Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Wal-Mart Moratorium is Back On!

Dear Lady Who Almost Ran Me Down with Her Shopping Cart at Wal-Mart Last Night,

Going to Wal-Mart is like when you're putting on your makeup in the morning and your dancing perhaps a little too vigorously or you're practicing your karate chops or you have a sudden arm spasm and you accidentally knock your mascara that's sitting on the edge of the counter into the toilet. You stand there contemplating whether or not you really need it and can you get away without wearing any, knowing that all day long at work everyone will look at you with concern and ask you if you're feeling okay because that's what happens every time you forget to put some on. Apparently you look like you have consumption without it. But you can't fathom actually putting on mascara that has been sitting in your toilet, even with the cap securely fastened so you give it up for lost and put on a little extra shadow and some shiny lip gloss, because nothing says, "I don't have TB!" like shiny lip gloss and your ready to start your day. Except that the mascara is still in the bottom of your toilet bowl and you have a feeling that it probably won't flush. Your toilet has never been the best of flushers. That's when it hits you that you're still going to have to stick your hand in the toilet and you try to remember the last time you cleaned it and you're pretty sure it was long enough ago to make you wish that you were the type of person who had a pair of industrial strength dish washing gloves on hand, but you're not because you've always thought that gloves were for sissies. Now that you are the sissy you rethink your assumption and vow to buy gloves, which doesn't solve your immediate problem but gives you a sense of resolve to never let this happen again. And besides, this is the price you have to pay for forgetting, just this one time, to put the lid down. So you stick your hand in and pray that they have an antidote for whatever it is you're about to contract.

Sometimes you have to go to Wal-Mart, even when you really, really, really don't want to.

I live right across the street from the Wal-Mart we met in but you'd never guess it by the Target to Wal-Mart plastic bag ratio under my kitchen sink. It's about 57:3. It kills my soul a little every time I walk in there. I tell myself that I should just suck it up. It's cheap and close and I'm poor and lazy. But every time I muster the strength and gird up the loins and venture across the street I come across the same people who make me want to curl up in the corner and cry. People like the large woman in a tank top and no bra who yells at her kids for no reason or the screaming child on the floor with the mother who won't do anything about it or the person who parks his cart perpendicular to the aisle so you can't get around it or the kids in those roller skate shoes who are always running into me. And there's always at least one item that your desperately need that they don't have. Last summer I was dying of a vicious throat infection and all I wanted was a Popsicle and instead of going to the drive-thru dairy on the corner for a box I went to Wal-Mart because I also needed tissue and cold medicine and a really sharp knife to cut my tonsils out (Inter-Letter Letter: Dear Dr. Lawson, Please take my tonsils. Please! PLEASE! I'm begging you to take them. They've brought nothing but pain and misery my whole life. Please. Love, Rachel). I think I may have been slightly delusional from the fever because I never would have gone in a saner state of mind. Anyway, I went and suffered through countless braless mothers and their screaming children and a whole gang of kids on rolly shoes and there were shopping carts everywhere and I got my tissue and cold medicine. Guess what they didn't have. Popsicles. That broke me. I went home and cried for an hour and didn't go back for 6 months. Curse you, Wal-Mart! Curse you to Nebraska!

What I'm trying to say is that I don't like to go to Wal-Mart because it always ends up being a bad idea.

But last night I was working on a new bird and realized that if I didn't get more light on my work space I would go blind and have to get one of those magnifying glasses that the brilliant, blind, albino Filipino kid in my high school had to use to read (True story. He's now a nude performance artist. He was beat out for valedictorian by the partially deaf figure skater. Chino High School was nothing if not progressive. I'm not going to tell you his name because you will be curious and will want to Google it and I'm trying to save your from having to see those pictures. I think that's pretty generous considering that you tried to kill me last night.)

When I realized that I would need more light I started to have an internal conversation with myself...
Practical Rachel: You need a light.
Sensitive Rachel: I know.
PR: It's late and you want to work on this bird.
SR: I know!
PR: You won't be able to make it to Target before it closes which means that Wal-Mart is your only option.
SR: I KNOW! Leave me alone!

