Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How's that working for you?

Generally I eschew daytime television and pop psychology, but I have to admit Dr. Phil's words are echoing in my head today.

The school day was moving along normally until 10:15 when Kevin asked for the denatured alcohol to put into the bunsen burner for his chemistry exper- iment. It was no where to be found, so I was tempted to tell him to just use the stove. But, it's the beginning of the school year and I'm still feeling like I need to do everything by the book, so I decide to run to Wal-mart and pick some up. But, as I pull up to the first stop light, my aversion to Wal-mart kicks into high gear and I talk myself into going to Winn Dixie (for all you yankees-that's a grocery store). It's closer and a less painful shopping experience. After hunting down a few groceries, I wander around the newly renovated store looking for the item I came for. No luck. So I ask a group of employees where I might find denatured alcohol. They look at me like I'm not speaking English, but one finally pipes up and asks if you drink it. I resist saying "only if you're suicidal". After an all out hunt involving 3 employees, one who thinks they used to have it but doesn't remember seeing since the remodel, I give up and follow their suggestion to try the Family Dollar just a few stores down in the strip mall.

Family Dollar was a bust, so I head to Wal-mart. But on the way I have to pass Target, and I'd MUCH rather shop at Target than Wal-mart, so I turn in. Here I only stump 2 employees with my odd request. After a bit of roaming around by one employee and another checking the computer for the item (but she confessed to not knowing how to spell it, so it COULD be somewhere in the store), I realize I need to go home and check on lunch progress.

But, on the way out of Target's parking lot, I pass a hobby store that I had heard has science supplies. Ah, I think to myself, "Maybe THEY have some," so I whip into a parking space near the door. Turns out they don't stock the item, but the nice man behind the counter did know what denatured alcohol was...and knew that the people who fly model helicopters use them to remove stickers. Exactly! I'm getting least I've found someone who knows what denatured alcohol is?

I return home to find everything going smoothly, help feed Caitlyn, who had just gotten up from her nap, and suggest just using the stove to heat the beaker. But, seeing the burner, the stand, the thermometer and Kevin's sad puppy dog eyes, I volunteer to go to Wal-mart. After all, I don't want to squelch his enthusiasm for chemistry, right? Really, I fear he doesn't care about chemistry, but does want to play with fire.

So, I head to my FIFTH, yes fifth, store in my quest to find something I should have already purchased. After looking a couple of places I think it might be, I head to the hardware department, thinking it might be near other adhesive removers. I immediately see an employee and hold my breath as I ask for denatured alcohol. To my great surprise, a second employee overhears me and says "behind the paint counter". What! Someone who knows what I'm talking about AND knows where to find it. I could have hugged her....really! I can't help but think, "why didn't I just come here first?"

My family knows how much I despise Wal-mart. When someone wants to go there I groan inwardly (and usually outwardly). I'd rather take a beating than shop at Wal-mart. But, I confess, today my aversion wasted the better part of an hour. I'm willing to swallow my pride and admit "this might not be working for me".


  1. I've come to the conclusion that, sometimes, WalMart is a necessary evil. Like you, though, I'll try just about anything else first. I hope the experiment was a success.

  2. LOL Natalie! I can just see it all...
    Chris in NM