I should have known better – scratch that, I did know better. Shopping at Walmart has become one of those decisions I hate to have to make. On one hand their prices cannot be beat while on the other customer service is non-existent and the experience ends up DMV-esque.
Over the course of my life I have been to Walmart stores located from New York to Virginia. While some are newer and staffed better then others most that I have access to in my area are downright scary. A certain anxiety surrounds me when driving to the local Walmart. Let me describe the clientele for you; a mixture of Latin Americans, Indians, pensioners, and Mexicans. With so many cultures navigating the aisles and moving about at their own pace in their own way, cooperative shopping cannot happen there. This is the untold and disallowed conversation that never happens when we all speak of the big melting pot America is: how do the cultures actually fit together cooperatively? The answer would fall between toleration and contempt. If Hillary Clinton’s “it takes a village” proclamation was ever true it never was or will be true at Walmart which is a microcosm of America.
At Walmart carts block your way, fellow customers veer toward you, bump into you, but even worse simply disregard your presence and don’t get me wrong with the reference to race or religion, the largely Jewish clientele at one of the slightly-further aware stores are experts at not ‘seeing’ you.
This is America. America the beautiful only in certain sections (national parks, protected woods, and the like). We have learned to go about our business, look the other way, pretend to not see a poor soul trying to merge onto traffic, etc., all for our own individual good. No longer do we go out of our way to simply hold a door open for the soul behind us, we hold it open on condition, condition that the person behind you rushes to it, says thank you, or acknowledges the kind gesture. You see we’ve made it all about “us” not the person but our own needs. That is America, that is Walmart, that is US.