Tuesday, September 08, 2009

forbidden love

I have something to admit. Something that is incredibly taboo. I have a secret love.

It is a forbidden love...

I love Walmart.

I know, I know...most people shop there. Most people can't help being lured in by their low, low prices. And so they shop there, while at the same time swearing their abject hatred towards the place and all social wrongs that it stands for.

But for me, it's different. I couldn't really give a hoot about the prices. That is just icing on the cake. For me, it's escapism. And no, not like
this (www.peopleofwalmart.com) either.

While it is fun to have the sideshow carnies to watch while you are picking up lettuce, snow melt, and party favors, it's just more icing on the cake.

No, for me, the true love comes from the diversity. Oh my lord...there are people in Utah who are not white and I get to hang out with them...if only for five minutes while I am in the toilet paper isle! It is like my oxygen. And I know it's ridiculous, because underneath it all we really are all alike. But sometimes I need to be reminded that there are different accents, and religions, and colors, and backgrounds...so I still feel connected to the rest of the world..instead of cut off, and contained in my bubble on the east bench.

When I am shopping at Walmart, I take a little more time in grabbing the computer paper. I linger in the light bulb isle for an extra minute. I slow down when I am in the frozen chicken section, and take it all in.

And I know all the social ills that Walmart inflicts. Believe me, I have had classes at the U that have been entirely devoted to that subject. But, let me let you in on a little something. A) the fancy shmancy upscale stores are not a heck of a lot better, and B) it seems like the majority of the population that Walmart is serving are not from the affluent neighborhoods, and are in need of a deal or two. I do think that Walmart has some serious flaws, as do all large corporations in this ultra-globalized society of ours. I just see a beautiful silver lining that most people tend to overlook whilst wiping their hands with their antibacterial hand sanitizer and looking around to make sure that they were not spotted in this house of sin.

Back in Boston, I could have gotten my fill of this at the Downtown Crossing T Station, or in our church building, or across the street from my house at the neighborhood park. But in East Salt Lake, it's harder to come by. And I know that I could just go to the neighborhoods where all these people live...Rose Park, and Midvalle and West Salt Lake. But I would not be as accepted. Plus, I am lazy.

At Walmart, we all have to get along. We all have to coexist. That is the unwritten Walmart rule. So, even if you are an 80 year old crossdresser, or a morbidly obese woman in a hot pink tube top, or an uptight white lady who is searching for herself...no matter your sins- you are at home in Walmart.

So, I will continue to court this unaccepted flame of mine. Ignoring how she is mocked and scorned. I will still be true because at the end of the day she provides a refuge for me and all the other oddballs.

1 comment:

Jared and Delia said...

I like Walmart too but for the prices. I am one of poor people who needs a deal. :) I hate hanging out there though. I prefer to linger a while longer at Sam's. Not for diversity...but for samples. When you're poor free food is free food. :)