Get Your Mirrors at Walmart

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            New Years Eve was spent alone watching an old movie, there was some sparkling cider, a smooch or two with Crystal and then to bed shortly after midnight (cause that’s what older couples do). I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed on January first. Crystal was still in bed. I decide to pick up a couple of things for dad at Walmart (where else?). The difference struck me immediately. At ten AM the parking lot was practically empty. I parked directly in front of the door. Gone was the annoying (sorry) Salvation Army bell ringer; no gilt ridden Merry Christmas today.  As I walked in the contrast from just a few days prior was amazing. Where were the multitudes of people busting down every aisle. There were no lines or employees to speak of. I also noted the dramatic change as I entered. All of the colorful toys, gifts, and the multitude of candies, cookies, cakes and decorations had been replaced by yoga mats, exercise balls, and protein powders.

            Oh Walmart, ye know us so well. We Americans are a fickle people in need of constant direction. It is now time to give all of those New Year’s resolutions some life, all be it temporary. I promise that by the third week or so in January those exercise balls will once again be replaced by some less expensive TVs. The yoga mats and protein powders will give way to valentines’ decorations and ironically chocolates. The time for fasting will be over; we will once again be looking for a sweet treat and an excuse to celebrate.

             All year long Walmart stays one step ahead of us. After the Valentine’s Day love fades the ugly Christmas sweaters will be replaced by ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’. Corned beef and cabbage will be on sale. Then the Easter bunny will be displayed in multiple aisles and once again it will be candy time. Though I do look forward to those Cadbury eggs and jelly beans. Then it will be time for the Fourth of July and all of the stinky, smoky stuff, flags and red white and blue shirts, etc. Immediately after Labor Day we will be getting ready for Halloween. Finally, the day after Halloween out comes Christmas. Oh Thanksgiving is in there somewhere. But how much can you do with turkeys. The cycle is complete.

            In a consumer society, Walmart has our number, or numbers; dollars that is. Sure it’s all about marketing and maximizing profits, but there’s more. Is Walmart really reflecting our increasingly diverse society or telling us what they need us to be. Are we really a culture that lives for the holidays? Do we show love by what we buy or the number of lights and flags we display? Don’t get me wrong; I love driving around this time of year and seeing all of the beautiful decorations. But I wonder what goes on behind the lights. Why are marriages and families in our country under such stress? It reminds me of the movie Elf; when Santa’s sleigh needed extra propulsion because the true Christmas spirit was no longer enough to magically make the sleigh fly.

            I am ever hopeful for this country. But I believe we need to spend less time believing in Walmart and more showing actual, noncommercial love.

            Just one extra note; ugly Christmas sweaters are currently 75% off at Walmart. It will be Halloween before you know it. Just sayin.

Its resolution time entering Walmart
Empty Aisles
Ugly Sweaters 75% off

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