Walmart is a wonderful mecca of deals, steals (sometimes literally) and wonder, but also a hellhole. Going there on a Sunday afternoon is probably the worst decision you could ever make, because come 12pm, it turns into the official local church after-party no matter where you live. Seriously, sometimes I think that if a Walmart threw an I-Hop inside of one of its locations instead of a Subway sandwich franchise, there would literally never need to be anything else open on a Sunday–Joel Osteen would probably invest. Better yet, a church should probably just open a Walmart in the back, because move over, Taco Bell/Pizza Hut/KFC combo, a new mega trio is coming your way and it’s called The Walmart I-Hop Mega Church Center.
Anyway, Walmart. Yes, Walmart–the place once infamously confused as a store that sells walls by Paris Hilton, doesn’t actually sell walls, but they do sell legitimately everything else. This is why when it came time for me to re-organize my sneaker closet, the Walmart website was my first stop because let’s be honest–the safest way to shop at Walmart is by not physically being at Walmart. So how did I end up at Walmart then? Good question. I wanted to save the $7 shipping cost on the shoe cubby I ordered, so I opted for the in-store pickup option. A week later, I strolled through the doors of my local Walmart and wandered through aisles of camouflage hats, camouflage televisions and camouflage children until I finally found the online order center nested neatly by the Subway sandwich franchise. I worked my way around the line at the registers that seemed like it was Black Friday in the middle of September and wondered if I was missing out on something, but instead I just got in line behind several people in the online order area.
The area was small, and for some reason had its own Sunny Delight display tower, just in case you felt the need to hydrate with some sugar-water while waiting to pick up your microwave. There were 4 registers and about 10 employees, but only 2 registers were actually open. After waiting for 5 minutes and realizing the line hadn’t moved at all, I asked a sales associate if people were also in this line for general purchases, not just order pickups–“no, it’s also layaway.” Ah–layaway. Alright, no big deal. I stood there, waiting, eavesdropping on conversations about pregnancies and refrigerators, wondering if I would ever get to pick up my shoe cubby. I took a moment to take in my surroundings–there were still several associates standing behind the counter, but still only 2 stations were open. There were two Walmart employees sitting on a bench in the area, one of them was eating chicken–I am hoping she was on her break. It didn’t smell like chicken at first, but then it did…and as my hunger grew in correlation with my impatience, the smell was more apparent to me and I just wanted to know where I could get that chicken but I couldn’t get out of the line because then the vicious cycle would begin once more and I HAD SOMEWHERE TO BE, DAMMIT. And that place was a diner, because I was hungry.
FINALLY, after several texts from my mother and what seemed like the longest 20 minutes of my life, it was my turn. Once I got up to the register, it was quick and painless, but of course the box for my product was bent and damaged. I just wanted to get out of there, though, before the spell of chicken came over me and forced me to wait in yet another line. Also, I had seen a camouflage Mets hat that was quietly calling my name, so I legit had to bounce before I dropped anymore money there that day.
When I got home, after the diner, I assembled my shoe cubby, noticed one of the metal poles was damaged, took a moment to think of what a hassle it would be to try and return or exchange the item, and decided to just take the chance of it collapsing because somehow that would be more convenient to me than having to go to Walmart again.