Monday, March 26, 2012

2012 Slice-of-Life Story Challenge | 26

A Wal-Mart sits conveniently a few miles from our house; but, we don't always go there.  We have a love-hate relationship with it. 

It's big.
      It's well-stocked.
It's busy.
      It's cheap.
It's dangerous after dark. 
      It's close. 

Sometimes I'd rather drive an additional 15 minutes to enjoy a Super Target shopping experience; today, however, I just didn't feel like making the commitment.  Besides, I've come to find out my Wal-Mart has a well-kept secret... 

I discovered it by happenstance a few years ago.  On one of those afternoons when I needed something specific and was under a tremendous time crunch.  I had no other choice but to hit up the store I hate any evening of the week and twice on Sunday.  It was Wal-Mart or nothing...and nothing wasn't a suitable option in our situation.  I drove the few minutes, fuming the whole way that we didn't live nearer a store I love.  But, arriving in the parking lot around 1:30, the clouds parted and the shine shone brightly.  This just couldn't be; so few cars.  What a coup from the typical Tuesday-after-work-trip on which my schema is based.  It was a cake walk to find a cart, make my way through the aisles, and score my necessities.  The patrons were kind and the employees weren't yet burned out from the post-work-harried-shopper sort 5:00 brings.  It was incredibly pleasant by this store's standards.

My Wal-Mart is full of retirees and stay-at-home moms while I'm usually at school.  I was reminded of this again today as Reid and I started off our spring break by traipsing through the store to pick up a few beauty items before launching into the gaggle of groceries.  The time was 2:00.  Ladies smiled at us; stay-at-home moms shared the secret-code-gaze all mothers offer up when in GROCERY LAND with a persnickety toddler; shoppers said "Excuse me," when meandering past in tight aisles.  In fact while in line, an elderly gentleman behind us struck up a conversation when he noticed Reid scoping out the, oh, 23 different types of yogurt he added to the conveyor belt while our order marched to check-out.

"Does he like yogurt?"

"Yes," I smiled politely from the other end of our lane, "he does.  Do you?"
Self-evident, b.  My mind wandered as I attempted to figure out how much time 
it actually took him to pick out his flavors and organize them in the cart...

"Yes, I sure do," he smiled, "Does wonders for the digestive system."

Sure that I heard him incorrectly, I smiled politely and offered a friendly chuckle. You know the kind.

You see, our Wal-Mart is close, dangerous at dark, cheap, and well-stocked.  But, the most important thing about our Wal-Mart is that it is not busy while everyone else is at work

Write on,


  1. As I clicked to read, knowing this was about Wal-Mart, I said to myself I have such a love-hate relationship with Wal-Mart and then read those exact words. But now, now I know there is a secret (which I can only use on school breaks.) Still I like being in the know!! :)

  2. It is an amazing world to see what people who are not working do during the day. I always wondered how did they pay bills with a twinge of jealousy.

  3. I have often said that I want to work a job where I get one weekday off. It would be a dream come true to shop when so few other people can! :)

  4. Walmart and I have the same relationship you do. I do like to go early in the morning (getting out before 8:00) and the experience then is always a good one.
    More importantly I have just discovered your blog (I'll be back) and your writing is so true. Your words just flow and capture your world. So much of what you describe is in my world too. Love this!!


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