I hate Walmart. I despise it and it's policies. The merchandise is poor quality, the produce section is lacking. I would rather not shop there- ever. Unfortunalty in THIS economy, I am left with little choice. It is what it is, and I appreciate the fact that their lower standard means that I am actually able to afford to put food on the table each month.
Going there since the recent birth of my second child has been... an interesting experience. My older son has reached the public tantrum stage and while I would think that we would just be very run of the mill in a place that has a website like 'People of Walmart' dedicated to it, apparently SOME people can't help but harass the lady with the infant strapped to her while her 3 yr old tries to throw himself out of the cart while sobbing hysterically with snot running out of his nose.
Thanks. Because the stares, the comments, the general rudeness makes it SO MUCH EASIER, right? *Sigh*
However, a few weeks ago while I was struggling with my routine trip to the store, something really... really beautiful happened. Things really sucked that day and I was having a lot of angst at being forced to drag both kids to the store by myself like ALWAYS. 3 yr old goes in front of cart, baby gets strapped to me, diaper bag tossed into back of the cart- and into the store. The oh so helpful people begin to comment (like always)- 'Oh my you sure have your hands full', while I am squatting precariously trying to lift the $4.48 watermelon into the cart without A)dropping it B) Smushing my infant with it and C) trying to prevent the 3 yr old from escaping his designated post ('SIT on your bottom!'). Really I am sure it would be to much to ask for someone (who is just standing there idly) to actually offer to help out.
So shopping goes on and when I have everything loaded in and baby begins to squawk, it's time to head out to the check out. I don't know why but Walmart NEVER has enough lines open to prevent at least 3 carts (overflowing with crap)from standing in (frustration!) the middle of the store. I always wonder who manages to get to the front of those lines BEFORE they are full because I never do. Generally what happens is I stand there for 10+ minutes, swaying to soothe the fussy baby, and trying to prevent the escape of my 3 yr old. And then I move on to unloading the grocery, starting by having to almost climb over the previous persons items (and trying to not squish the baby again) to grab one of those things that marks the beginning of MY crap. Comments of 'Oh my, you sure have your hands full, don't you?' begin to pour in. Stuff it people, just stuff it. And then I get the unload all of my crap while trying to reload the crap that was checked, but not losing my diaper bag (with the required wallet) underneath the bags.
It is.... frustrating.
However the other day while I was there, trying to unload the enormous amount of crap the lady behind me did something that surprised me. 'Hey do you need any help with that?' 'Oh no', I assured her, thinking yeah she probably just wants to get the hell out of here too, 'I've got this.' She didn't listen and insisted on helping me put everything up on the conveyor belt. She assured ME that she had been there, and understood. I really appreciated it. Kindness, HELP, from a complete stranger.
I probably wouldn't have written about it (being some what skeptical that really she was just doing it for HER, because no one wants to be stuck behind the lady who they KNOW are going to take forever) but while I was trying to re-load all the newly bagged items, a boy walked up (from the other direction) and offered to help. On his own. He must've been about 13. I was floored. Let me tell you something. I have a very low opinion of today's youth after various incidents like struggling to walk while holding a 13 month old in one arm while carrying an enormous package in the other while a group ( a GROUP ) of boys sat there staring at me.
So, this boy comes up and offers to help me- on his own volition. I was a little surprised but then I realized that THIS was the son of the woman who had JUST helped me. Wow. I don't know who they are, where they are from but that woman, she is certainly doing something right to raise such a conscientious young man.
I left the store in a better mood then I think I ever have before. I only wish more people were like them. Normal, every day, regular people- with a desire to help people when and where they can. I wish them all the best and hope to raise my own sons to be so warm and helpful, and I hope that I am able to pay their kindness forward.