I've overheard complaints about Wal-Mart "taking over America" because it is growing so large and the small "mom and pop" stores are closing in its wake.
Before moving to Thomson, I lived in Columbia County when the residents of Evans strongly opposed Wal-Mart opening in their "bedroom community." The store opened and the parking lot has been full ever since.
I hate to admit how much I contribute to the retail giant's profit margin. Do I shop there regularly? Let's just say if I didn't show up at home my family would have me paged at the store.
I can't help it, their prices fit my budget. Yes, I'm so po' that I can't even afford the last two letters.
I went home for lunch today and mentioned going to Wal-Mart tonight to put something on layaway. My youngest asked, "Mom, can I go put some candy on layaway when we're at Wal-Mart?" He's so sweet.
Of course, with my move to Thomson my business moved from the Evans Wal-Mart to here. The first week we lived here, I know my sons and I made quite a few trips. In fact, I can hear them now as they are reading this, saying "Mom, you didn't tell them about the time we made four trips in one day."
Last Monday, as we pulled into the now-familiar parking lot of our favorite market complete with a greeter, we noticed something different. After a few minutes, we realized that Wal-Mart was a different color.
No longer the traditional gray and blue, it is now tan and blue. My other son commented, "Look Mom, you've shopped here so much, in only two weeks they've made enough money to repaint their building!"
Yes, the discount super-store seems to know a lot about enticing me to hand over my money without any thought. And to top it off, they have perfectly-sized plastic bags.
The bags are not only suitable for taking home all your newly-purchased wares, but also are the perfect-sized liners for small trash cans.
They are tough, too. Tougher than Samsonite, I'd say. At least that's what we use them for. Wal-Mart bags make the best luggage for stay-overs at Grandma's house.
We've also been guilty of using them as sports bags, although a bat doesn't fit. I know we're not the only ones who do this.
The other day, I witnessed a patron entering Healthlink with their gym clothes in a Wal-Mart bag.
I felt right at home.