And that's how I ended up on the serious side of your shopping cart. I parked in the gardening section because I knew that the lamps were in the back of the store and I like bypassing all of those people up near the check out lanes. I lingered there for awhile looking for mulch (I was in a fit of gardening the other night because while I was house sitting at the Duke's I left my plants in the care of...nope still can't talk about it...still very bitter...moving on.) and of course they didn't have any so I made my way to the lamp section. You probably noticed that they changed things around inside. I haven't been in the place for months and got completely lost. I have a feeling that you were lost too because why else would you run into me with your shopping cart? You were obviously disoriented. I was walking down one of the main aisle and you were coming out of one the side aisles, which I believe gave me the right of way, but you pulled right out and bumped me with your cart! I was standing right in front of you! You were looking right at me! I know I'm short but my butt is certainly big enough for it to be seen at quite a distance. I stopped and gave you my standard Wal-Mart Look, (the one of shock, dismay and resignation) as you turned right in front of me without even saying a word. You know when you're on the freeway and someone almost runs you off the road by cutting you off and then drives 20 miles below the speed limit so you switch lanes to get away from them but they keep switch lanes with you? That was totally you last night. You were moving so slowly up the aisle and every time I tried to turn into a side aisle you turned first. I couldn't shake you! I finally had to duck down some random automotive aisle to give you the slip. Wherein I found two scream children on the floor with their mom just staring at them.

Sigh.

Sincerely, Rachel

P.S. The only thing that saved you from a solid thumping was that before I left I picked up the mail and my order from the Soap Kitchen was there. Neatly wrapped soap = joy.

CC: Wal-Mart

11 comments:

jessi said...

I have this debate every time I contemplate a trip to Wal-Mart. I would never go there, but alas, there is no Target in our po-dunk town. We do have Fred Meyer, but I can't always justify the cost. My advice is to never listen to practical Rachel and always go to Target. And I just ordered soap online too (through Etsy) - maybe it will come soon! Say hi to Katie for me and tell her she should start a blog.

Wendy said...

I can't help but sympathize with the women who leave their children on the floor...I can't sympathize, or, thankfully, empathize with their bra-less-ness, but tantruming children are another matter. I'm sure if you saw me at Wal-Mart with my two kids trying to escape the confines of the basket with animal like intensity and much loud wailing a tear producing you'd give me one of your reserved for Wal-Mart looks also!

Laura said...

Boy, "large woman in tank top with no bra" sure gets around! I've seen her in every Wal-Mart I've ever been in. But let me tell you, when she made her appearances in Texas, it was even worse. Trust me.

Oh...and Main Aisle Right of Way is so obvious! Why don't people get that?

Hannah said...

Going to Walmart can be such a chore. I already feel out of place for not having children to scream, and when I forget to take my bra off before I go in I just end up feeling kind of judged. At least I have my rolly shoes.

Ms. Liz said...

I loathe walmart. I would rather patch something together with sand toys and duck tape from the 24hr Walgreens than set foot in that place. World War III will be fought. And it will be ugly. And it will be betwen China and WalMart. Fight the power and tell SR to go get a popsicle. I'm glad the light works though. Don't want any blind Rachels running about the isles there too.

Liz said...

What we need to do if form a support group. We can meet weekly and just mutter under our breath while shaking our heads.

I also believe that the only way a trip to Walmart should actually take place is on the buddy system. Never go alone! So, next time you're desperate, give me a call and I'll be your back up. That way, we can block whole aisles and trap the annoying people. Like war tactics...

Rachel said...

True story. I moved to Utah from Mississippi and vowed never to enter another Walmart now that I have choices, but since it was right across the street I ended up going there. And if you are in Utah it is usually safe to assume that you're the only one with a Mississippi license plate, right? But without noticing, I actually parked between another Mississippi tag and one from Tennessee. If the South rises again it will begin with "the Walmart."

silvia said...

shut up! marc is a nude performance artist!!

I bet you didn't even know i was stalking you on your blog. actually gloria sent it to me a long time ago and i just recently found you again. so how are you? you're hilarious. I have to go finish reading. i stopped when i read about marc.

Amanda said...

Hello, Little Rachel. This is Rachel's old roommate. How is Scooter doing? Sorry that I can't actually remember your son's name, but we talked about him often, but only ever called him Scooter!

Rachel said...

Silvia!!! Never before have I been so happy to be stalked. And yes, Marc is a nude performance artist. And I'm really serious about not googling him. Email me at rachelknecht@gmail.com and give me an update, including cute pictures of your kids.

Amanda: Scooter's real name is Jacob. I'm looking at his picture right now. You know the one with the lip. Sigh. So cute!

Wendy: I would never give you the Look. I never give it to the moms who actually look like they care that their kid is losing it. It's those moms who stand around wondering what shampoo to buy while their kid is writhing on the floor and turning blue.

Rachel said...

Amanda, Scooter is doing great. What he really needs is a visit from his Auntie Rachel Knecht so his life will be complete. From Rachel the other old roommate of Rachel.