I remember when I first went to a Wal-Mart… I was awe struck.  I had just come home from a visit from Germany; we didn’t have those things there.  And I hadn’t been in a K-mart or Hills in years.  It was before the days of Target and Ventures.  

Back then over 20 years ago, that was when it was new and fresh, back when they prided themselves on being the stewards of Made in the USA.  It was like the most amazing experience, everything under one roof.  True one stop shopping.  I remember being excited when Wertheim’s became Wal-Mart in Germany.  So exciting…

Today, I am not so sure I can tell you I am awe struck, at least not in a positive way.  Today I question the need of having a super store.  Today, I dare you to find anything with a Made in the USA tag or label; shoot even most of the food isn’t grown here in these United States. 

I am not a Wal-Mart shopper as a rule.  I try to avoid it, although sometimes you simply can’t. 

This morning I couldn’t.  We are down in the country this weekend, and Hubby had to work this morning in another small town about 20 miles away.  I went along, mainly because my eye was swollen shut (that’s another story) and because we had arrived late last night and needed to pick up a few provisions.
After a quick doctor stop, I decided I would go to the only store in town and pick up what we needed while he worked so we had more time to enjoy our little place. 

Not surprising, seems Wal-Mart is ubiquitous with small town USA, and it was my option.  If I had been in Sullivan I would have gone to the little market in town that I simply adore, but it wasn’t meant to be, I was not driving 35 miles each way and then 20 back.  Nope.  

Maybe it is just me - maybe I am a magnet for all the darkness Wal-Mart has come to mean.  Ironically or not, everywhere I turned there was an angry parent using profanity and cursing at a small child, someone in their slippers and hair curlers, so many stereotypes that come to life when you walk into Wal-Mart.  It doesn’t matter what city, town or state, seems folks simply click the check box to leave their dignity and manners at the door when they shop there. 

I felt like I fit right in this morning, my eye swollen shut (no make-up… what’s the point), my bun sliding down because my glasses pulled it loose.  All I needed was a couple of kids that were filthy and I would have been simply normal.  

I have to wonder if Wal-Mart and what it has come to represent will mean it ever goes the way of K-marts (around here they are closing fast) or Venture’s.  Or will they continue to grow, will they continue to encourage people to display that their give a damn is busted, will they continue to shut down the local shops and put mom and pop out of business?

Personally, I’d rather pay a few dollars more or buy a bit less if it means that whatever your dialect, accent or choice of words is I don’t have to hear profanity being screamed at a young child, I don’t have to buy stuff that isn’t going to last a minute, and that I know my pet food and my own food aren’t laced with God knows what from China. 

I think I am going to fall into the category of believers that Wal-Mart is not a good thing.  It used to be, but now… it is simply a place where folks can leave their manners at the door and display their worst behaviors. 

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