This Year I Resolve to…Avoid Wal-Mart January 7, 2013

According to what the self-help gurus tell me, I’m supposed to make my New Year’s Resolutions public so that I am more accountable to them. No problem, I say. Not only will this help me keep my word, but it gives me the perfect opportunity to rant about one of my least favorite places: Wal-Mart.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all about capitalism and all, and I don’t hate big corporations. My hating Wal-Mart has everything to do with it being nastier than a Chris Brown Twitter rampage. (Oh and p.s., I am also boycotting Chris Brown and Rhianna in 2013 because they both suck.)

Yes, I have more “noble” resolutions…like using reusable shopping bags. It’s better for the environment and all, but it’s mostly because the cabinet where I store all my plastic bags is looking like George Costanza’s wallet. I am one plastic bag and a swift breeze away from it exploding all over my house with the force of Colon Blow cereal. However I’ll be damned if any one of those bags will be from Satan’s vacation home, otherwise known as Wal-Mart.

Many, many times have I stormed out of Wal-Mart and declared, “Never again!” And it’s even worse when I’m tired and hungry, so technically going to Wal-Mart makes me spend more and eat more. Because the last time I went I had to go through the Culver’s drive-through just to calm myself down with some pot roast sandwich goodness. Then when I got home I had to bust open the glass on my emergency dessert.

But this time I am never going back. Here are my reasons why, in no particular order:

1)     The Parking Lot.

Trash is everywhere, and don’t even get me started on the garbage. I can barely navigate my car down the narrow aisles because apparently everyone went to the Marcia Brady Freak-Out School of Driving. And tell me, was it Plow King or Mr. Plow that Wal-Mart hired to do a sh*tty job plowing its parking lot?[1]

2)     The People in My Way. All the Time.

How much are oblivious, slow-walking people drawn to Wal-Mart? Like gay men are drawn to the One Direction pop-up store. Like sixty-five-year-old women are drawn to PT Cruisers. Like Japanese tourists drawn to the size zero rack at the outlet mall. Like old men are drawn to those little cans of sliced mushrooms at the off-brand grocery store. (Trust me. They are.)

3)     The Nasty Grocery Section.

I recently entered the grocery section to find a dark deli and several scattered buckets which were apparently catching raindrops from the ceiling. Or maybe they were there to collect my shame – I’m not sure. Unless you’ve got a hankering for “REAL tomato ketchup, Eddie?” I’d stay away from the perishables.

4)     The Lack of Customer Service.

Recently when I found my hands were full, I searched in vain for a shopping basket. I then asked a worker if there were any baskets around, and she said, “Apparently not, but you can leave your stuff here and go get one at the entrance.”

Deep breaths.

Okay this never would have happened at Target. First of all, the Target worker would have gotten a basket for me. Secondly, Target has strategically placed baskets around the store for your shopping convenience. You want to encourage more impulse purchases? Make it easier for people to carry that Sham-Wow and Ove Glove they found on that “As Seen on TV’ endcap.

5)     The Lack of Check-Outs.

There were three check-outs open, and all of them were full of people with totally loaded grocery carts. The rest of us suckers with only a few items had to deal with the self-checkouts. I’m not eighty and I know how to use a self-checkout, however that does not make it any less annoying. This “cost saving measure” will still think that I’m stealing something when it doesn’t recognize that I just placed a five-pound object in a bag, so someone will still have to come over and help me…which kind of defeats the whole purpose, no?

6)     The Customer Service Counter.

Good luck navigating your way to the counter; you’ll have to dodge about six carts piled high with returns and scratch and dent groceries. You’ll then have to deal with the “friendly” customer service person who wants you to go away. The last person I dealt with looked like “Faces of Meth” times 100. Forget about taking teenagers to prison for that show “Scared Straight” – just take them to Wal-Mart to see this lady and they will clean up their lives real fast. One look at her multiple long chin whiskers and they’ll be cracking open those GED study guides in no time.


Here’s to Wal-Mart-free shopping in 2013!!

[1] Bonus points if you caught that Simpsons reference.


My Long Weekend To-Do List: Epic Fail November 26, 2012

Ah, the holidays. A time to spend with family and friends. Perhaps a time to travel. For me, a time to make an unrealistic list of all the things I’m going to accomplish with my extra two days off so I can ignore it and then curse myself on Monday morning. This past weekend was no exception. Let’s just say that Steven Covey would be deeply disappointed.

