Virtual People of Walmart: I’m Trying to Concentrate

Did you follow me here from the kitchen TV?

A trip to WalMart is like falling down the proverbial rabbit hole. In the world of the super center, there’s no such thing as Get In And Get Out, but you have a list, a cart, and a timeframe, the only boundaries to keep your shopping trip from getting out of hand.

It takes tremendous concentration to handle purchasing when you are working a list, dealing with coupons, managing children and guarding your purse. As if there weren’t enough distractions with thousands of items lining the shelves and freezer case lights flicking on as you pass, now there’s some actor-mom on a small screen pitching a product at the end of every third aisle.

How is it we would describe this environment for the kids? Overstimulated?

You know the developers of these sales screens were thrilled to have talked somebody in Arkansas into allowing these things in their store. I wish those same decision-makers had these talking heads on their office credenzas chattering a continuous loop of background noise as they tried to work. Because that’s what these feel like to me.

Virtual WalMart sales force, I am trying to concentrate. This shopping trip is work for me and I don’t have time to fool around. If you were explaining a new miracle product, I might take notice, but a I don’t consider air fresheners or spaghetti sauce items that require explanation.

Furthermore, I have enough voices in my head already: Kids asking for sugary flourescent cereal (no!), a spouse expecting ridges, not waves, in his potato chips, and some guilt goblin telling me it is just lazy to buy a pre-packaged pot roast kit. The last thing I need is you in my grill telling me what you do when your family suffers heartburn.

You annoy me. You mop your kitchen floor wearing slacks, a sweater, and a belt. You delight in cleaning spills with a single paper towel. You foolishly maintain an all-white kitchen with three kids and a St. Bernard.

Go away, actor-mom. Now I’ve forgotten what I came here for.