This morning while I was tooling around a Michael’s Crafts (for an hour and a half, send help) in preparation for Matty’s upcoming birthday, a pregnant woman entered the store with three kids. The oldest child, a girl, was probably eight or nine and the youngest looked like he may have been three or four. They were a loud bunch, full of energy and since the store was fairly vacant, pretty hard to miss. We were roaming around the same section of the store, so I encountered them a few times. Each time we crossed paths, the mom was trying to explain something to one and discipline another. I felt her pain. The last time we crossed paths, I was looking through a display, trying to make up my mind, while her and her youngest browsed the side of the display adjacent to me. Her youngest had been throwing a tantrum for a while, sobbing and screaming, which at this moment he was still doing. I laughed under my breath and flashed her a smile to express my sincerest sympathies. #momlife She was sarcastically discussing the benefits of napping, seemingly for show, when her middle child walked up and asked her a question.
I didn’t hear what he said in the moment but then she repeated his question, as if to make sure I did hear.
“Is this Walmart?” She chuckled condescendingly. “No, this is not Walmart. None of you have ever stepped foot inside a Walmart.”
She snidely dragged out her pronunciation of Walmart. “None of you have ever stepped foot into a Walmaaaaart.” It was obvious at this point that she wanted to be overheard and that I was her target audience. Maybe she thought I would find it humorous? Or maybe that I could relate? Though I doubt it based on the way I was dressed and unaccompanied by any children – but who knows. I don’t know her intentions but considering this woman very obviously wanted me to know she awarded herself a badge for never having to step foot inside a Walmart with her children, I just wanted to give her a quick shout out:
OH MY GOD! Congratulations! You have successfully sheltered your kids from bargain prices and rollbacks indicated by smiley faces!!!!!! JK. I know that’s not why you’re proud. You’re proud because you haven’t had to stoop to the low of shopping at Walmart amongst the commoners, the “people of Walmart” but I have some bad news. The people, moms especially, who shop at Walmart also shop at Michael’s. Why? Because they’re not fucking idiots.
That tie-die kit and those Hanes t-shirts you went to the craft store to buy today – yeah, the ones you asked the sales associate to scour for three separate times – are probably way cheaper at Walmart. And I bet Walmart actually had the sizes you needed, in stock nonetheless. How do I know this? Because I am very aware there is nothing wrong with shopping at Walmart. In fact, I almost exclusively shop at our Neighborhood Walmart Market and, no, not because I can’t afford to shop elsewhere or because there’s nothing better close enough – there is a Hyvee less than a mile away – but because 1) they have great deals and I’m not going to shop at Hyvee (or anywhere for that matter) on account of popularity, 2) our Walmart market gives my kids the opportunity to experience people of all races and all walks of life and most importantly, 3) there is absolutely nothing fucking wrong with shopping at Walmart.
Now, maybe your kids don’t need a Neighborhood Walmart Market for exposure to diversity or maybe you just don’t like Walmart, for whatever reason. And that’s cool. I hate shopping at stores like Marshall’s and TJ Maxx because every time I go in there, I legit cannot find anything – there are things everywhere – I don’t have the patience to find what I’m looking for in there – same reason I don’t go to garage sales, I’m fucking impatient and socially awkward when I’m confused. I start talking to myself and it’s just an uncomfortable situation all around. However, said in the wrong context or tone, I’m fully aware that I could very easily come off as a privileged douchebag. And maybe that’s what happened to you today, when you passive-aggressively seemed to want to boast to me that your children have never stepped foot into a Walmart.
Admittedly, I hope it is. I honestly hope I’m mistaken and you’re actually boycotting Walmart because it’s rumored they treat their employees like poop. But, honestly, I don’t think it was.
Either way, congratulations on your accomplishments but next time you should save your privileged humor for somewhere other than a Michael’s Craft store located across the street from Walmart. They say you should know your audience. In this case, the woman in workout attire, digging through a 60% off rack of tropical party supplies, with a messy top bun, large bags under her eyes and zero makeup on has PROBABLY been to Walmart once or ten times in her life and it’s very possible her kids know it by name – just like yours strangely did.