For several years now, my college roommate and I have been on an expedition. A survey, if you will. We have traveled through Missouri, Illinois and Washington on said journey and we have far, far higher aspirations.
We are in the process of doing a world excursion of Wal-Mart.
That's right, I said it. Wal-Mart. Or, for my Southern/Midwest readers, "the" Wal-Mart. =) And if you're my mother, "Wally World."
Whenever we go on a road trip, we feel the draw, the need to stop in every Wal-Mart we see and mark it off our list. (There's really no list, but I was trying to create an image for you.) I can't count the number of Wal-Marts we've been in together, but it's definitely at least 10. We loves the Wal-Mart. I honestly cannot remember where I bought shampoo before Wal-Mart came to Federal Way.
I do remember, though, my first Wal-Mart experience. Vividly. I was 8. Maybe 9. (Ok...so it's not that vivid.) Anyway, it was a family trip to Tennessee to see, well, the family. My grandma Dorothy lives in LaFollete, TN and there it was, like a beacon of hope on a hill. Wal-Mart.
When we got the first Wal-Mart in Washington, my family drove down to check it out. We even took friends with us.
And when you're in college, 45 miles away from the nearest anything, Wal-Mart takes care of you. When you need snackage or have to start a project at 2am and run out of toner, Wal-Mart is there.
It has taken several long, hard years to get a super Wal-Mart in the Puget Sound area. But we have one. When it becomes a 24-hour super Wal-Mart, I will do a hapy dance in the store, in front of those shiny, UFO-esque security cameras.
Why did I just randomly bring up Wal-Mart? Do I miss the BoMO one? Yes, a little. But that's not the real reason. The real reason is because I keep meeting people who hate Wal-Mart. I know! That's ridiculous! Who hates Wal-Mart?! Actually, a lot of people. And they are all here in the Great NW.
And I've been comtemplating this. Why do people in Washington (and probably OR an CA to be fair) hate all that is good and right? Because people are different, the answers vary. Here are a few that I've run across in the last couple months:
"I don't like Wal-Mart because they are taking out the Mom and Pop stores."
"I don't like Wal-Mart because there are so many people in there at a time. It's like a zoo."
"I don't like Wal-Mart because while there are 87 checkout stands, only 4 are open at a given time."
"I don't like Wal-Mart because I think Target/Fred Meyer/other stuff is better."
These are just a few of the reasons I've heard. Someone that I chatted with today said it was a "class thing." I have no class, so it doesn't stress me out. =)
I am fascinated by people that don't like Wal-Mart. Do they not like reasonably priced and easily accessible products? Maybe not. Whatever the reason, Wal-Mart will mostly likely stay in my heart. They already have most of my wallet, so why change it up now? Don't worry...I won't.
Thanks Wal-Mart; you've always been good to me. Even through the rough years with our love/hate relationship, you were rock-solid. And I appreciate that.
(To any member of the Sam Walton family that reads this, I really think I should be a spokesperson for your corporation. At the very least, I should receive some kind of reward for how much I promote your store here in Washington. Thank you. That's all.)