the other side of the lane, but don't move towards it yet. First, I turn to scan the area...no one is following me. I quickly cross the road and climb into my vehicle, locking the doors immediately. Suddenly there is a shadow across my window. I almost pee my pants as I look up, wishing I'd bought some adult diapers, and see a man right at my window. Luckily it wasn't meat man - just some dude who decided to cut through and happened to walk beside my car at the exact moment that I was fearing for my life. Well, not really fearing for my life, but he did startle me.
So that was my outing to Walmart. Now do you see why I don't go very often?