Monday, December 7, 2009

The Day I Realized I Fit In Perfectly at Walmart

So Christmas this year is on a budget, or so I am telling myself. Fireman isn't bringing in the trusty overtime, but we always save throughout the year for the Christmas event. When the time comes to start spending, it doesn't matter what the budget is for the year, I am a frugal bargain shopper. I find a peculiar high in finding sales on already reduced merchandise. This is absolutely my favorite time of the year.

That said, I always no matter how hard I try to stay out of the Walmart, end up there for one reason or another. Now, I am no Walmart hater. I just prefer to steer clear of the relentless crowds, lines, and picked over items whenever possible. I don't care if sippy cups are $2 cheaper at Walmart than Target. Target is more my idea of thrifty shopping. It has cute jewelry, cute PJ's, fun stylish T-shirts for the sweat pants I wear everyday, etc...oh, and its void of the population who choose to look homeless when they are not. You all know exactly what I am referring to. There is a web site dedicated specifically for the purpose of exposing fashion and social no-no's on an hourly basis at Walmart. Now, these things happen everywhere we go, but for some reason you can count on it at Walmart, every minute of every day. It is just downright awkward sometimes.

Last week, in a valiant effort to finish my stocking stuffers, I went to the Walmart. I prepared my mind for what kind of crowds I would ride in on. I mentally accepted being pushed around by holiday shoppers all in the same isle I needed to be in, parking in the very back. I was perfectly OK with this scenario. It is Christmas after all.

To my surprise, I landed a wonderful parking spot without any problem. I smiled to myself as I strolled into the Walmart with my 4 year old in tow. I was feeling so confident, I didn't even force my daughter to sit in the shopping cart. I had a return to make, so the friendly little lady greeting me at the front door carefully stamped my items and I proceeded to the line of people waiting to do exactly the same.

It occurred to me suddenly that everyone in line looked, dare I say, normal? The only distraction was my 4 year old who would not stop pounding on the open computer kiosk next to us. I just pretended I didn't know who she was for a while. As I surveyed, people watched if you will, it hit me. I am the one this time in sweat pants I have worn two days in a row. My red hair is up on my head in a sloppy clip that doesn't match. There is no make up on my face, though I desperately need it. MY kid is the one running a muck. A women a couple people back is staring at ME!

I chuckled to myself. I kept ignoring my daughter who was by now climbing the wheelchairs next to the kiosk in her high heel dress up shoes. I continued waiting in the return line. I think I maybe shuffled my hair around and threw some lip gloss on. That's what the wheelchairs are for, I figured, and what a nice relief to not have to get out of your pajamas when you go shopping for once! These people surrounding me became my friends. I instantly knew they all had stories of why they are at the Walmart looking the way they do...and basically our common thread in humanity when it comes to the Walmart is; Who Cares????

Walmart is where all the highly educated and rich people go on an off day! It all makes sense now! You can let your hair down and be yourself while shopping up the deals! So you wake up in your mansion and just want some eggos- by pass all the grocery stores that require you to change out of your slippers and stop by the Walmart. You are always greeted warmly and I dont believe anyone would ever turn your business away based on what you choose or choose not to look like on any given day!

I relaxed and almost enjoyed watching my daughter, who I now realized looked as hairied as I did, dance around the carts and wheelchairs. Our return time came, and I found myself just happy to be comfortable. The six and a half inch multi colored nails on the older women checking my return didnt even faze me!