Dragging Our Feet through the Perils of Walmart with an Elder

Debbie Centeno

Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels

Not my Favorite Place to Shop

I took my dad to Walmart. I don’t shop at Walmart and avoid it at all costs. If I need anything from Walmart, I order it online and have it delivered. It has worked fine. Therefore, when my 81-year-old father asked me to take him to Walmart, I cringed but took him, anyway. My idea was to drop him off at the entrance and let him shop while I waited in my car. Then I thought about how dangerous it could be for him. Sort of like a baby crawling between a buffalo stampede, so I decidef to go in with him.

Courtesy is no Longer Existent

It is difficult to walk around Walmart taking tiny steps with an 81-year-old. People have little to no patience and shove their way between you and others just to get one of the hundreds of canned corn or whatever they are so desperate for. That’s why I stayed close by to protect my father from getting shoved or pushed to the ground. People leave their carts in the middle of the aisle to grab an item when there is clearly plenty of space for two carts. Some give you a dirty look when you say, “Excuse me,” to get through. The employees are no exception. They stand in the aisles and are bothered if we gather an item that they are replacing or if we ask them a question. I’m sure not all the employees are like this.

Baby Steps — Forever Steps

My father needed just a few things, twelve items, to be exact. It took us an entire hour to gather those twelve items. Not only because they are scattered throughout the store, but because of the baby steps we were taking. After our round, I was tired of taking those baby steps, I can’t imagine how my father felt.

Ready to Check Out

After gathering all the items, we headed towards the cash registers. They were full, but since we only had twelve items, we went to the 20 items or fewer register. Woo-hoo! But wait, why is it so slow? Never mind, we’re in Walmart. There’s little to no courtesy or consideration, let alone people who take the time to read where it clearly states, “20 ITEMS OR FEWER.” So there we were at the 20 items or fewer line, waiting for the couple with 40+ items to finish.

A Good Deed

The gentleman behind us asked if he could cut in front since he only had three items. “Please do, sir,” I responded. It did not bother us to let him pass. He kindly said to me, “Thank you for your kindness. There are not many polite people in Walmart.” See, even he realized that most people who shop here are not courteous. We engaged in conversation until he was ready to check out. Once he checked out, it was our turn, and I could not be happier.

Mission Accomplished

Yes, I took my elderly father to Walmart — the place I dislike shopping the most. Not only are the social media memes about Walmart accurate, but there is also a lack of courtesy or respect. Again, I know not everyone is like this so I'm not judging all Walmart shoppers. But there are a lot. It is unfortunate we have succumbed to this level within society. I sure hope people begin to shift their level of politeness and that I don’t have to go to Walmart ever again.

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My writing journey began as a way to cope with grief. I realized I enjoyed writing and began a blog, Debbie’s Reflection (https://debbiesreflection.com). I also enjoy traveling. Therefore, as a traveler, I began another blog, Traveler Wows (https://travelerwows.com), in which I share tips on places, landmarks, and reviews on airlines, hotels, and restaurants. Thank you for joining me on my writing journey.

Orlando, FL

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