I will never go back to Wal-Mart if I can help it.
There are many reasons why we should not be frequenting this particular store but there was an incident there recently that has me permanently decided to never return. Ever. E.V.E.R. Seriously. There's only so much a person can take and I've taken my share of horrible experience at this store so I'm done. Done.
First of all, there's a scary amount of crime happening in Wal-Mart parking lots around the country but do you think they're hiring security to patrol their property? No, they're not so the theft, carjackings, and rapes continue to take place at a level more frequent than any other store's parking lot. If this isn't deterrent enough, I'd like to share my most recent personal experience that took place in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
Now, we know I'm over-sensitive to things. I've posted about how I get all overprotective a maternal for friends who might be hurt by someone else's remarks and just to night I almost unfriended my own uncle for posting an unflattering photo of a scantily clad, heavy woman, calling her a pig and a cow (the unfriending could still happen, I haven't made up my mind yet).
When I witness these acts; unnecessary hatred, abuse, and bullying, I have a physical reaction. I feel my heart beat faster and my blood pressure rises so I feel a pounding in my throat. I get hot and my vision gets a little fuzzy. I can't think straight and am stuck perseverating on whatever I have just witnessed and I replay it over and over in my head, wondering if there was something I could have (or should have) done differently to remedy the injustice I saw. It's as close to a panic attack as I've ever felt and it happens all the time.
So you're all wondering what happened at Wal-Mart? Well, if you're still with me, I'll tell you and maybe you can tell me if I did all I should have done or if there was another way I could have handled this so it wouldn't haunt me the way it has.
I parked far from the door, as I do when we go shopping anywhere with carts, so I could load the girls into a shopping cart right next to the car and return it easily when we were done. As I approached the door to the store, I saw a family loading their bags into their car. A man carried a crying one year old and a very pregnant woman stood at the cart where a three year old sat in the seat. I heard the man scream, "Shut up! Just shut the hell up!" to the infant as he was putting her in her carseat. I was pretty far away and they were in the same row of cars but on the other side.
I watched the woman open a bag of chips or something and she and the man had a handful as she stood with the toddler in the cart. I was too far to see what had happened but she told the little girl to "Stop it right now!" and then took her out of the cart. She was walking the child to her car door and I heard her yell at her, "That's my fucking door! Get off of my fucking door! You need to go to your door! Get the fuck in the car!" There was hatred in her voice that I cannot imagine a mother feeling for her child.
The man was pushing the empty cart across the aisle to where I just so happened to be walking with my own infant and toddler. I had to do something. I had to say something. I'm a mandated reporter so I would have called it in but I saw no evidence of physical abuse, in fact they seemed to handle their children carefully, but their words. Oh God, their words. And the way they said them to their babies!
I said to the man, "Wal-Mart is stressful, I hear ya. Do you guys need a hand with anything?" He said they were fine. And I replied, "Hey man, I get it, as a parent, Wal-Mart is probably one of the most stressful places in the world." He grunted and returned to the car.
I entered the store and tears welled in my eyes. I kept wondering if I should have gotten their license plate number or done something more. I immediately forgot what the heck I went to the store for in the first place and caved to Emma's every request for balloons and pop-tarts. I left with a heavy heart, completely emotionally destroyed, and a shopping cart filled with stuff I had no intention of buying and I STILL can't remember why I went there in the first place.
Anybody else? What would you have done?