Saturday, September 06, 2008

My First Trip To Wal-Mart

As in, ever. Your correspondent never got around to entering a Wal-Mart until today, 6 September 2008.

It's not a brag, really. A long time ago, when I was reading disturbing things about Wal-Mart, I conscientiously avoided going to any Wal-Mart. Lately they have been getting some better press and perhaps doing some more good things besides making money with their hyper-competitive behemoth stores. For the last little while, it's just been a matter of preference.

Businesses project something like a personality, and I like Target more than I like Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is sort of like that super "Type A" guy who doesn't care about anything in the world except getting something for the best price, and being the biggest and most important guy around; the guy you have to wonder about: would he sell his mother for the right price? Does this guy have any other life? A poem he cherishes, a song in his heart, anything? Wal-Mart is the guy who doesn't understand what anyone would care about except getting Robitussin a buck cheaper.

Target has good prices, too, but Target doesn't go on and on about it; and Target doesn't force itself on towns that don't want it there. Target renovated part of the youth center where I used to work because it looks around for nice things to do for people. Target's a friendlier personality. Successful, but doesn't take himself so seriously.

I've never been part of the "Wal-Mart is evil" crowd. At times, Wal-Mart strikes me rather as amoral, the way large corporate entities often are.

Subjective, sure. I'm allowed. It's nice being a consumer in a competitive economy. If my neighbor Joe has a hardware store and sells brooms for five bucks, and Wal-Mart sells them for three, I'll still give Joe my business if I can. Because I care about Joe, and Wal-Mart definitely doesn't. I'd rather see Joe running his own shop than wearing a blue smock and selling Wal-Mart brooms. It's a matter of value for the dollar, and there is something in my purchase that Wal-Mart doesn't value, doesn't even understand.

But I live in a smaller town now, and my kid is under the weather, and the doctor told me to buy some Pedialyte. The supermarket doesn't sell it, and neither does Page at her health store over on Copper Street, and that means going to Wal-Mart.

So I spent five bucks at Wal-Mart and the cashier in the blue smock said, "Have a nice day." Done and done.


joyfulmom said...

Hugs to sweet Gabriel. I hope he's feeling better soon!

Algernon said...

Aww, thanks. He's okay but not comfortable. What a great baby he is - so clearly trying to smile and feel okay, even when his tummy is acting up...

quid said...

Pedialyte is a gift from God. Saved Tom when he was so sick that he dehydrated.

I'm a Target fan.

Hugs to Gabriel.


Kelly said...

Yep, that's what happens when you live in a smaller town. We use to have a K-Mart which I often preferred to WalMart, but it closed several years ago. We still have a Walgreens and numerous "dollar" stores, but they just don't offer the variety WalMart does.

Sorry Gabriel is feeling puny. Hope he's well soon!

Pam said...

Hope that baby is feeling better, poor fella!! I agree about the Pedialyte!

I live close to both a Super WalMart and a Super Target. I love them both. I generally find, however, that I get better prices and a better variety of the things I'm looking for at WalMart.

My WalMart is where I get most of my staples, the kids clothes, some of mine, drugstore items and household items.

When life happens having a one-stop-shopping choice I'll take it every time.

I prefer the market for fresh produce and I use the pharmacy at my market for convenience.

Frankly, these days I couldn't imagine life without my WalMart.

Kisses to that precious puny puppy of yours! Nothing fun about a puny baby. :(

Donna said...

Awwww ... what a great baby is right! I hope his tummy is better very soon.

If Wal-Mart were a man - loved the description!

I definitely prefer Target over Wal-Mart.