Friday, April 3, 2009

Walmart lessons

Fridays are usually very busy days for me - I have my water exercise class, so I try not to have any appointments scheduled for my mom (I am her overall caretaker/chauffeur). On this day, I generally work some errands and grocery shopping into my trip home from class.

Today, I visited Wendy's (lunch), Petsmart, Walmart, Sam's Club, and the pharmacy.

At Wendy's, I realized just how claustrophobic I get when people stand too close to me while I'm ordering. Can't they wait a few steps behind me while I place my order? The woman behind me was so close to my back that the cashier asked me if this was all together. Huh? Uh, no!

Petsmart - Dogs!! I get to pet other peoples' dogs. Love to visit with them, don't need to live with them. Cat food, treats, and litter were on the list. Oh, and a litter scooper. (boy did I get the father of all scoops for five bucks! I'm tired of the wimpy one I've been using downstairs)

Then... Walmart. It's funny, but no matter what I'm going into Walmart to purchase, I walk in and stand in a confused haze for a little while... I used to buy stuff I didn't need on a regular basis, so I chalk this up to the recent reprogramming I have been going through. (no, I don't need to visit the clearance aisle. no, I don't want to wander through the clothing department. no looking down the easter candy trap aisle...)

So, after the little "where am I and what am I doing here?" befuddlement, I shop: for adult diapers, cheese, half and half, cereal, Diet Coke... well, you get the picture. I also people-watch. Adult mothers with adult daughters helping them out. Couples (how did she get him to come along? my husband usually refuses to accompany me for groceries) shopping - what about this one, do you like this brand? Mothers with babies and toddlers in tow (I do NOT miss those days.)

Two father-daughter combinations struck me and stuck with me.

The first, a father with an obviously mentally handicapped daughter. She may have been six years old, but he was struggling to get her into the child seat. She was thin enough to fit (not emaciated, just thin), and he obviously cared deeply about her. As soon as he got her in, he discovered that there was no seat belt. So I found a cart with a seatbelt in it for him, and helped him get her into it. It was a touching scene.

The second encounter was as I was walking up and down the aisles. I saw a father having a very lively conversation with someone while his daughter was pushing the cart. I wish I could say he was talking to his daughter. But no, he had one of those in-the-ear blue tooth devices and was talking to some invisible someone. Here he was, in a position where he could actually spend some quality time with his child. And he chose to use it to talk to someone else and use her as a tool to push his cart. Believe it or not, I saw this pair throughout my entire shopping trip, and he was talking on the phone the entire time. What a difference.

Something else I realized... when I think I have completed my shopping trip in a big "super store" and I'm heading for the register, and suddenly remember that I forgot to get something wayyyyy back in the back of the store, sometimes I debate with myself as to whether or not I really need it. The dairy section looks so far away after an hour of shopping. Very far away. Sigh. I needed the exercise anyway. Right?


Contrariwise said...

You actually made a trip to Walmart sound interesting!

Great story and what an evocative contrast between those 2 father/daughter pairs.

Jael said...

Thank you :) said...

hi Jael.
great post...
mona & the girls

Anonymous said...

People watching is a past-time for me. It is interesting to me to be so close to other humans and not know a true thing about them other than my judgements.

The one on the phone while using his dauther to push the cart instead of relishing the time together and missing an opportunity to teach her about shopping, prices, etc...

Well, he/they would have heard from me. Thats just me, an advocate for the younger generation who I must wonder if they even give it a thought?