Thursday, August 4, 2016

Shopping at Walmart

In Dubuque I probably went into Walmart every 12-18 months to buy things I didn't know where else to buy, like swim goggles. Well, now that I live in a much more rural community, I'm shopping there weekly.

Sadly, Walmart has better produce than the local grocery store. Plus, they have whole wheat pastas and whole wheat bread, although they still find ways to put honey, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup in the bread. Why do we have to put sugar in everything!?

The local grocery store does sell meat (steak) in smaller packages, where as Walmart seems geared toward families and bulk food so nothing is really meant for one person at one meal. In general though the local grocery store seems to have even more processed foods than Walmart.

I don't know. Maybe I didn't go at the right time of day, or the right day of the week. I can see already that I will be spending at least one visit a month to Tulsa to buy groceries for things like wild caught salmon, quinoa, tofu, and all things Asian.

To be fair, I grew up on Walmart. Living in rural Oklahoma and rural Kansas for a total of nine years meant frequent hour drives one way to the "city" to Walmart to stock up. Certainly different than the four minute drive I had in Dubuque to Hy-Vee from my apartment.

The thing is, it feels different now. Bear with me. When I was younger, I thought, 'everyone shops at Walmart' because frankly I didn't really understand the alternative. Yes I knew about grocery stores, but in a small town they are usually a bit limited, and certainly don't have all of the extras that a big city grocery store has, like cleaning and showering supplies, or a broad range of seafood and hummus. I suppose, in high school I maybe had hummus twice, and I wasn't terribly fond of seafood or asparagus. However, as I have gotten older, the standard processed foods just doesn't excite me the way something like an organic Honduran coffee does.

What this makes me realize is, I am rich and I view the world in a way that is demanding, needy, and entitled. Oh sure, you can make excuses for me, but what I'm really saying in the paragraph above is that I am too good for bleached white bread, frozen peas, and regular coffee. When I go to Walmart after work, still wearing a button up long sleeve, I feel so out of place. But no one cares. In a way, it's really just reinforcing the stereotype that in a small community, everyone shops at Walmart, even the guys wearing button up shirts on a Tuesday. In other words, I need to shop at Walmart, if for no other reason than it keeps me from thinking too highly of myself. And like I said before, they do have good vegetables.

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