Monday, January 19, 2009
The Wal-Mart Trap
A new Smith's Marketplace opened up close to our neighborhood. We've all been waiting for a grocery store, any grocery store really, to open nearer to our 'hood. There are 5 grocery stores all 5 miles away from us, which apparently is too far away. All the exercise my right foot has to endure in applying pressure to the gas pedal of my car is un-American. Thank goodness for the new Smith's Marketplace! It is only 4.9 miles away!
Don't let the "market" in the name fool you to think it's a down-home neighbory feelgood kinda place. You won't see Old Man Brown selling corn in one booth and Mrs. Miller in another spinning tales while knitting warm, colorful scarves. This market is a glam, brilliantly-lit 170,000 square feet of superdupermarkethood including sections designated for department store clothes, a small bistro, and a large collection of home decor. One hundred seventy-thousand feet means lots of ouch for my two feet from just touring the (enter curse word) place. A garden center, a drive-through pharmacy, a fuel center. All in the name of convenience. So, instead of driving 5 miles to a grocery store, I get to walk 5 miles within one. (Did I mention the place is big?)
David and I were trying to love the store, to be happy for its presence, to finally get away from our WalMart dependence. We decided to pick up diapers and baby formula. The store brand cost $2 more than the WalMart brand. We wandered over to clothing. I saw a wool coat for $80 that I swore I saw advertised at another store for $40. I picked one out for me in the name of we're-already-here convenience. I wanted a plant pot for our outdoor Christmas tree, $35. We might as well, we're here. Picked up a gift for a relative, $15 for two pairs of socks. Hmm. I conveniently paid.
Dave wanted to pick up a Trivial Pursuit game for his father, $40. I drew the line. $40 for something NOT for me??? I don't think so.
All in all, our let's-go-check-out-the-new-Smith's trip cost $173. Window-shopping is expensive these days. (Darn economy.)
Dave, determined to buy a Trivial Pursuit game for his father, dropped me off at home, went to WalMart and returned, Trivial Pursuit in hand. Price: $20.
WalMart: It's a dependency/hate relationship. Always.