This is a continuation of my previous blog post entitled “Walmart is the WORST,” which explains the basics of why Walmart* is a real life nightmare. This post walks you through the cycle of emotions you can expect to experience during your Walmart visit.
I’ve noticed an interesting trend since I began shopping at Walmart. When I first arrive, I’m in a moderately good mood (Point A). By the time I leave, I’m thinking one or more very unpleasant thoughts (Point B). I’ve developed a timeline of sorts to help explain the stages of emotion that take me from Point A to Point B. I imagine you might be able to relate. I present to you The 7 Stages of Walmart Emotion:
Cautiousness: You pull into the parking lot, trying to look in four different directions at once, knowing that at any moment you could be hit by a blind person who doesn’t see those white lines and arrows on the ground. This is most likely going to be a Cadillac Escalade…I don’t think I have to spell out the irony there. After circling a few times, you finally decide to park as far from the front door as possible because you can’t imagine having to make your way through the crowds of people walking in and out of the store one more time. If an accident involving your car and a human were to ever happen, this is where it would take place. Of course this would not be on purpose, but let’s face the facts. When a large group of your average Walmart shoppers and motor vehicles are combined, bad things are bound to happen. I imagine conquering the Walmart parking lot could serve as a defensive driving CLEP test.
Optimism: You’ve parked the car and now it’s time to go inside. Before getting out, you do a mental run through in your head of each department you need to hit. You tell yourself everything is going to be okay. Finally, you enter the store and choose a cart, which is inevitably the one with the squeaky wheels. You don’t even consider getting a new one; the masses are filing in and you don’t want to risk being trampled. Remember when I said you should wear your helmet at Walmart? That recommendation was based on a true story. In case you didn’t hear, someone actually died from being trampled during the Christmas rush a few years ago. Unreal. I guess not everyone is taught the “we don’t walk on people” lesson (along with the “we don’t wear shirts that come up past our belly buttons, especially when we have guts that hang over our similarly ill-fitting shorts” lesson).
Annoyance: You enter the produce section and say hello to the old man blocking the strawberries. Old people love talking to young folk, right? Wrong. He gives you a look like you just killed his puppy and you stand there feeling confused and rejected. You proceed to the bell peppers, reaching for the perfect one, until a mom on a mission swings her cart in front of you. Her toddler waves at you excitedly from the cart and then sneers as if to say “just give me one more year and I’ll be running around this place like a wild banshee!” Now you’re annoyed. You think quickly, narrowing down your list of desired produce to only the necessities so you can get out of there. By the way, this is why you haven’t been eating the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Frustration: You make your way through the next few aisles, trying to battle the many shopping carts and people who never learned that in America you should walk like you drive- on the right. Then again, these are the people referred to earlier who are out in the parking lot causing mayhem. On top of dealing with the cart traffic jams, you now realize that the French fried onions you need for this weekend’s casserole are no longer on aisle 8. You look through the surrounding aisles, unable to find them. You know good and well there is no way you’ll be able to find a Walmart associate to assist you. Now you realize you’ll be making a trip to a normal grocery store afterwards. Awesome.
Anger: You’ve been in the store for awhile now. You’re almost done, but there are a few stragglers on your grocery list that you have to track down. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now it’s a race to the finish line. You head toward the back to pick up some assorted dairy products. You feel incredible pressure to grab the milk from the refrigerator as quickly as possible, as there are people vultures waiting to snatch up your refrigerator door the second you put your hand on the milk carton. You want to scream “get back you animals!” You’re a kind soul, so you refrain. Instead, you walk back to your cart, head down, determined not to have your first fist fight in such an establishment over something so petty. After all, there’s no sense in fighting over non-spilled milk.
Despair: You’ve made your rounds and have gotten everything you needed. You head toward the front to get in line. There are 24 lines and the lights are on at 3 of them. You try to use strategy to determine which line will be fastest, but then decide you’re wasting time and just pick one. This, of course, ends up being the slowest-moving line, mostly because the cashier won’t quit telling the customer at the register about how bad her feet hurt from working for two hours straight. You’re beyond tired and on edge, to say the least. You just want this to be done with this non-sense so you can go home and make your homemade brownies that call for several types of…sugar. SUGAR!! You forgot the sugar! How?! Why?! You desperately need that sugar, but how will you get it? You’re next in line and the person in front of you only has three bags of Cheetos and two cases of beer left on the conveyor belt. There’s no time. And even if there were time, would it be worth it? It’s so far away. You think of all the people you would have to encounter along the way. It’s over, there’s simply no hope left. You will not be having brownies tonight. Your heart sinks.
The Hulk stage (AKA “The Rage Stage”): It’s important to note that this stage is rare. When it does occur, it usually surfaces after the Anger stage, although it can happen at any time during your shopping experience. In this stage, you are unable to control yourself any longer. You are a camel and the Walmart straw has just broken your back. You know you shouldn’t be rude to strangers, but you’re not in your right mind. You morph into a beast, crashing into other peoples’ carts, cutting them off as they try to exit the next aisle, glaring with all your might. You do this while sweating uncontrollably and possibly drooling a bit, which, FYI, is normal for a transformation of this type. You start huffing and puffing, asking quite loudly “does anyone even WORK here!?” Once you get to the counter, the cashier starts telling you about her pet fish or the new Timex her boyfriend got her, or something equally unrelated to cashiering. You try to keep your mouth shut since this person hasn’t directly caused your anger. But then, you can’t help yourself. Out of obligation, she asks you if your shopping experience was positive today. You respond with a voice containing sarcasm and pure evil: “Uhhh….yeah…I guess.” If you find yourself entering this stage, I suggest saying a few “serenity now’s” and exiting swiftly. Remember- if you lash out and get arrested at a Walmart, you are now considered one of them. There’s no turning back at that point. You will have lost all dignity. Soon, you’ll probably find yourself wearing cut-off shorts and telling your barber that you want the most stylin’ mullet in town. Trust me, this isn’t going to be good for anybody.
*Did you know that “Wal-Mart” is the proper spelling when referring to corporate, while “Walmart” refers to the actual stores? Thanks, Google.