Saturday, December 1, 2007

It must have been the cinnamon rolls

. . .which went to my head and caused the sugar high which influenced me to make 2 separate and yet equally insane decisions to go shopping today. First, I went to WalMart. Entering through the garden center because it was closest to our parking, I mistakenly thought, "This doesn't seem so bad." What was I thinking?!?!? It's the first Saturday of December! Of course WalMart is a disaster.

Aside: The only reason I needed to go to WalMart at 1pm on a Saturday in December is to get a few items for Ellie and I to take to Utah. Things like thick down parkas, wool hats, gloves and socks. . . all the important stuff.

We navigated to the one rack which held winter clothes and I immediately started digging through the boxes and boxes of Thermal underwear. Oh wait. I'm lying. There was one box, which was mighty slim pickens, and another lady already had her claws on size large thermal bottoms. Turns out it was the last one. And she was clearly a size medium. Clearly. Not only that, but I am nowhere close to the XL's that Ellie kept insisting I should buy anyway.

At this point, I decided those new caffeinated mints were looking pretty appealing, in an entire can sort of way. So, we attempted to navigate towards the candy aisle and food section. After 10 mints, I was feeling a little better about sticking out the shopping trip. Until, of course, we got trapped in the oatmeal aisle. Comical really, in a watching grass grow kind of way. I was pulling oatmeal off the shelf when a little old lady speed racer blocked me in with her motorized cart. I turned to go the other way, annoyed at the liberties the handicapped will take, only to find a 6'8" lumberjack staring at the cheerios. And of course, with 19 choices in Cheerios now, it was one tough decision. I refrained from putting one of each in his cart and asking him to make his decision at check out, but only because I figured this was the day I would end up in line behind him.

And we stood there.

Eventually, Speed Racer managed to do a 95 point turn in her cart, and I only had to lift the front wheel once to unstick her from the freezer door which someone had opened just as she was backing up, and we were FREE! Only to be stuck again at the end of the aisle by a compelling debate between father and son as to whether Frosted Cheerios could be considered healthy or not. Quite in my element, I walked them through the nutrition guide on the plain vs the frosted and as they reached for the multi-grain, managed to nudge their cart just enough to escape past them.

So, we headed for the pain reliever aisle and I chewed 3 aspirin, chased by 10 more mints. According to the packaging, 6 of them are equal to a cup of coffee, and I can unequivocally say, I would never survive on one cup a day. If I were a coffee drinker. I'm just saying.

After over an hour in the store and without my original list, I called WalMart quits, but only after sniffing 25 different deodorants and finally settling on the exact same one I have crumbling on my bathroom counter.

So, we spent another 20 minutes making our way to the front of the store and the 3,333 people in line ahead of us. Of course, being WalMart, every register was open, and the checkers were both friendly and competent. OK, I'm lying again. So, we went to the end of the line- somewhere back in the electronics department- where we were serenaded with one bad rendition of the Guns-n-Roses Guitar Hero song after another. And another. And another.

Eventually, as my hair turned gray and fell out in clumps, and my ears began to ring and then drip blood, the registers became visible. My eagle eye noticed check out lane 10 had a checker, but the light was off and no one was at it. To my well-trained eye, it was obvious that this checker was preparing to open her line. Quietly, I hissed to Rebi and Ellie to go look at gum and stand squarely in front of her checkstand so that as soon as her light went on, I could swoop over and take cuts in front of at least 14 people who were legitimately in line ahead of me. I believe there should be rewards for being observant.

And we stood there.

Rebi and Ellie debated the merits of Trident vs Orbit, whether or not Freedent really did stick to dentures, and how Bubblicious hoped to regain the market share swiped by Hubba Bubba and their gum-inside-a-gum flavors. Finally, the checker punched a couple of more buttons and. . . left. Dejectedly, the girls came back.

Rebi: I guess she's closed
Me: I know. Didn't you hear me whimper?
Rebi: That was you? I thought it was the baby in front of us.

And we stood there.

I ate 10 more mints and chewed 3 more aspirin. Whoever says caffeine and aspirin are a bad idea have clearly never tried it. Clearly.

At long last, the end of the conveyor belt was open and it was our privilege to place things upon it and then hand over wads of cash. My last item was starting to slide towards the register when I heard a voice talking to the man behind me. "Sir, I'm open on 10 now, if you'd like to move over"

Rebi clamped a hand over my mouth to stifle the scream. Thank goodness, as the mints had kicked in and I was much louder than I anticipated. And shakier. And I was crying, just a little.

We wheeled our cart full of bags -with one item each in them- into fresh air. As we were exiting, we overhead a couple coming into the store. They were young. And naive. And she said to him (in her bright and crystal clear voice, swinging her flaxen hair) "Don't you just love WalMart?"

It was then that I crushed the mints and snorted them, because I had already decided I had no choice but to go to Costco.

P.S. Remind me to tell you about the lady spewing chunks all over the Costco bathroom. True story. Would I make this up?


katzbox said...

This needs something...ANYTHING...and I hear you about those caffeine mints...I have 3 little blue tins in my's like a little jones I've developed...actually, the word's out in R.S..."little blue tin"...

And I avoid Walmart during Christmas for the exact same reasons that just listed so eloquently...and I also avoid it on Cinco de Mayo (The fifth of Mayonnaise) I was accosted by live marriachi bands and large Mexican women gyrating in the aisles while I bought canned mushrooms. Def-Con IV.

This entry was priceless!!!

Mom said...

Ditto! This stuff is hilarious. Seriously, have you considered writing a column for a newspaper or magazine? Yours would be much better than Mary Roach in Readers Digest.

Naomi said...

Oh MY! As I was belly-laughing my way through your post . . . Kevin came in and asked me what was wrong. Freakin' hilarious! Thanks for the laugh!

frizzlefry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christina said...

Sounds just about exactly like a trip to Wal-Mart, Dec 1st or not. The (very) occasional trips I make to that store make me want to take up drinking.

The one we had in Elkton in MD was scary. I swear just by walking in the store we doubled the tooth count.

"don't you just love wal-Mart"??? And they say there's no such thing as extra-terrestrials...

The Slusser Family said...

OH, my word. I am laughing out loud . . .Melissa, I LOVE your blog! It always makes me smile and laugh. Your children will be so happy to have this record when they are all grown up.
Have fun in Utah!!

Anonymous said...


Since I live only .5 miles from Walmart I regret that I am there often. Even during Christmas. I recommend that you try shopping at 7am or at 11pm. Although at 7 am you have to take your $150 worth of stuff throught the express lane. (I have done this many times). But at 11pm you have to worry about being robbed on your way to the car. It's a trade off but I prefer it any day to a 1pm trip. To the rest of your blog I just say a silent, "Amen, Sister."

You're the best!