I went to Wal-Mart earlier today and to tell you the truth it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Everyone I encounter was nice and friendly. People were waiting patiently for others to move over or finish finding the exact item they need. It was really a pleasant experience. My basket is full - not Thanksgiving food - shocker, but I am not cooking - just stuff I needed or else I wouldn't have gone in the first place. I find the only regular line down by the doors I came in and am the 6th person./basket in line. I know that this is going to take forever since most of those baskets are filled to the brim, but I have more than 20 items so I grab a couple of magazines off the shelf and begin reading through them. The lane next to us is a 20 item lane and one of the people in front bails out and goes over to that one since it is down to it's last person. Then a nice lady gets in line behind her and she and I chat a bit about shopping so close to Thanksgiving. She is only there to pick up items for that one dish she has been committed to bring. Apparently she was told at the last minute and didn't have the ingredients on hand. Meanwhile I am still in the same spot - actually I have moved almost 3 feet forward and am trying so hard not to bump into the guy and his wife in front of me. He is making it hard not to do that, but in the end (pun intended) I succeeded and never once bumped or brushed or ran over his heels. Yea, me!
Now, for the unpleasant part of the day. While I am standing there - yes, still in my 3 foot area - a new basket pulls into the 20 or less line. It is pushed by a dad in shorts and t-shirt (hello, it's 40 degrees outside) a pregnant mom in fleece Tweety bird pajama bottoms, striped short sweater and a hoodie jacket - none of the colors worked together, a boy of about 8 or 9 that is on the other side of the basket and doesn't come into the story and a little boy between 2 and 3 that is bouncing a ball between our baskets. Both boys also have on what appears to be pajamas. (Hello again - it's 1:30 in the afternoon and you are out in public! I had to add that last bit about being out in public, because I never got out of my flannel pajamas on Sunday, but I wasn't going anywhere with all that ice on the roads. I was staying at home.) Back to my telling of the events. This little boy is crowding the man in front of me, he keeps losing his ball and it rolls into the mans foot. The man keeps looking back at the boy and then at me - hey, mister, he isn't mine - and moves forward a bit more - yea! 4 feet - Now, this little boy sees something in my cart that he wants and reaches for it. I put on my teacher face and tell him "no" and shake my head. He takes his hand off my cart, but keeps coming over to it and getting on the floor. At one point I thought I was going to have to run over him to get him to move out of the way. I considered asking very loudly, "Whose child is this?" just to see if the parents pay attention, because they haven't since they got into the line. Mom's phone rings and she steps away, Dad - who knows where he went - and their basket is just sitting there. The clerk is leaning over her counter trying to get some one's attention because they were next. Thank goodness the little boy wasn't screaming or yelling or being really rowdy - just playing with his ball under the carts, but this non-parenting has got to stop in America. They are your children and you need to pay attention to them and keep them in line. Preferably your line.
Thank you to the new clerk on my right that told me to come over to her lane she was just opening up. I got away from the boy, his ball and his non-existent parents and I got out of there before the couple in front of me even began checking out. (I was nice and offered to let them go over to the other lane, but they didn't understand what I was saying - not a language barrier problem, just a man and woman that weren't with it) I was grateful to get out of Wal-Mart in a fairly good mood.