Tempting Tuesday: Walmart Edition

Monday, August 8, 2011

I have a love-hate relationship with Walmart. Most days I think of it as the seventh circle of hell, but it's hard to avoid a place where you can buy peanut butter and fishing supplies on sale. You can even get your car worked on in most Walmarts now.

And of course, how can I completely dislike a place that gives us gems like this?

World's greatest mullet courtesy of peopleofwalmart.com

The worst thing about Walmart is that it's ALWAYS busy. Doesn't matter if I go at midnight or eight a.m., there's a slew of people and every single one of them has a mission to slow me down as much as possible.

But every time I tell myself I'm not shopping there any more, I get sucked back in. It's hard to avoid the place when it's got the cheapest decent-quality groceries in town, not to mention school supplies that won't cost both arms and a leg.

And it's always entertaining. I made a sojourn to the House of Misery yesterday, and Grace and I were treated to a mother telling her kids (I'm guessing they were between the ages of six and ten) to shut the f*ck up. Then we got Subway. Lovely, isn't it?

Seventh circle of hell.

But it's got everything I need! Groceries, drugs (legal, of course), household stuff. And that's not where they get you. They get you with the clothes. And the bedding. And the linen. And the bathroom decor. The toy section. The kitchen goodies that no one needs but we all want. Walmart stuffs its pockets by having all the necessities and then heaping temptation after temptation on us. What's a materialistic society to do?

Spend money, of course.

Yet another goodie from peopleofwalmart.com. Poor kid.

Remember South Park's hilarious episode Something Walmart This Way Comes? Where the big chain came in and knocked out the small businesses, and everyone, especially Randy Marsh, became obsessed with the place? The parents went out and shopped at all hours of the night spending a ton of money just because they could. As hysterical as the episode was, the theme was spot on. We all do it. Walmart and its cheap prices allow us to gorge on material items we probably wouldn't purchase otherwise.

Walmart shows no signs of slowing down in this economy. With American's wallets tighter than ever, their stores on just getting busier. Steak? Check. Light bulbs? Check. Corkboard? Check. New tires? Check. Diapers? Check.

And don't get me started on the clearance aisle. Just like Randy Marsh and the other parents of South Park, we get sucked into buying junk we don't need from there all the time. Last week my hubby and were strolling through, and I picked up a set of greeting cards I'll never use. He got some electronic do-dad that'll probably work twice and then crap out. And we wonder where our money goes!

Walmart has its advantages. I've been grateful for their cheap prices many times. Yet they're squashing small-town America. Mom and Pop stores are dying. Locals feel bad deserting the stores they grew up with but can't resist the opportunity to save money.

Big business at its finest.

This picture's for you, Catie Rhodes.

If you've got the time, here's Matt Stone and Trey Parker's three minute plus commentary on the episode Something Walmart This Way Comes. Hilarious (cursing warning) and great social commentary.

What's your local Walmart like? Any horror stories to share? What things do you get suckered into buying that you don't need?


Nancy MacMillan said...

Stacy - All so true and sad. The giants take over. Walmart is always on my list. One or two items, yet 3 bags on my kitchen floor bare their name. Think they spray something in the air?

Kelly Hashway said...

I never go to the Walmart by me. It's a super Walmart and it's crazy. I do go to one in NJ though. It's no where near as crowded. Though I remember a day when Walmart was cheaper than other places. I don't find that to be the case anymore. I usually find things cheaper elsewhere.

Stacy said...

They must. It's like the Walmart bug crawls in our brains and takes over.
Thanks for stopping by!

Stacy said...

Kelly, our Walmart is the same, but it's too convenient to avoid. Really? That's interesting. Some of our discount stores have things cheaper, but they're usually smaller quantities so it evens out.
Thanks for posting!

Totsymae said...

I share your love-hate relationship with WalMart. I seldom get grocery there since discovering Aldi's, however. I do occasion Target because they're closer to me and never really crowded. Only thing is, they always have two cashiers and long lines.

Anyway, I pretty much get the bulk items at WalMart. I just wish they had stronger competition.

Stacy said...

I go to Aldi sometimes, but WalMart has so much more variety, and if there's one thing I hate worse than WalMart, it's going to more than one grocery store.

Julie Farrar said...

I hate myself every time I step inside one, but every couple of months I get desperate and they have something I can't find anywhere else. I live in a more upscale area, but no matter -- Walmart people look the same everywhere. I wonder if there's some kind of space hole you go through at the door? Some parallel universe you enter. Do I look like PeopleofWalmart when I cross the threshold?

Stacy said...

They always have something you really need that no one else does. LMAO, that's so true. It's definitely a parallel universe. I'm sure you don't. That's a reward for a select few.

Thanks for stopping by!

Martha Rodriguez said...

