I hate the grocery store in my neighborhood.
Most likely, it's because I just hate Wal-Mart.
I am definitely a Target kind of girl, but getting there is tricky these days due to major construction. So, I have to settle as Wal-Mart has a death grip on my neighborhood (and because I missed the exit to the last available Kroger on my commute home).
Don't get me wrong. There are definitely some nicer Wal-Marts in the world, and if you like them, that's fine (YOU SHOULD PROBABLY STOP READING NOW). Mine just ain't one of 'em. Also, I feel like I lose a little part of my small-town soul when I go. I've seen lots and lots of Mom and Pop markets go belly-up as a result of the giant's arrival.
My neighborhood store is a microcosm of everything I hate in the world.
Screaming kids. Parents screeching at their kids because they weren't minding them (although the parents weren't watching in the first place).
Let me just tell you... that shit didn't fly with my mom. I threw a fit on aisle 7 of some random grocery store once in Hereford, Texas, and she left me. Left. Me. I'm sure she didn't go far, in retrospect, but it got my attention. My mother would rather starve than be seen in public with a misbehaving child, and in case you didn't know... my mother's nickname is "Freight Train". As in "she will run you over like a freight train without even tapping the brakes". I learned how to straighten myself up but quick.
Thirty lanes in the store. Five are open.
The world is full of traffic. I sat in 30 minutes worth just to get here. I don't need to watch my Blue Bell melt because you can't find an extra $8.00 in your billion dollar wallet to pay another long-suffering cashier. That Blue Bell might be the only thing keeping me from the edge.
Which brings me to the cashiers.
Actually, you know what? If I had to work at Wal-Mart, I probably wouldn't be very happy either. I'll let this one slide. Also, I had the NICEST cashier ever today. And don't worry... I already stopped and bragged on him to the manager. She did not seem impressed. But she works at Wal-Mart, so you know...
But... the customers. Good God, the customers.
I already warned you. If you love the Wal-Mart, I need you to leave now because I don't want you to think I'm talking about you. Because I'm so not.
Every negative WM stereotype that ever existed exists in my Wal-Mart. It makes me so sad. And the teacher in me wants to just stop and Boys Town every idiot I see. I already mentioned the kids running and screaming all willy-nilly, but they're kids and they're gonna do what you let 'em. (Please note that I am not talking about your kid whining and crying and generally embarrassing you. If you are embarrassed by misbehavior, I am so not talking to you.) I'm talking to the people who let Lord of the Flies play out on the frozen pizza aisle. The parents in my store must be legally deaf. Is that a thing? Can you be legally deaf? Because they aren't hearing a damn thing. Or they're beating the devil out of their kid, and then I'm left to debate a CPS report or just reach across for another box of wine. When my friend, Jill, gets inordinately frustrated with someone, she deems that she's about to go Wal-Mart mom on them. It's an apt description. Every time I've been in, somebody is getting a whoopin'.
In the aisle next to me, a lady with a baby was buying 3 cartons -- CARTONS, THREE-- of Basic menthols.
In front of me, an (I'm assuming) stringy-haired, 15 year-old with a hickey necklace was making out with her boyfriend. Admittedly, they didn't make out the entire time, but when he wasn't performing exploratory surgery with his herpes-ridden tongue, he was telling his buddy (loudly) how he "don't give a F**K about what these mother-fu**ing fu**ers think". I wanted to grab her and let her know that it wasn't too late. And when she didn't listen, I'd just walk her on over to the section with the maternity jorts. Also, he smelled like weed. I mean, I'm assuming so since I'm no expert. But he was wearing a dirty t-shirt with a giant marijuana leaf on it, so I'm just inferencing here.
And then to top it all off... the carts. I don't know what people do to grocery carts, but these move like they've been tied to the back of a car and dragged around for an entire NASCAR cup series. (Sorry... Weed Boyfriend was also a "mother-fu**in' hard-core NASCAR dude". I told you -- stereotypes.) And, of course, in the microcosm of everything wrong in our world, the carts litter every square inch of the parking lot because HEAVEN FORBID THAT ANYONE TAKE TEN SECONDS TO WALK 20 EXTRA STEPS. Of course, if you ARE a responsible, respectable, non-jerk, you'll get the impatient honk from a waiting car because you're totally holding them up while you return your cart. Because that happened today. I didn't get a good look at the lady honking and waving at me with her middle finger, but I'm going to just assume she was a chain-smoking, 65 year old in a tank top with no bra. Because I saw that today too.
I'm sure there are some extremely nice and well-mannered people in the microcosm. I really do believe it, but just like in the great big ol' real world, they're totally overshadowed by the shitshow that is the squeaky grocery cart wheel of society.