Guest Thought from Megan Chaussee
There was a time when I dreaded my weekly visit to the local Wal-Mart Superstore. Once there I would have to contend with all sorts of frustrations and inconveniences just to restock my kitchen for the week. Every time I used the last of the milk to fill a bottle or Sippy cup, my shoulders sagged a little with the realization that I’d have to go back to Wal-Mart.
Crowds. Long lines. Crappy parking. Crazy people. Broken carts. Wardrobe malfunctions. It was an unpleasant errand, to say the least.
I know, I know. I could go to Whole Foods or a farmer’s market to purchase locally grown, organic produce. I could waltz into my nearest Nugget affiliate and enjoy the luxury of wide, meticulously manicured aisles and dairy products devoid of toxic hormones. I could watch in detached amusement as a well-spoken (read: white) bagger stowed my groceries carefully away in the back of my car. Unfortunately, the flipside to these options is very simple: they cost.
I was never willing (able) to spend the money necessary to consistently shop at these types of establishments. Instead I chose the politically incorrect, sell-your-soul for a Great Value option that is the Wal-Mart Corporation. There seems to be a snake’s head in this bag of frozen broccoli, but they’re only charging 89 cents for it. The savings are significant enough to forgive such sins. Add to cart.
Having decided upon Wal-Mart as my go-to grocery source, I settled into an angry pattern of weekly shopping trips. Why won’t Miss Sweat Pants move out of my way? How long does it take to pick out a can of peas? Why is my cart shrieking? Why is this line so long? Who’s yelling? Why didn’t anyone bring enough money to pay for their items? Why is this ladder here? What’s that smell?
The questions never ended – and I found myself exhausted, irritable, and disgusted with humanity by the end of each visit.
Within the last year, though, my outlook shifted. The answer appeared to me, as if from nowhere. Life is too short to be the angry mother-of-two pushing around a cart with a sour expression on her face.
Life is beautiful. Hence…Wal-Mart is beautiful.
Ever since, I find myself pacing the aisles with a serene, far away expression. I smile beatifically at the half-naked children throwing discount Blu-rays into my cart. The tattooed man blocking my path with his motorized scooter is my sacred brother. I will gift you the two dollars you need to purchase that feminine product, Ma’am. We bleed the same blood.
The good people of Wal-Mart are my brethren. I walk amongst them and embrace their raw humanity. I wish them love, light, and peace when our time together is over. I forgive them their sins. Aren’t we all cut from the same over-drafted, underdressed, slightly misshapen human cloth? We stand together, imperfect.
Wal-Mart is my new meditation; my true religion.
I am a Wal-Mart Jesus.