The Day Walmart Made me Smile
**In honor of this post. A picture of me when I was 18 or 19…Either way…a long, long time ago. Dressed in costume for a school dance…**
Something very strange happened to me yesterday. For the first time ever Walmart inconvenienced me and it actually made me happy…but before I confuse you, let me backtrack…
Yesterday I decided to take the girls grocery shopping at my least favorite place on earth-Walmart. It may be inexpensive but that is all it has going for it. I hate the place…hate, hate, hate…darn those cheap prices. I try to blast through but wait! You cannot go quickly through Walmart. Everywhere there is display stuff blocking the aisles and making it impossible to skirt around the person who is slowly pushing their cart along apparently interested in every last item that is a supposed good deal. The food aisles are always blocked with two carts…people staring blankly at the millions of choices. I try to push through as my two year old reaches for every kind of food we don’t need. ”No Cora! We don’t need that! Put it back!” Plop! It’s in the cart. Then I always get the very front of the store and realize I missed something a mile back…so I turn around and dodge all the other carts trying to find what I’ve missed. Then my favorite part comes. The check out line. I try to find the line that looks like it’s moving the fastest. Who knows, maybe it’ll be 15 minutes? 30 minutes? I play the guessing game. The person in front of me will wait until the cashier has rung up their entire cart full before taking their check book out of their purse and slowly filling it out. My toddler grabs for everything within her reach…oh, the cruelty of putting bright colored candy at the checkout.
I finally checked out and left. I loaded the girls back in the cart, drove home to the shrieks of a hungry baby. When we got back I fed Elinor and started to unpack the groceries…and realized half my stuff did not come home with me. In frustration I called Justin and told him it was my lucky day….two trips to Walmart. He came home from work, I stuffed down some dinner and left. After all, I had less than 2 hours before I had to fee baby again.
That’s when my day turned around. I sat in the car and realized something…what was I hearing? The deliciousness of nothing. Total silence. No crying, no demands for a sippy cup, no babies in the back. I turned on the radio to a station that is definitely meant for people younger than myself. I blasted that music. I felt like I could laugh, cry…a mixture of emotions. I wanted to go faster and faster…but I am a mom now and I maxed out at 5 miles over the limit. It didn’t matter. I felt like I was soaring. Justin Timberlake came on the radio and I was 18 again. No responsibilities, just me and my car…fun music, a good beat and I turned it up a little louder. I admit, I’ve always loved Justin Timberlake’s music, especially his album Justified. Can’t help it. And to hear a song that was popular 8 years back (GASP! I am getting old) it felt good! Then another song came on. A song for todays 18 year olds. The lyrics something like “I work out, I work out. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.” Wiggle what? I neared the red light and in shame turned down the music. I felt like the whole world would know that I, a mom was listening to such a ridiculous song …the radio whispered, “I work out, I work out.” Then it clicked. I saw my two car seats in the back and suddenly I was not 18. The “wiggle” song had ruined it for me. I mean really.? “I work out. Wiggle, wiggle?” What is music coming to.
I arrived at Walmart. Parked my car. Went to customer service. They did not have my bags (I hope the ladies that were behind me are enjoying their bag full of goodies) so they sent me back through the store the gather my stuff. Once again, I tried to go through the blocked aisles quickly. I grabbed Thomas the Train orajel, dental floss, makeup (the lip gloss i bought earlier was sold out), black beans, onions, the Starbucks hot chocolate mix I carefully selected was no longer available. I felt myself getting annoyed. I brought my items back to customer service, they matched my items to my receipt. They refunded me my money for the things I could not find…or so I thought. On arriving home I realized they did not give me my money for the Starbucks hot chocolate…they just gave me a receipt.
I walked into a home with one little girl asleep, a baby who had just been bathed…a very kind and loving husband. I felt renewed, relaxed…I told him about driving and blasting my music. He said, “You felt 16 again, didn’t you?” I said, “No 18. That’s when that song was big. I had that album and listened to it all the time.” He smiled. He understood…we both remember those days of freedom long, long ago. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything but I have to admit…I enjoyed my 10 minutes of the 18 year old me…a delightful little blast-from-the-past…