I love Wal-Mart! Yes, there are a lot of people there and it can get a little crazy at times but I always try to remember that their prices are low because people shop there and people shop there because their prices are low. It's the good kind of vicious cycle, I guess!

Stacy said...

That's true. People need the low prices. I'm just low on patience, lol. And it always seems like I encounter the slow pokes.
Thanks for stopping!

jamilajamison said...

I've actually never lived near a Wal-Mart. Currently, the closest one to where I live is 45 minutes away, so needless to say, I'm hardly ever inclined to drive down there. As a result, Wal-Mart seems like a mystical place of incredibly low prices and lots and lots of stuff... and crazy people from the pictures you've posted, lol.

Stacy said...


You're lucky, for the most part. It is nice that's its convenient but also a curse. LOL, mystical place is a good way to describe it.

Brenda said...

I think Dante would agree with you.. Mostly I go into anaphylactic shock or feign gout if I have to go into walmart. I try, really do, but I can't over come the swirling feeling every time I am forced walk through the doors. Thank your for the smile...

Carol said...

I confess I have done my share of Walmart shopping. When money is tight and you have dogs and teenagers to feed, sometimes it's the best way to get your needs met quick and cheap. But I've had enough unpleasant experiences to motivate me to avoid the place (an hour in line one day, a security guard chasing me down to look at my receipt another time, the usual screaming kids and cussing mothers...) Walmart is a strange combination of Hell and abundance. I don't think the 7th circle of Hell is going to have yummy treats and fresh produce... I'd put it more at the 1st or 2nd circle. I'm happy to report that I haven't set foot in a Walmart in several months. Using coupons and finding alternatives. Trader Joe's yeah!

Stacy said...

LOL. That's awesome. I know exactly what you mean. My insides clench up, and I just want to start punting people out of my way.

Oh, I do plenty of WalMart shopping. I'm the same way - I'm a stay at home mom and money is alwats. A strange combination of Hell and abundance - that's a great description. I need to start the coupon thing. Another no patience issue.


Elizabeth Young said...

Thanks for a good laugh tonight. I needed it!

Stacy said...

You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

I try, at all costs, to avoid Wal-Mart. We have one town in a town of 60,000 people and then factor into account nearby towns with no Wal-Mart, and it doesn't matter when you go, the parking lot is always full. And in the end, I spend a boatload of money on a whole lotta nothing. It never fails.

Produce is generally more expensive than our local grocer, but I end getting nailed with the pastries my kids can't leave the store without.

Stacy said...

Sounds absolutely awful. Small town WalMarts are the worst. We live in a town of about 100,000 and have three, thankfully. Still, they all suck.

Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Walmart is a nightmare. And it's the closest grocery to my house. I mean, it is literally one mile from my house. Like you say, it's always crowded. Lately, Walmart has been keeping very few checkout lanes open as a reward for those of us who shop there.

My favorite nightmare? The person in line behind me who crowds up next to me as I try to use the little debit card machine. I always want to say, "Did you want to pay for my stuff. No? Then back the eff off!" I don't, though. I do elbow them away from me.

Stacy said...

Our WalMart does that, too. They have a ton of lanes and only a few open. I don't get it. Guess they want to employ as few people as possible.

Ugh, good for you. People are so damned rude.

Thanks for posting!

Stacy S. Jensen said...

I'm always a day late (as I subscribe via email). When I lived in North Carolina, my town opened up the largest Walmart in the world (which is a standard size now). The manager announced that it was a "Walmart the Lord built" (I'm paraphrasing, but he honestly connected it to the Lord.) While living in TX, Walmart was only one of two grocery stores in town. As a result, I have only visited Walmart once since moving to CO.

Stacy said...

Catie has that same problem. I don't get why blogger doesn't fix that. The largest Walmart in the world, huh? Wow. I bet that was a celebration. You're so lucky you don't have to go now. I'd give anything, lol.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with Walmart. Living in our small community, it's either that store for groceries or the tiny, Kroger (over priced) or Super Target (over priced for what they have, IMO). I haven't seen too many train wrecks walking around the store, but I love your pictures! At least I can say one thing, I never worry with what I look like at Walmart. Heehee

Stacy said...

Our Super Target is overpriced too, especially their groceries. LOL, peopleofwalmart.com is great. And no ... I don't either. I tend to go looking my worse. Thanks!

Julie Glover said...

I love my Target, but I end up at Wal-Mart all the time. I don't like the way Wal-Mart does business; their massive market share can make them a bully in price negotiations and their employees are not well-trained and compensated. But I'm not really putting my money where my mouth is because I still shop there. Cheap prices. But I do the self check-out because I can bag quicker and better than they can!

Stacy said...

I don't either. You're right about their employees. Most of them don't know anything and don't really want to help. Don't worry, I still shop there, too. It's hard not to.


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