Silent Screaming

I’m certainly no expert shopper, but I’ve done enough of it by now to have developed some shopping behaviors

And some opinions about how it could work better!

So, let me start by making this disclaimer.

I do my grocery shopping at Walmart.

Sure, I hate my shopping experience there, but I love that they have everything I need in one place.

Know what I mean? Sure you do, because I see you shopping at Walmart, too!

And we all have this same love-hate relationship with them.

The routine around here is that the toddlers go to children’s programs at church on Wednesday night. So I have exactly an hour-and-a-half to do the grocery shopping for the week. But I don’t actually have an hour-and-a-half to shop.

I have to pay close attention to my shopping time, usually cutting it short, to ensure that I allow for waiting time in the checkout line so that I pick up the kids on time.

Now, you may be wondering what the title of this post, Silent Screaming, has to do with shopping at Walmart. Or, shall we say, the frustrations of shopping at Walmart.

Ahh…now you’re beginning to understand. Silent Screaming. Silent Screaming. That’s the sound I’m pretending to make in my mind while standing in that insidious checkout line at Walmart!

It’s me screaming in my head!

But, I fear, one of these days I will no longer be able to contain the sound within the enclosure of my mind, and having been pushed to the limits of my patience, the scream is going to escape from my head and come flying out through my mouth!

My silent screaming won’t be silent anymore. It will become full-fledged screaming. I will cut loose with a scream like has never been screamed before in Walmart!

In fact, you may even hear it.

You may be standing in a far-off checkout line at the other end of the long row of empty checkout counters at the front of the store and, somewhere from among the crowds of people standing behind carts filled with frozen entrees now thawing and forming little puddles of water on the floor, you may hear a yell.

You will shake your head thinking you didn’t really hear somebody in the store yelling. And then the sound of the yell will begin to rise to the level of a prolonged scream and intensify into a screech and finally form into a loud, irritating noise that could only be described as shrieking!

At first it will alarm you, and you may start to run for an exit or dive behind a checkout counter. But, then you will remember remember reading this post and that I warned this may happen, and your fear will somewhat subside, though the screaming will not!

My scream will linger; it will perpetuate; it will penetrate, until it’s heard throughout the store.

Then, when you think you can’t stand hearing it anymore, you will realize that the scream of this Walmart shopper is not a cry for help, it’s not even a yell of frustration.

No, it’s a declaration of independence; it’s the voice of freedom! It’s shopping liberation!

I don’t have to take this anymore! I CAN shop somewhere else!

My scream will be heard by shoppers in Walmart stores in other towns, in other states.
My scream will rattle the halls of the Walmart corporate offices.
My scream will be heard in Walmart stores around the world.

And language will be no barrier to my scream. It’s a scream that will be understood by all frustrated Walmart shoppers of all nations!

Maybe you will even decide to scream with me.

And our cooperative scream will rally other tormented Walmart shoppers and they too will join with us in crying out for freedom!

And our collective scream will pierce the Walmart business model and cause the Walmart management to staff checkers at a few more of the dozens of empty checkout counters lining the entrance to the store designed to mislead newly-arrived shoppers into thinking they can actually get in and out of Walmart in less than an hour-and-a-half!

But, my revolution will never happen. Because you probably won’t scream with me. You don’t want your Walmart shopping privileges revoked.

And Walmart won’t change their business model because we all just keep shopping there, internalizing our frustration and then yelling at the kids and kicking the dog (or vice versa) when we get home from shopping.

If I screamed, the Walmart folks would just think I’m some crazed shopper and send security to escort me from the store, making me abandon my filled-to-capacity shopping cart, leaving it standing there in its little pools of water that had dripped from the thawing frozen foods it is bearing, and order me never to return.

And if I did sneak in and shop, they would know it’s me the next time I swipe my credit card. The checker would announce to all standing in line behind me and those in checkout lines near and far that my credit card was not accepted!

And then I would have to do my grocery shopping at the regular supermarket and pay higher prices and not have a big selection of brands and have to run to and fro to other stores trying to complete all my shopping and….and….and….

No, my screaming shall remain silent screaming…

(The tale I tell in this post was recently conceived when I forgot to bring my cellphone into the store with me and had nothing to do during my wait in the checkout line except worry about the time, look at celebrity gossip magazines, and imagine the scenario described in this post. Alas, this is not the end of my ranting about grocery shopping as I had much time to think during my sans cellphone checkout line wait. Watch for a future post, Ten Things I Hate About Grocery Shopping.)

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