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My Wal-Mart Protest, or Why I Shop at Target

Back in the dark ages, we lived in a small Midwest town (Go Packers!) where visiting a Target store was a distant fantasy. The nearest one was at least ½ hour away, and with two babies, I wasn’t making that trek on a regular basis. Instead, we shopped for life’s necessities at our local Wal-Mart, an easy 5-minute drive away. It was clean, and the people were friendly—heck, it was Wisconsin, they were all friendly, and the prices were low. Low was good; money was tight. Still, I envied my friends in bigger cities, with their fancy Target’s just down the street. Their grass was greener, and their stores were prettier, for sure.

It wasn’t long before we moved to a small city in another state, which, relatively speaking, was a very large city. And the proof was in the strip mall: our very own, very lovely, Tar-jay. Hooray! Closer to my house and way more fun than the local Wal-Mart, I found myself wasting money there on a regular basis. It was fantastic.

Sadly, though, there were a few occasions when Target didn’t have the item I desired. I know! It’s so hard to believe, isn’t it? On those days, I would drive the additional 3 long miles to Wal-Mart to find the aforementioned item.

And then.

One day, I needed to return an item to Wal-Mart. I waited in the hideously long line, with some friendly people, some seriously rude people, and a few who may or may not have bathed recently. After forever, I reached the counter, handed over my item and my receipt, and was promptly treated like a thief robbing the store of their oh-so-meager profits. The clerks were so completely inept and discourteous that I decided, right then and there:

I don’t care if Target doesn’t have my item, I’m not coming back to Wal-Mart.

Thus began my 3-year protest, where I would find whatever I needed elsewhere, or simply forgo a purchase rather than add my hard-earned money to the coffers at the Rudest Store on Earth.

So, yeah, I guess sometimes I hold a grudge. I’m working on that.

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