Friday, August 17, 2007

...'Bout sums up my day



My antipathy for Walmart is no secret. For awhile there, it was fashionable to hate Walmart, and everyone with an ounce of social consciousness railed against it. But I can't say I hate it just to fit in with the cause du jour. Nor do I kid myself into thinking I have noble objections to unfair negotiating practices, treatment of workers overseas, deplorable wages and benefits, driving mom&pops into the ground, etc. All those can be argued, and may have merit, but in my heart of hearts, I cannot claim excessive civic conscience. (I wish I did; but I know myself enough not to claim it.) No, my reasons for avoiding the Walmart experience are more banal and self-serving.

I don't like Walmart because they build ugly buildings. Architectural ugliness offends me even, and I especially don't like big boxes when they are abandoned for bigger and better locations. Walmart embodies suburban sprawl, which is another of my pet issues. Which of course reminds me that Walmart -- despite neighborhood opposition -- wants to build a store in my back yard, literally a few hundred yards away. There's very little variety in the lines they carry; everything is driven by price-consciousness -- not style, nor individuality, nor craftsmanship, nor product knowlege -- just price. Then there's the experience of shopping there. It sucks the life out of my soul, and life is short enough without wasting large swaths of it numbly pushing a cart through Walmart.

So where did I spend $80 of my back-to-school dollars today? You guessed it. I had to come home and take a bath.

5 comments:

Colleen said...

Need I say I agree? I do have a long list of "social consciousness" reasons behind my antipathy, but bottom line is that I don't shop at places that drain my soul. And even looking at a Wal-Mart does just that.

SusansPlace said...

I sympathize. Walmart is damaging to the soul, as is suburban sprawl.

Susan

Susanne B. said...

I did our back to school shopping there, too, simply because it's the closest place by ten miles to do so. Ugh... I only step foot in there a few times a year, and I just don't like it. I feel dirtied coming out of it.... I don't blame you for wanting to take a bath....

Ianqui said...

That is EXACTLY the reason that people should hate Wal-Mart. If dislike of the place is totally visceral, then maybe people will do something, when they can, to save small local businesses...even if they cost more.

Grace, Every Day said...

Ah, Beth, I did it, too. And I'll do it again. Because when it comes to prices, on some things I am all-American. School supplies is an area in which Wal-mart rules. One year I tried the local pharmacy, who advertised a good game, but couldn't provide everything we needed.

Life is a series of compromises sometimes.

I like what you wrote about how shopping there sucks the life out of your soul. Me, too.