Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Walmart Curse

My husband and I had an argument heated discussion the other day.

What did we argue about?

What do most couples argue have heated discussions about?

Money. Well, money and the frequency of sex, according to the polls.

But we argued discussed money.

Larry says that I go crazy in Walmart. He says that I can't go in there without dropping over a hundred bucks. Even with a list, I come home with extra stuff.

So I am admitting it here on the interwebs so it's official and I will no longer have plausible deniability in the event of a future argument discussion:

My husband is right.

I can't help it.

Even if I do make a list, and even if I try hard to just get the items on the list, the Walmart curse strikes.

I see it, and then I remember that we don't have it.

Even if we don't need it, we suddenly must have it. And that too, and ooh, we definitely need that... And bam! There goes a couple hundred bucks.

And I can't forget Target. I spent so much money in Target one day that they sent me a thank you card. Of course, it was all stuff that I needed and had to have. It was so nice of them to remind me.

It may drive my husband crazy, but it bothers ME even more.

I should know better.

Stores are specifically designed to get you to spend money. That is their sole purpose for existence. We all know this. Every single store is laid out, from the number of items on sale to the number of carts in the front, to get you to a)spend as much time in the store as possible, and b)to get you to spend as much money as possible. Walmart is better at this than most, except maybe for Disney(Disney pioneered the field of behavioral engineering, even if their name wasn't on it).

I know this because I read a lot about the study of behavior and some of that research has involved sales and marketing. People worry about the government getting our money, and that's kind of stupid. They need to be more worried about stores like Walmart.

I know, for instance, that the reason there are so few employees checking people out at Walmart(and other stores) is because research has shown that the longer you are in the store the more money you will spend(because you will think of something else you needed).

The candy at the checkout is there BECAUSE children are impulsive, and parents will often buy their children things to shut them up. Nobody likes a screaming child, least of all a parent.

The milk and eggs are at the back of the store BECAUSE you will likely think of something else you need as you pass all the other aisles.

They throw that extended warranty offer in at the last second BECAUSE you've already committed to spending money, so you are more likely to say yes to spending more.

It sometimes bothers me that I am such a easy target for stores such as Walmart. Oh, and Target, as well. They know my shopping habits better than I know them myself. That kind of sucks.

Sometimes I start to feel like a lab rat, except there's no cheese at the end of the maze. But then I see something else I forgot that I needed.

Hey! It's on sale.


  1. I know exactly what you mean. I curse you WalMart and Target!!

  2. I feel like I have the will power of a nun compared to you. I left Target the other day with 3 things in my hands did not need a shopping cart. But I know what you mean I see all sorts of things I want too. But I can live without them or I'd be broke and in debt.

  3. We have a Walmart Curse here too. *sigh*


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