Monday, August 13, 2007


Shopping at Wal-Mart takes me back to my dating days.

Wal-Mart is like that girl you used to date. The one you kept going back to for some reason, even though you knew she wasn't right for you. Everybody has dated one of these characters: The one that looked great initially, but as time passes and you get to know her, you soon realize this one is a psycho case full of baggage.

Until you knew better, you thought she was great. Always around, always available, had pretty much everything you needed, affordable, and kind of low maintenance. Sure, there were some shortcomings, everybody's got them, but you choose to ignore them.

But everybody's got a breaking point, and you can't ignore what's blatantly wrong forever. Eventually you get tired of her shit and just leave. "I've had it!" I told Wal-Mart as I left, "The long lines, the cheap quality, the slow and incompetent staff! And don't even get me started on the other shoppers!"

And I left for Target.

And with time, you slowly forget. And you run into her again, months down the line, and even though your better judgment tells you "no", and even though you vaguely remember all the reasons why you left Wal-Mart in the first place, you decide to give it another chance. Besides, all you need are Q-Tips, how bad could it be? So you go on another date.

And as you're shopping there, you think, "This isn't so bad... why did I ever leave you in the first place?" Because everything you need is there, and it's cheaper than anywhere else, and even the shopping cart rolls well!

But the "a-ha" moment comes as you're trying to check out, looking at the cartful of cheap plastic crap you've amassed. Just as you realize (again) that the girl you're sitting across the table from is definitely not the right one for you, so too do you realize that you and Wal-Mart will never have a future together. The low prices and 24 hour availability just aren't good enough to convince me to stay. All the reasons why you left Wal-Mart in the first place come flooding back like bad nausea: The long lines, the incompetent staff, the clientele... Oh dear Lord, the clientele! "Why can't you count to 20?!" I scream in my head at the schmuck unloading forty-odd items from his cart at the Express Checkout Line.

But you're a good guy, so you wait patiently in line, waiting for this date to come to an end. And as you're walking out on Wal-Mart, you swear you're never coming back. Again.