So I broke down and went to Walmart yesterday for the first time in years. I was looking for reflectors for the jogging stroller so that I can send Tim and Stella off on their early morning, still dark runs without the worry that I have been sending them off with in the past. I had already checked Toys R' Us and Target and figured, "hey, Walmart will have it, they have everything." Tim has been trying to get me to go to Walmart lately. Apparently it's okay again, they're all environmentally friendly and stuff. So I went to the new one at Slaughter and 35 because I was curious about it and maybe wanted to relieve a little of the concerts of my youth (it's built over Southpark Meadows, which was a great outside concert venue. I saw Radiohead open for REM as well as NIN and David Bowie there). It's one of them thar SuperCenters that have a grocery store in addition to the regular Walmart and were previously only the domain of small East Texas Towns. These things are huge, they require a Rascal just to traverse the store. (Sidenote: I googled Rascal to put a link to one and something called "Rascal Flatts" kept coming up. Judging by their album covers and the fact that many of their songs seem to end in an apostrophe rather than ing, I'm guessing they are a country boy band. Weird).
Anyway, I pull into the Walmart parking lot and immediately my hands start sweating and I feel nervous. I am not used to going to stores larger than my neighborhood. There are cars driven by yokels, including one that has the sticker "Immigrant? Learn the Language and Assimilate". Yeah, for real. I doubt they even know what assimilate means. They probably think it means to do something with your ass. So I'm already nervous. I park and put Stella in her sling, fearful they'll recognize me as the hippie liberal I am simply because I've got my child in something that has her touching me and doesn't leave her free to stare empty-eyed at the ceiling while she drinks the bottle of formula I've propped up for her. We start towards the store. These people are not Austinites. They look like they have been bussed in from Central Casting as the inhabitants of a small depressed East or West Texas town. Maybe they drove in from Jasper or Seminole. I know how they like to waste money on gas with their big Dulli trucks. Once inside the store, Stella and I are both overwhelmed. It is huge and bright and ugly. I proceed to the toys since I am looking for a very specific thing I want to give as a gift. Unfortunately, they have it, but only one and it looks like someone dragged it all over the store before returning it to the shelf. It probably was used to keep a kid amused. Luckily, I find something else very cute and proceed to the bike accessories. No reflectors, nada. Apparently everything has to have batteries these days. So I go to the deodorant for Tim. I walk back and forth trying to find the aisle because they are called "anti-perspirants" on the sign and I miss it. I finally find the aisle and yep, they don't carry Tim's brand. At this point my legs are tired, Stella's trying to crawl out of the sling, and I just want to check out. But Walmart has decided in order to keep its prices low, it will only have 4 regular checkouts and 4 self-checkouts open at 5pm! The people at the self-checkouts are staring at the machines like they came from outerspace. I swear, any moment these shoppers are going to pull out sticks and start banging the machines and it's going to descend into total anarchy. I keep going to lines, seeing idiots operating them, and moving to another line. Finally I find a line behind a woman who, while she has a ton of stuff, seems to know how to scan an item and put it in a bag. Eventually I get to scan my one item and check out. I tell Stella to say hello and goodbye to Walmart because we ain't going back!
I just read this post and wow, does it live and die on stereotypes. I can only imagine what my fellow Walmart shoppers would have to say about me!