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 dangerous after dark.
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