I have something I need to get off my chest. Please don’t judge me.
::lowers voice:: I went to Walmart last night.
I had to. It was a quest. For this:
Did you see that — birthday cake?!? Apparently only at Walmart. So, how could I not wander inside what is probably my most reviled store for that? Plus, I had 40 minutes to blow until basketball practice was over and with the choice between a barely air-conditioned gym with super-high ceilings that amplify the eardrum splitting sound of squeaking sneakers or acquiring the Shangri-La of sweets, the poison I picked was Walmart.
Not an easy decision.
I don’t like Walmart for many reasons but primarily that it sells guns, reportedly treats its employees terribly and the last time I was forced to go in there for an item on a class syllabus — a composition notebook with graph paper that was apparently only sold there — I truly thought I was going to lose my shit. I felt claustrophobic with the oppressively high shelves, there were at least 3,650 people over the building occupancy limit and definitely way too many scream-y toddlers, which according to the International Building Code should be one or fewer, unless you’re unlucky enough to be stuck at Chuck E. Cheese.
As I wandered the grocery section, I couldn’t help but feel like I was in the opening scene of a horror movie. Creepy fluorescent lighting… Some man was whistling in the cereal aisle who then started following me… A cart with a squeaky wheel echoed throughout the store. I held my breath, waiting for a guy in a ski mask holding a knife to jump out from behind the teeteringly high stack of boxes full of Dr. Thunder.**
But, but, but — my candy!
Because I am stubborn, I stuck it out and also, I was kinda curious to see if store security would jump me because I definitely looked suspicious and seemed lost and/or on drugs as I weaved in and out of every single checkout lane in search of that damn candy bar, which I never found. All I saw was this…
Wait, what flavor is Tres Amigos?! Then it dawned on my tired brain that this was MM/Mars’ way of reaching out to the Latin community.
I was going to say that this story doesn’t have a happy ending, but I guess it does because I did make it out of the store relatively unscathed — and I remembered, finally, to pick up some napkins, which I had managed to forget at each and every one of the three trips I had made to Target in the past few days.
*I took double the dose of melatonin that I typically do in order to quiet my nerves after this traumatic trip, so I’m still very foggy and none of this may make sense.
**Apparently Walmart’s version of Dr Pepper is Dr. Thunder and it’s quite cheap, I might add.