(And speaking of disappointed, for a split second this weekend I was doing a Charlie Brown victory dance when I saw the Twitter alert that read “Ryan Braun is now following you.” Then I found out that it was really a Twitter account called “Ryan Braun’s Hub”, which is not affiliated with Ryan Braun himself at all. Really upsetting. However, later in the weekend I was followed by someone called “Queen-o-Swagg” which totally made up for it. How could you not get excited by someone who was “Bawn a Philippines, Grown Inna Cali, Bred by Jamaica”? I for one cannot wait to hear what Ms. Swagg has to tweet about.)

Anyway, here’s what really went down on my long Thanksgiving weekend.

List Item: Drop clothes at thrift store, drop jewelry off to be repaired, drop off drycleaning

Actual Result: None of this got done. However, I did manage to shop at Kmart at 10:30 pm on Thanksgiving, followed by the midnight opening at Younkers, topped off by a 1:30 am Wal-Mart visit. Then I slept 3 ½ hours so I could get up for JcPenney and Menards on Black Friday. Why yes, I did get the $8 small appliances and the $5 glass canister set, thank you.


List Item: Finish Twilight: Breaking Dawn so I can go see the movie already.

Actual Result: Read about twenty pages and then read last Sunday’s New York Times that I still had not finished. I was then perhaps a bit too giddy with the prospect of having the house and the television all to myself, so I caught up on the last two Glee episodes. I also may have watched episodes of Revenge, Arrested Development, How I Met Your Mother and Desperate Housewives. By my calculations I will be done “catching up on shows I’ve always wanted to watch” in about the year 2036. That’s what happens when you are held hostage by Netflix. And sadly this doesn’t even count the 90 minutes I’ll never get back from watching What to Expect When You’re Expecting.


List Item: Clean up sun porch

Actual Result: Coffee table in sun porch is now full of paper piles I need to sort through, courtesy of my famous “reshuffling” maneuver. That is, I took piles of crap from one room (making it look clean) and moved them to another room. The living room looks fantastic though.


List Item: Put clothes up for sale on Ebay.

Actual Result: The clothes are still sitting there in a pile in the hallway. I got a little distracted by other clutter and ended up listing fourteen decorating books instead.


Sadly, this is not even scratching the surface of my long list. To make matters worse, while going through those decorating books I found some good ideas for organization, so I added them to the list. I now have things to do like “Put bars of soap in glass canisters”.

It’s a good thing I got that canister set at Menard’s.  Boo-yah! Cross it off the list!

P.S. On the plus side, I did work out three times and actually lost weight over Thanksgiving weekend. Woot!


Why Shopping Alone Makes Me Cranky July 23, 2012

Filed under: Bargain Shopping,Humor,Self Deprecation — aniederkorn @ 7:30 pm

I went shopping by myself on Sunday.  No schedule but my own, nobody else’s agenda, no having to wait for someone else while they try on one more top.  I thought it would be awesome.  Boy was I wrong.  Besides having to eat lunch by myself, I discovered that I really needed someone else there to join in my snarky repertoire and overall shopping frustration.  As a result I just ended up being really super cranky.

So now here’s what I would have said, if I had had a shopping buddy along with me.  Notice the progression from mildly snarky to downright pissed.  All times are approximate.

1:30 pm: You people standing in line to get into the Coach Outlet Store are idiots.  P.S., Come to Oshkosh, there’s no line there!

1:35 pm: You people standing in line to get into the Vera Bradley Outlet Store are idiots.

2:00 pm: There is absolutely nothing I want at this outlet mall.

2:15 pm: Except for these shoes.  Uh…but they are $80 here and $80 in the regular store.  What part of “outlet” don’t you understand, Aldo?

2:30 pm: Speaking of not understanding, how is it physically possible for these perfectly healthy people to walk this slowly through a mall?  They have taken “strolling” to a whole new level.  Must pass these people as soon as possible.  On your left!

2:35 pm: I am so over outlet malls.  Never.  Again.  Unless it’s Woodbury Premium Outlets outside of NYC.

5:00 pm:  Salesgirl at Lucy:  “What don’t you like about the capris?”

What I really wanted to say:  “My thighs? Too much cameltoe?”

What I really said:  “They just don’t fit right.”

What I also wanted to say:  “Please stop checking in on me and reminding me this is the last day of the capri sale.  Your pushiness is about to make me leave the store without buying anything.”

6:00 pm:  Who the f*ck has exactly $1.10 in change for an unattended toll?  Now I have to remember to pay online, which I forgot once, and ended up paying a $60 fine.  Curse you, Illinois!


I may never shop alone again.