It’s been a while I know, but I have this need to talk about something that happened this weekend at Wal-Mart. I know a lot of people hate on Wal-Mart. I am one of them but I admit I still go every now and again when I am broke and need to save some money. This weekend I was in that state of broke-ness and my sister and I moseyed on over to the second closest Wal-Mart. The closest Wal-Mart isn’t as nice as the second closest one and usually about twice as crowded. So we made the drive and everything seemed propitious. We found a parking spot right up front (shopping karma!) and we found exactly what we needed in under 10 minutes. We even moseyed around a little bit and window shopped for stuff we had no intention of purchasing. Then we got in line to pay for our items. And we waited and waited and waited…you get the idea. Wal-Mart never has enough lanes open but one goes in there pretty much expecting that. We really weren’t too upset about it. We were chatting about this and that and if the line moved glacially (ICEBERG, yo) we were taking it pretty well. Then lo and behold, a cashier opened the next lane. When I noticed, I immediately walked over and I got there at just about the exact same time as another patron, we’ll call her Cap’n Crazeballs, who’d moved from the very back of the line. Cap’n immediately went on the offensive telling me that she was there first (she wasn’t actually, given that I was in front of her) and I…I behaved badly. I really did.
Let me be honest-I was so angry by her abusive words and hostility that I really, truly only remember two things that were said. First, she definitely called me a fat bitch, and second, I definitely responded by telling her “you ARE the people of Wal-Mart.” She got louder and more verbally abusive and I got quieter and more Southern by the moment. Southern on me equals napalm with a super thin veneer of almost civility. I very rarely go Southern. I think most people would be utterly shocked to encounter me when I’m Southern as my reputation is solidly in the “super sweet but could be a little more assertive” category. My sister was so angry by Cap’n Crazeballs that she left in order to avoid a very large scene. At that point, I had no intention of giving any ground so I took all of my sister’s items and added them to my own pile. As the checker rang my items up, Cap’n Crazeballs continued her verbal assault. It was so utterly ridiculous. Even as it was happening, I knew it was stupid and I should just let it go because haters gonna hate and all that jazz. She only had like four items and I could absolutely have let her go in front of me. In fact, if instead of calling me a fat bitch and generally being a ginormous asshat, had she just politely asked, “hey, I’m kind of in a hurry and only have four items, do you mind?” my answer would have been, “not at all, have at it.” I absolutely would have let her go in front and been happy to do it. But she started off with fat bitch and I could. not. let. it. go.
Caught in between was the store clerk who couldn’t have been a day over 19 and looked as though she weighed about 90 pounds. She was terrified and did not make eye contact with either one of us or respond in any way to either one of us. I was pretty annoyed at her, too, at the time, for not asking to help the next customer in line instead of what became a free-for-all, but once I calmed down after I got home, I felt really sorry for her. First, well…I kind of was being a fat bitch. I mean, let’s face it-I am fat and I was also, at the time, super bitchy. Second, Cap’n Crazeballs was not exactly a petite teeny-tiny slice of Texas pie herself, if you know what I mean. And then, our checker works at Wal-Mart where even full-time employees-very hard working, industrious individuals-still frequently need government assistance in order to feed their families. There’s something wrong with that. There is no way they pay that checker nearly enough to get in between two angry fat bitches. I probably wouldn’t have taken a side, either, in her position. And then there’s the fact that even though we had waited 20 minutes, there were still three parties in line ahead of us who’d been waiting even longer. Had she asked for the next person in line, it wouldn’t have been me. If one of them had called me out like the Cap’n I would have deserved it. So I admit I squirmed a bit on the drive home as I reflected over the scuffle. I was just as bad as Cap’n Crazeballs because it’s not like I encouraged the people in front of me to go get in line. And I knew, even as I wasn’t backing down, that we were both in the wrong, and I was slightly worse because at least I knew it.
As I left, Cap’n Crazeballs tried to push the empty cart at my back, but I had a pretty good grip on it, so it didn’t really do any damage. I muttered something like “charmed to have met you, classy one” and then left the store. My sister had the car started and waiting out front right around the same time I came to the sudden realization that Cap’n Crazeballs was probably pissed enough to run me down if she got there first and I should probably be glad open carry isn’t permitted in Texas.
I got really, truly rage-filled in a store only one other time about ten years ago on the Day After Thanksgiving Shopping Extravaganza©. Another abusive fellow customer, although that time I just turned around and left the store rather than engage. Which store, you ask? Thank you for asking. It was Wal-Mart. I think it’s a sign that Wal-Mart and I are just not meant to be together.