You know, in a strange way, going to Super Wal-mart is like having a baby.  I know, I know…that sounds weird, but that’s how my brain works.  Hear me out, and you might just see how the two are alike.

1. There is pain involved.  Obviously, in childbirth, there is pain, unless you are one of those women who can just pop ‘em out in 20 minutes flat without breaking a sweat.  (The rest of us resent you.  I thought I should be honest and let you know.)  There’s pain at Wal-mart, too.  It really, really hurts for that lady’s three year old to crash into your Achilles tendon with the shopping cart.  If you haven’t experienced it, you don’t know….it hurts bad enough to draw anger from the very depth of your soul.

2. There is yelling involved.  In childbirth, typically, at some point, the mama yells a little.  I was very self conscious about that and tried not to, but I’m sure it happened.  We all do it because it hurts like a beast.  At Wal-mart, the yelling is different.  It is employees yelling over the loud speaker, “Clean up on aisle 2,”  or, “We need a manager to the back loading dock.”  This raises two questions in my mind.  First, why must they yell?  Isn’t that the point of  a loud speaker, so they don’t have to speak loudly?  Second, in the day and age of iPads, iPods, Skyppe and ooVoo, isn’t there an app for that?  Seriously.  Why can’t they find a more discreet way to communicate?

3. There are people in their pajamas.  In the hospital, you are bound to see people in their pajamas.  Unfortunately, the same can be said of Wal-mart.  If you don’t believe me, check out that website where their photos are posted.

4. You will hear foreign languages.  In the hospital, you may not actually hear a foreign language.  It will just sound foreign as doctors and nurses speak their lingo.  I’m pretty sure they do this so the patients will have no clue what’s going on.  In Wal-mart, you will hear actual foreign languages.  What languages?  Well, it depends on where you live, but I know you will hear them.  This leads me to a question I have wondered for a while now…why is it that foreign languages sound louder than English?  It’s an age-old mystery.

5. The price will be big.  In the hospital, you will be racking up dollars as you sit in the bed.  Cup of ice?  $10.50.  Box of Kleenex?  $37.25.  A fresh pillow?  Oh, that’s gonna cost you.  In Wal-mart, though you will think the prices are a bargain, you’ll be shocked at the register.  Those little $1 and $2 items will add up faster than you ever knew possible.  Your “few things” will add up to $107.47 at the register, and you will spend the next three hours wondering how you spent that much.

6. You forget how bad it really is.  In childbirth, we all swear we’ll never have another baby.  Then, a few months or a few years later, you find yourself looking at sweet babies, thinking, “I want one!’  The memory fades.  Otherwise, all babies would be only children.  At Wal-mart, the memory fades, too.  While you are there with the foreign languages being yelled around you and the person screaming into the loud speaker, you swear to yourself (after possibly swearing) that you will never come here again.  Then, a few weeks later, you find yourself looking at toilet paper and knowing you have to have more.  You could go to a more expensive store and pay a premium price, but that would be like wiping your butt with money.  So, you think, “It wasn’t so bad,” and you load up the kids to do it all over again.  If you truly remembered how bad it was, you would pay any price to avoid the pain.   -Al