Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Hate Shopping at Walmart

...I can't be any clearer about it. Why? Let me describe my experiences today. First I went to HEB, which is a grocery store chain that is local, or at least only in Texas. The place was crowded, but I did not have the slightest bit of trouble finding anything on my list, the sales people were friendly, and most importantly, nobody walked slowly in front of me with their cart and got in my way. I filled up the cart and walked to the cash registers. There were maybe twenty cash registers at the front of the store and EVERY single one of those registers had an actual live person ringing up groceries and another person bagging those groceries. I was out of there in record time, which was great. I left the store happy... until I got home and realized that I forgot paper plates.

Now, before all you "green" people start hollering at me for using paper plates, shaddup. I am the one who ends up doing the dishes pretty much every day. I LOATHE doing the dishes, but if I didn't they would sit in the sink until they grew legs, which oddly doesn't take as long as one might think. Paper plates are what keep me sane in the kitchen, and are therefore a tolerable evil until I win the lottery and can afford a maid and a cabana boy.

After I announced to my husband that I had forgotten the paper plates, he informed me of all the other things that he had forgotten to tell me to get the first time I went to the store. I offered to take Zane with me this time, which should be an indicator that I wasn't thinking clearly. But I only had a couple of things to grab, so I fully expected to be back in about twenty minutes. Another sign that I wasn't thinking clearly.

The parking lot wasn't too full, and I found a place that was close by. Zane didn't want to walk, so I carried him inside and put him into a cart. We began to move toward the toys, because Zane has to see the "choo-choos". Immediately, the slowest people in the store began to form a line ahead of us. I tried to go around the first one, only to be blocked in by another. These were otherwise healthy people, who for some reason were moving in a slow shuffling gait that is popular among zombies. I started to get irritated, but took a minor detour through the personal hygiene section...which was blocked by the four thousand people who were choosing their deodorants by reading the ingredients on every package. I clenched my jaw and did a U back out into the main drag. The shufflers had disappeared! Hooray!!!

We checked out the trains in the toy section and were able to get back to the grocery section. I got the five things on my list, plus pullups. Then I had to go ALLLLL the way over the garden section for lighter fluid, and I encountered the shuffling crowd again. I lost them in the small appliances section and made it to the lighter fluid.

Zane at this point decided that he needed to sleep. And he didn't want to sleep in the cart, he wanted me to hold him. I tried to bargain with him. I even offered him cash. No dice. I picked him up and tried to steer the cart, which suddenly had a broken wheel. I am shuffling, my cart is going the opposite of where I point it, and I finally make it to the registers.

Every Walmart store has a ton of registers. There must be at least twenty of them lined up all nice and shiny. Yep. They are all nice and shiny because there are only about two in use on any given day. I am not kidding--there were TWO registers open, each four deep with people in line. *sigh*

I pick a line that seems to be moving reasonably fast. The people in front of me, two women, are chatting while they put their stuff on the conveyor belt. They are moving incredibly slow, picking one thing up at a time, looking at it, stopping to talk, looking at the item again...

Zane is getting heavier by the second. He's also doing that thing where he leans back and jars himself semi-awake, which does not make him easier to hold. My left arm is on fire with exertion. I try leaning him on the bar of the cart, but this does not do a damn thing. Finally, the women in front of me finish putting all of the articles in their cart onto the conveyor...and someone in the Walmart management decides to switch out cashiers.

I seriously considering whether it would be worth it to punch the manager in the face, but ultimarely decide that it would be impossible to get a decent punch going while holding a sleeping child. Zane woke up as I was trying to steer the cart to the car. By the time I got out of Walmart and back into the car, almost an hour had passed, I was extremely irritated, and Zane was awake, rested and refreshed and ready to go.

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