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Because I Can't Just SHOP Without Drama...

I like Wal-Mart.

Sue me, laugh at me--I don't care. I don't care about people's opinions about union-busting or how-we-hate-ugly-big-box-stores or Nike sweatshops or nasty Republicans who promote capitalism. In fact, I'm sick of them.

I like a A Place Where I Can Buy Things Cheap. Maybe if I were rich it wouldn't matter. I'd go to what's left of the mom-and pop shops and pay twice what I'd pay at Wal-Mart and then "feel good" about myself and then get on my blog and bitch about how I'd never, ever set foot in Wal-Mart. Um, that'll never happen. Rich or not, I can't see paying $10.99 for a box of K-cups when I can get the same box at Wal-Mart for $6 or $7. Or maybe I'm just saying that because I'm not rich.

Yes, the place is sometimes deafening. I routinely get run over by scooters and shopping carts. Babies shriek. Kids dive-bomb the aisles. People can be rude and occasionally profane. This, however, is also true for the mall and the grocery store and any other place I shop. But when you work in a psych ward, dealing with rude, profane people and taking your life in your hands is a daily occurrence. I don't bat an eye.

So, yeah, I regularly shop at Wal-Mart. I stopped in there Saturday to GET MY CHEAP K-CUPS and also socks. You have no idea how hard nursing is on socks; I've been throwing out my holey ones over the past few months, and then, curiously, I was out, so I started wearing my husband's...and son's...and suddenly NOBODY had socks anymore. Imagine that. I buy a good brand, too ($12 bucks at Wal-Mart, btw, double that the mall.)

Most importantly, Hubby needed a fan. Not any old fan: A rotating fan on a stand with a remote control.

Have you ever tried to buy a fan at the end of September? Good luck.

I find the fans at Wal-Mart, but all they have left are box fans and window fans and those little desk-top fans designed to relieve some of the agony of menopause. Ecstatic, I finally I spot one: A Fan on a Stand!!

One left.

Only one.

And there is a couple standing in front of me, stacking cartons of the box fans right in front of it. Hiding it. Burying it, actually.

They notice me.

Guy: "Oh, are we in your way?"

Me: "Yes. I wanted to look at that fan."

Girl (giggle): "Oh, we were hiding it."

Me: "Yeah, I kinda got that impression..."

Guy: "We were gonna come back and get it later."

Me: "Does it have a remote control?"



Here was my dilemma. Part of me wanted to say what the hell, let these kids have the fan. After all, I'm a nice person. On a really really good day I might've bought that fan for them. If I were rich. Maybe. But no, I was already in a crappy mood--I'd stopped right after work, I'd been up since 5 a.m., and had people yammering at me and cussing me out for eight and a half hours. I was hungry, and tired, and HOT, and had a hole in my son's sock and the start of fricking blister.

This, I think, is how you can tell whether or not you are truly a good and charitable person.

I'm embarrassed to say I didn't particularly feel "good" or "charitable." Worse, I admit it was kind of fun to mess with these two after people had been messing with me all day.

I tried to rationalize my reluctance to part with the fan. Internally, of course. My lips might have been moving. It's a habit I picked up.

1. I had the money in hand, which apparently they did not.

2. I needed that fan too, dammit, and didn't particularly want to run all over town looking for one when there was one right in front of me that they were not planning to buy at that particular moment. Who's to say they'd even come back for it? They might go home, roast wienies, get drunk, have sex, fall asleep in their hot little bedroom, and never think of it again. They'd be still be fan-less. I'D still be fan-less.

3. These two goofballs were hiding the fan. HAHAHAHAHA! They actually were hiding the fan! Didn't they ever hear of layaway?

Me: "Well, let me look at it. If it doesn't have a remote, I don't want it anyway."

Guy reluctantly moves all the extra boxes aside. I reach over and lift the heavy carton so I can turn it around to read the label, and...


The bottom falls out of the box. The fan drops out of the bottom. Pieces roll across the floor. Wal-Mart suddenly goes silent.

Guy and girl back rapidly away.

Guy: "That's okay. We don't want the fan."

I read the label on the extremely weightless box: "No remote. I don't want it, either."

I did get my K-cups, however, And twenty-four pairs of socks.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Patrick Dilloway
Sep. 30th, 2013 02:00 pm (UTC)
I needed to buy a new fan last winter because the women in the office keep the thermostat at like 90 degrees all year long--and still complain they're cold. I finally had to order one from Amazon because as you say no store actually sells those at that time of the year. I'm not a nurse but somehow I run through socks pretty fast. It must just be my feet are corrosive.
Sep. 30th, 2013 05:41 pm (UTC)
I buy men's socks, too, because I think they last longer (and I have huuuge feet) and yet, like you, I still go through them like crazy. We must have nuclear sweat glands in our feet. :)
Sep. 30th, 2013 05:42 pm (UTC)
PS: If I had to work in that office I'd be homicidal. NINETY DEGREES? I can't tolerate anything much past 64, 65.
Sep. 30th, 2013 03:25 pm (UTC)
I haven't ever shopped in Wal-mart because there aren't any in NYC. So, I see what I want in other stores and wait patiently for it to go on sale. Almost my entire wardrobe (socks included) comes from the Gap, which has great sales. My fan came from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Etc. I'd like to say I wouldn't shop at Wal-mart if there was one here, but I guess I probably would. Money is an issue for most of us. Me included. We do have K-mart. But nobody shops there. They just sell garbage.
Sep. 30th, 2013 05:37 pm (UTC)
The K-Mart around here looks like Wal-Mart's bargain basement.
Oct. 1st, 2013 03:20 pm (UTC)
Someone could be fired if I say online why I hate WalMart.

Moving on...

I bought a fan last week for Zor's room after the bloody ckatten knocked hers over for the fiftieth time or so. I got it at Odd Lots, but no remote. They should call this sucker HURRICANE ON A STICK though, seriously. I kind of want one to replace my menopause desk fan...
Oct. 1st, 2013 05:06 pm (UTC)
LOLOL! Sounds like my kind of fan...
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


Jeannine Garsee

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