"Honey, now WHY would you want to do that?" You might surmise that's me talking to one of the girls; me trying to urge them to think through some ill conceived plan. Nope, not this week. And besides, I don't think I call them "honey". Or you might think it was Patrick; him trying to urge me to think through some ill conceived plan. No, dear readers, you would be wrong again.
For many years I have had this love/hate relationship with Wal-mart. I despise having to go there, but the busyness of my life seems to dictate "one-stop shopping" all to often. I mean, really, where else can you buy lawn mower oil, packing tape, a new work out tee shirt, a package of socks, a baby shower gift AND your groceries all in one place. Please don't say Super-Target...we don't have one. And I confess, the prices are appealing. I actually like walking into a store and not feeling like I should be scouring the sale paper and letting it dictate my menu for the week.
But this last visit was the straw that broke the camel's back. For once, I was about to get a birthday card purchased and mailed on time. (Please, family members, don't faint) Since this Wal-mart trip was my attempt at Old Mother Hubbard filling her cupboard, I had already fit about 15 bags of groceries into the cart with more still to go when the stone-faced cashier scanned the birthday card. I glanced up from the cart and asked if I could just put that in my purse; you know, like you've done a dozen times with the package of gum you don't want lost amidst the groceries. She looked back at me and said, "No."
A bit taken back, I was speechless. I just stared it her with some kind of blank look. That's when she said, "Honey, now WHY would you want to do THAT?" Again, I was speechless. My mind quickly tried to think of what crime it would be committing to put a $3 birthday card into my purse after it's been scanned? Blank...couldn't think of a single reason to forbid it. She knows it's paid for, she watches me put it in the bag, presto...no harm done. It's not like I'm at Sam's Club where the guy guarding the door looks at your receipt and counts to see if the number of items in the buggy matches it. I have 400 items in my cart and a receipt the length of yard stick. I dare anyone to try to reconcile the two. Maybe she thinks I'm going to stuff it in my purse and run out the door without paying, abandoning the 90 minutes worth of decisions in the cart in order to steal an item worth three bucks. Not likely is it?
Maybe there is some Wal-mart policy forbidding such risky behavior. But for me, that's it! I'm a strictly Publix kind of girl. The cashiers know me, chat pleasantly, and possibly even joke with me about the last time I was in the express lane and the guy ahead of me with 25 items claimed not to have known that there is a 10 item limit. Life is too short to give up smiling faces and friendly chit-chat.
Apparently, I'm not alone. Just yesterday I saw Consumer Report rated Publix 3rd among all all national and regional chains. And, no surprise here, Wal-mart was rated 56th.