Opinion: A tale of mice, hash browns and Walmart
Commentary by Danielle Wilson
I don’t always shop outside of my neighborhood grocery store, but when I do, I prefer Walmart. There. I said it. I love the cheap stuff. I love the diversity of clientele and I love that there’s a strong possibility I’ll spot a mouse in cosmetics (true story). My husband Doo feels differently and won’t step foot in the retail giant unless forced to do so under threat of death. He cites shoddy products, horror-movie fluorescent lighting and the fact that the sheer number of customers at any given time is in clear violation of the fire code. “All I know is that I need a shower when I leave.” I think he’s a snob.
Recently, I had to go to Walmart twice on the same day, unusual for me as I live less than a mile from Meijer. My first run was to pick up invitations at the photo department. Doo agreed to drop me off, though he absolutely refused to go in (chicken!). Boy, did he miss out. In that short five minutes (well, more like 20), I saw beautiful Easter lilies for $3.98 (Meijer’s were $7 and Lowe’s $19.99!), a young couple having an extremely vocal argument over dog food and about 20 items I didn’t know I needed until I did. I had a fascinating conversation with the cashier over my preferred brand of sunscreen while enjoying the sweet, sweet smell of baking bread at the in-store Subway. For my final act of amazement, I found Doo in the parking lot in under three minutes.
Later, I returned to Walmart because Meijer, Kroger and Target were all out of shredded hash brown potatoes. I know! Bizarre. Walmart didn’t have them, either, but I did make two new friends in the frozen vegetable aisle as we lamented the scarcity of spuds and wondered whether cubed-style might be a realistic substitute.
I’m a loyal Meijer customer, but I do love a good Walmart adventure.