Saturday, February 10, 2007

Why I Had A Tantrum

So I hate Walmart. More than any person can imagine. Today, Vince really wanted the Nora Jones CD and apparently Walmart had it listed for a rock bottom price. On our way home from the art supply store Vince insisted we stop there for the CD. There's no denying that I acted like a 2 year old in this situation - I threw a tantrum. In the car driving there, in the parking lot, even inside. Especially when we discovered that the special deal was an online exclusive. HAHAHA. Now let's leave. Vince thought he'd torture me a tad more and parade me up and down another aisle or two and talk up how if we'd just gone to Walmart, we could have purchased X, Y and Z for substantially less money. I'm sorry...was he trying to speak to an opinionated dogmatic person in that moment? As if that would enrage me more than my subsequent rant enraged him?

My righteous rant went something like this: I'm not always about finding the cheapest deal and there are certain places I go for certain things. I am not the one stop shopper. I won't buy a mat cutter at Walmart even if it is $50 less than the same/similar one at a local art supply shop. I will pay extra to support the local economy AND the value added service of wonderful and educated art staff. I won't even buy CDs at Walmart, again because I find more good in supporting the local indie music shop. If it's $2 extra, it's going into making sure that place stays on my Main Street and those indie music lovers work stay employed at the job they love, stay on top of the scene and make some suggestions of new and old artists. Places like Walmart cannot offer that.

I would have to HAUL ass to Kennett if I wanted a nice Walmart. Every one of those mecca stores around me borders on sketchy neighborhoods. Was it strategic to place these near the underprivileged neighborhoods? The idea seems nice. The one stop, cheap stop. If I wanted something even remotely sketchy, I'd drive to the H Mart in Upper Darby...take the back way into the West Philly for some killer North on 611 to a camera shop. But you know, it doesn't matter where the Walmarts are built - the idea of it attracts people who only care about cheap cheap cheap. Quality, value, service...what are those when it's just $1? And around here, the Septa bus finds all.

I find it disgusting that more and more, there is nothing but suburban sprawl. Bulldozing and leveling acres of land for more condos, single family mansions and strip malls. More people and more traffic, more overcrowded warehouses and parking lots...where people can't move, refuse to move, take their sweet time in line, at the register, pulling into or out of the parking lot, can't answer questions, can't honor a price, simply in this day and age, cannot offer quality service because all that matters in this super-sized for less world is mass production and mass consumption.

Yes, sometimes I do need to hit a big ol' place for a few things. Hell, I still prefer Macy's - part of the dying breed of department stores - to chain shops. But for me, it is not about the bottom line. It's sure not about subjecting myself to crazy overpopulated and sometimes ghetto like conditions to save that buck. Why my expectations are SO great and amazingly, attainable in places. And why I throw fits each and every time someone says they need to buy whatever at Walmart.


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