It's amazing just how uncultured and uneducated I feel when shopping at Walmart. It's as though my true self emerges, you know the one which I constantly work to hide by stuffing in a minuscule box that's locked with a padlock for which I've purposely and gladly lost the key. I find myself doing strange things like talking loudly at TC, fighting with him in the store, getting impatient at other shoppers, using poor English failing to match verb and nouns in agreement, grimacing at tender children, kicking merchandise out of the walkway rather than putting it back where it belongs, looking through bins of movies because it's marked "Hot DVDs: $5." Who is this monster of a Gordita that emerges at the hellhole called Walmart?
And if you have ever shopped at the Walmart we shop at, you'll understand my less than loving feelings for that particular locale. It represents the seedy underbelly of SLC. As our dear friends put it, it's where people bring their children to yell at them. But for me it's so much more than that. It's where the rules of decorum do not apply: where women can wear slips as dresses, and bras outside of their clothes, and pants that haven't fit them since 1985. It's where it's okay to stink so badly of tobacco, body odor and alcohol that people standing several yards away can smell you. It's where it's okay to dress like woman even though you have a full beard and unshaven legs. It's where it's okay to wheel your children around the store as they shout and cry and are very obviously unhappy while you blissfully talk on your phone interrupting your conversation only occasionally to yell at your children for infractions other than the shouting.
So what do I do? I continue to shop there because they have low prices. And I continue to shop at that locale because it's the closest. And I find myself grimacing and kicking and arguing. And reading tabloids.
Because we waited in line for 15 minutes, I know that Jessica Simpson has gained some weight and has taken a lot of heat for it. And that at first she fought back saying that she was still healthy despite her weight, and then caved and hired a personal trainer. I had two choices: read the tabloids or stare at the seductive miniature versions of every day products sold for only 99 cents that are just opposite the tabloids. I wasn't sure I could handle that temptation. And staring at the backs of other shoppers' heads wasn't appealing. And talking to TC was out of the question because I would either say something snide and unbecoming, or I would begin an argument. So in silence I read the tabloids.
And by the time I got to the front of the line, my desire to exchange pleasantries with the checker had vanished. Instead of responding to the kind greeting the checker gave me despite his insane work conditions, I think I may have grunted. And I may be generous in my description of my greeting for him. And when the card reader machine asked if my store was clean, I clicked no out of spite rather than out of a fair evaluation of the store.
So TC and I left in silence. Unloaded our purchases in the trunk, started the car and blaring on the stereo was Bon Jovi, Livin' on a Prayer. And as TC and I are enveloped in the warmth and aloofness of our eurotrash car, and we change CDs to a more appropriate euro techno trash genre sung in Swedish or whatever language, we feel more like ourselves: trashy, but imported*.
*Gordita is not actually imported, but enjoys denial.