Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Moral Dilemma

Loyal Readers, I have a bit of an unexpected moral dilemma on my hands. As you might be able to tell from the graphic at left, I am not a fan of WalMart. I think that WalMart is bad for any community. They don't bank locally so the money they take does not get funnelled back into the community they are in. They undercut small locally owned businesses and force them under. After that, they are the only game in town and they are free to do with they will with you.

But, perhaps most importantly, WalMart attracts a certain kind of shopper with a decidedly unappealing sense of decorum and style. And, you can guess how that offends the sensibilities of your BloomingtonGirl.

Normally, I avoid shopping at any WalMart in order to avoid going against my personal belief that they are bad BAD BAD and of course, to avoid having to be rub elbows with the dreadful WalMart shoppers.

But, the other day, I am ashamed to say, I shopped at a WalMart. Not only did I break my moral and aesthetic codes. I opened up a whole new can of moral dilemma worms. How did this happen?

On Sunday, I had to pick up the dog from the kennel and I arrived about a half-hour earlier than they open for pick-up. The kennel is on the other side of town, so I didn't want to go home and come back. I had some grocery shopping to do for my mega-baking projects this week and decided to use my half-hour wait to do that. I started to drive toward an area nearby where I thought there would be a supermarket and I immediately came upon the new SUPER WalMart. There it was, at the ready and so very close to the kennel. I wasn't exactly sure where the nearest Kroger or Marsh (our regional chain stores) were and I didn't want to spend very much time looking for either one. So, discarding my convictions and distaste, I decided to pick up a few baking staples at the evil WalMart. Just a few dry goods and I would do the rest of my shopping at BloomingFoods. What could it hurt, right? I am a drop in the salty sea to the likes of WalMart.

Let me just say that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions and that my good intentions were to spend very little money and to spend very little time in the Devil's Den of WalMart.

Let me further say that I failed at these intentions and opened the door to a Siren call of selling my soul for savings

Five minutes into my shopping, I completely understood why people flock to WalMart. Quite simply, their prices are incredibly low. I was stunned at how much less they were charging for my baking staples - high end chocolate, great butter, good flour, my favorite kind of brown sugar that you can't even get at other stores around here - you get the picture. And Quaker Oats were materially less costly than at other supermarkets. No small thing when one considers what a high volume item it is in this kitchen where many, many deservedly famous Oatmeal Jacksons are turned out regularly.

As I placed item after item (okay, several of each item after several of each item) I started to get a little giddy. Could my favorite ingredients really and truly be purchased at such a discount? I sped up and down the aisles, experiencing the pleasant surprise of one low price after another. I kept my purchases to baking supplies only, but I gotta admit that it wasn't easy. It took a whole lot of discipline to not stock up on a whole lot of other things. I figured that I really needed to remove myself from the tempting situation to objectively think about the whole shopping at WalMart concept before I committed to buying things like breakfast cereals (the prices!!) and the like.

And think about it I have. Sadly, I have to admit that I want to go back and do all my staple shopping there on a regular basis. The savings are just too good to resist.

On the other hand, how can I live with myself for shopping at WalMart? Or even worse, how will I manage to save face while I get down from my high horse?


Nan said...

To add to your guilt, Walmart is horrible to its manufacturers. They dictate prices and companies(especially the smaller ones) often have no choice but to comply, even if they don't make a profit. Otherwise, their competition takes the gig. They lose either way. Bloomington Girl, be strong. We must not support these Communists!

MKP said...

Kroger and Marsh are both right up Liberty Drive to the north, on W. 3rd Street (Kroger to the left/west just before the intersection, Marsh you will dead-end into if you continue through the intersection). It is good that Wal-Mart is on the other side of town (I drive to Indy to Costco to avoid Sam's Club myself), for you and me both. However, I would have thought that the aesthetics of the place would have sent you fleeing in another direction; they bothered even me. Try to go in the morning, and catch one of their staff pep-rallys, and you'll never go again.

BloomingtonGirl said...

Staff Pep-Rally? Just the thought of encountering one makes me shudder. That seals the deal for me. I can't thank you enough, MKP.

KAWyle said...

On the other hand, if you succumb again, you might run into me. I can only hope my decorum and suchlike will pass inspection....

Do you use the Dog House cageless boarding/day care? It's down the road from Walmart, so I wondered. We do, and we (definitely including dog) love it.

Anonymous said...

I also try to stay away from that and other bememoth-marts. Maybe you are getting a deal but it is on the backs of Chinese kids your sons age and to the benefit of the super rich.

Anonymous said...

I agree entirely.To think that people make choices and I have no control over where they go or what they do and even worse what they wear or how they look. We do need to limit the freedom of the individuals so that they will only shop at places I (and the BloomingtonGirl)find acceptable. Too much freedom is a threat to social order and worse "those people" might start shopping at my stores.

Anonymous said...

The preceding is a little harsh. However, I was sorry to see BloomingtonGirl dissing her fellow Hoosiers based on their personal style. ("Decorum" sounds more defensible, if we're talking about actually offensive conduct rather than another aspect of style.) I'm not sure how serious BloomingtonGirl is being about this -- I hope not very.

I have some similar reactions to people from time to time -- but I consider them something to be ashamed of, not proud of.

BloomingtonGirl said...

Loyal Anonymous Comment Leaver, or Not-So-Loyal Anonymous Comment Leaver,
First of all, thank you for your thoughtful comment or comments, if in fact both of the last two were yours. To clarify, BloomingtonGirl was not dissing her fellow Hoosiers, per se. She was dissing the WalMart Shoppers with poor personal style she has encountered in other states as well.
But, most importantly and most strongly, BloomingtonGirl is "dissing" herself by putting her silly snobbish views out there for all to see. Proud? Ashamed? Neither. But, am I laughing at myself? Most definitely. And, I am always inviting my Loyal Readers to join in that fun.

And in the spirit of commenting on Style, I say that Life is a Garment and I strive always to wear it lightly. I do try to, though, to confirm that said garment was not produced in a sweat shop by oppressed people.

Lightly yours,