I stopped at Wal-Mart yesterday on my way home from work.
There are a few important facts to get straight before I go on with this:
1. Wal-Mart is super close to where I live and the most convenient place to do basic shopping,
2. I had previously finished Sheena's valentines gift,
3. I had recently killed a potted plant Sheena purchased for our dining room table.*
So I stopped in to pick up a new plant and quickly realized that in many ways 5pm on Valentines is a horrible time to shop at Wal-Mart, if you're a guy. "How many ways?" you ask. Well, let's count them.
1. The seasonal aisles (the ones closest to the entrance) are packed with guys purchasing candy that, I'm assuming, they're hoping will help them impress a lady or will help drown their loneliness.
2. Every female in the place gives you a dirty look for waiting until the last minute to purchase something that is supposed to express your never ending love. Or they're thinking, what kind of a valentine's gift is toilet paper?
3. You can't get anywhere near the card aisle. Even if all you want is a sympathy card or to wish someone well, forget it. Guys are taking a number to see what's left of the cards. No doubt more than a couple people got cards with the word "birthday" crossed out and "Valentines" written in sharpie. I've never seen so many people in a card aisle before.
4. Any move you make could inspire a guy, and therefore either make or break the valentines day of his girl friend/fiance/wife, or hoped to be girl friend/fiance/wife. The guy in line behind me was purchasing a box of chocolates and two clear storage totes. I don't know where he got the idea but that is not a winner of a gift. The guy in front of me had a fern: that's at least headed in the right direction. Another gentleman saw I had a pot of mini daffodils and after proclaiming me a "genius" he grabbed one too.**
5. The female cashiers have a tone about them. They say the words "happy valentine's day" but you hear "I better remind these guys what day it is because they probably forgot."
In conclusion: are there good times to shop at Wal-Mart? Yes. They've got great deals and everything you could possibly need. But are there times to avoid? You better believe it.
Next Feburary 14th I'm going to check out the 5 pm scene at the 7-11. I bet some crazy stuff is going down there.
* who knew you could over water flowers?
** To the lady that recieved the mini daffodils, if they aren't your thing I'm sorry. I didn't tell him what to buy, but made no attempts to stop him. Also, I got the best ones. By far. You see, my pot was the only pot that had a large number of flowers yet to blossom, so there were flowers for yesterday and many more for tomorrow. While yours are fading and dying my wife's will still be blooming strong. See, I know how to pick them. I don't know how to keep them alive, but I know how to pick them. If you loved the flowers then forget all that. You're welcome.