Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Wal-Mart

After reading my last post, I just want to thank everyone who posted a comment. That was a lot of self-congratulations to slog through.

I like Wal-Mart. Yes, I do. The corporation can go hang itself, but I love shopping there. There is no better place to people watch.

There are two Wal-Marts both within 3 minutes of where I live. One is Yuppie-Mart, and one is Ghetto-Mart. I like Ghetto-Mart best. I also only go between 11 pm and 3 am. I have insomnia. When Jethro and I used to live in town, there were any number of coffee shops and diners that were open all night. Out here in suburban limbo, there is only Wal-Mart. So I pay them a visit whenever I can't sleep. Aside from finding things I want at sweatshop prices, I like watching the people that crawl in.

Gangs of boys, red-eyed and high on pot, wander dreamily through the grocery section looking for snacks. Half of them don't wear shoes.

The Mexican workers torture the one little old white lady on shift by directing every English-speaking person to her when they can't find something.

There are bleary-eyed parents who have forgotten that one little item for their kid's lunchbox that they just have to have. They probably overpay at the register.

Girls, in all stages of hoochie, eye the red-eyed boys and buy still more clothes that their mothers shouldn't let them out of the house in. The red-eyed boys make comments. The girls take them in stride.

Then there are the high-school couples. I never know what they're buying, but I'm always pretty sure they've just finished some business in the backseat. They guys affect nonchalance and the girls look at them affectionately and try to squeeze their hands into the back pockets of their wranglers. They have trouble if there's a comb back there.

I heard the most beautiful thing there. I was looking for tights for the girls' ballet class when I heard the most amazing voice. One lady, all alone, was singing to the Muzak. I can't even remember what the song was, maybe Celine Dion or Whitney Houston. She didn't jazz it up or sing it gospel. She sang every note high and clear and perfect. I didn't think she would have noticed me, but I hid anyway. After the song was over, she stopped. Perhaps it was because they started playing Shania Twain. Anyway, it was a rare moment. Amid all the excesses of the chubby hoochie girls and the men who love them, was one clear voice redeeming all of our existences.

8 comments:

Turf said...

i freaking hate walmart... if shit wasnt just a bit cheaper i would never step foot into that hell hole..
plus i have never seen a yuppie mart... i thought they were all ghetto marts!

but i do agree people watching there is fun.

Jack said...

Two things:

I hate WalMart. I even posted about that one time. But yes, the freak watching can't be beat.

Second, thanks for linking me. You're one of the many (well, okay, three or four) that I need to link back. Sorry I haven't done it sooner. Thanks.

Angi said...

I am a wally world fan my self. I think all parents are. They just can't be beat. Low prices, wacky people, what more can you ask for?

I would have loved to hear the lone voice rising from the racks. I have been known to embarass my children by singing down the isle, or swaying a bit too much to the muzak, but hey, i got the music in me!

Zelda said...

I can only go late at night. I don't like large crowds because they won't let me think and mosey. If I can't mosey, I won't go. I need my leisure. And I don't take my kids cuz they won't let me mosey either. They are anti-mosey.

jp said...

I'm a target dude myself. However, you are correct, the best people watching opportunities come at Walmart.

Jay said...

walmart serves one purpose as far as i'm concerned: to keep target's prices down. period. i like having one next door to target, but i'll never step foot into it again. my boycott has lasted for 2 years now, excluding one weak moment a few months ago when i needed shaving cream, but even then i got pissed off and headed to target instead.

Zelda said...

Let me clarify. I don't prefer Wal-Mart to anywhere else. But it is the only thing open at 2am when I can't sleep. For this, the cheapness, and the cast of characters, I love them. Try getting me there on a weekend and I will take the cyanide pill I keep handy for just such an occasion.

J. said...

I looovve Walmart. I live in Yuppie-ville, so the Walmarts are all yuppy, too. Even though I totally bitch about some of the experiences I have there, I still go back because I love them. They have a better garden dept. than Target, too. I hate the door greeters, though.