I’m waiting in line at Walmart. I’m only here because Walmart sells a certain phone card I can’t find anywhere else in town. I’m seething. I can’t wait to get home and write about what I’m going through. That it took the cashier ten minutes to scan the phone card for a price – and failed! That I had to return to the back of the store to get another card. That when I returned to pay, the line was three deep in full Walmart shopping carts. That the place is so depressing. That everything here is plastic. That every product I see crammed in carts is either made of plastic or is packaged in plastic. That even though Walmart sells produce, no one wants fresh when they can buy it encased in styrofoam and shrinkwrap. That because so many here are overweight or obese, they waddle instead of walk. That I’m paying for these people’s medical costs through higher health care premiums that everyone has to share because people don’t take care of themselves, get overweight and fall apart by fifty-five. That, that, that ….
I’m hating the world. Stop. Am I taking care of myself? Turn the page.
Prone to high blood sugar count due to the late onset Type 1 diabetes I acquired five years ago, I feel weak and shaky. I sense I gave myself too much insulin earlier. Diabetes is no fun. During hours of low blood sugar count, my body works hard to keep up the fight, but often loses. The brain goes, too, and that’s the way I feel right now – edgy, irritable, negative – not to mention hungry. So hungry, I’m dying for one of those Hungry Man dinners the lady in front of me has. She’ll never know I took one. After all, she’s buying a 24-pack to receive her case discount price.
Finally at the cashier stand, I hand the same cashier my new phone card. I’m going to explode if he still can’t figure it out. I’m going to write something explosive like, “I hate Walmart! ‘Walmart. Always.’ What a crappy slogan. More like ‘Always the Wrong Place to Shop’.”
Wait. It’s the diabetes talking. Stop!
“Morons! Peons. Followers. Fools. Cretins!”
The cashier takes the card and slides it through his register’s scanner. With the flick of his wrist, his eyes brighten. “Ah – there we go. It’s fine. No problem. This card is fine. That’ll be $43.20.”
With the swift swipe of that card, my anger has lifted. A calm comes over me. No more battles. No more hostility.
“Sorry for the inconvenience, sir,” the cashier says.
Humbled, tail between legs, I breath in and out slowly, then catch myself saying, “It’s okay, sir, it wasn’t your fault the first card didn’t scan,” whereupon I peaceably leave the store.
I know I’ve just lived a greater life story of humility than I could ever have written a scathing piece about Walmart, human frailty and hate.