It was frightening. It was one of the biggest things I had ever seen. I didn't know what to do or how to protect myself without being overpowered and engulfed. So I took a deep breath and decided to go for it. I was so proud of myself for being so brave. I hadn't tested my fears in a long time…but it was time. And that's why I decided the day had arrived; for I was now entering......the Wal-Mart zone.
Yes, that's right. I was a Wal-Mart virgin. And now I know why. They always say ‘Try something once.’ [Whoever ‘they’ are?] And ‘Don't knock it til you try it.’ Well....I can honestly say…once was one time too many. That was the first and only time I will ever show my face in there. Everything they say about it; all the fun they poke at the Wal-Mart people....could never begin to really show the enormity of the sideshow you actually witness. It really is like entering the Twilight Zone. I had no idea what I would encounter. I had assumed it would be like Target. A mish-mosh of lots of stuff, but clean, organized, and easy to navigate. But when I walked into Wal-Mart, I was completely overwhelmed. I had never seen so much crap piled into one store in my entire life; with so many narrow aisles, you’d have to be the size of toothpick to fit through them. Costco couldn’t hold a candle to the inventory at Wal-Mart. Costco is like a Caribbean vacation compared to that. And the amount of people inside…I felt like I was in a crowded subway in New York at rush hour. Except maybe in another universe. I walked around for close to an hour looking for what I went there for. Actually I was pushed and shoved as I attempted to walk around on my quest to find what I was looking for. Finally I found a salesperson after about 40 minutes of searching through a sea of circus freaks.
“Excuse me. Do you sell washing machines?” "¿Como?" “Do you sell washers?” "¿Qué?" "¿Habla Inglés?" “No. Lo siento.” "¿Dondé esta el washingó machinó?” “No sé.” Oh brother.** My search continued.
I believe it was 'wear your clothes ten sizes too small' day at Wal-Mart. Do they not sell sizes over a 4 there? Are there fun house mirrors in the dressing rooms so they can't tell what they actually look like? Or for that matter, are there mirrors at all? Do they not see what we see? Glamour and Weight Watchers should have had booths set up. They would have had a field day. It’s definitely a place to go to see the ‘Before’ people. Quite enjoyable for those of us who are avid people watchers.
After spending almost an hour searching for a washing machine, I finally found an English speaking salesperson who informed me that they don’t carry large appliances. Are you f**king kidding me? Although, I have to say she was quite helpful suggesting other stores where I could find them, not too far from there. It was unfortunate I didn’t know that prior to entering that sardine like claustrophobic nightmare. I’m just thankful I made it out alive. My Spanish is much improved, though.
Next stop…Best Buy. The used car salesman-like vultures swooped in on me like they hadn’t seen a customer or had a sale in a decade. Which…with the economy the way it is…maybe they hadn’t. Three of them lunged at me all at once. I’m not sure how they decided who would be lucky enough to help me, but two of them backed off while the third creepy looking guy decided to help. “Welcome to Best Buy. How may I swindle you today?”
Have you ever spontaneously gone out and bought a washing machine? I would have never believed there were so many options on something that you simply are using to get your clothes clean. I’m not buying a rocket ship here. I just wanted a f**king washing machine. I didn’t investigate the options before I went out to buy one. Big mistake. Mine went kaput after 26 years and I just wanted to replace it. I didn’t realize I needed to study up and research this prior to purchase.
1 Top load or front load? – Who gives a shit? I guess top load so I don’t break my back bending down to front load. Does it really make a difference?
2 How many wash and spin cycles? – Huh? I couldn't care less how many cycles...How about enough to get them clean?
3 Drum Capacity – Um…bongos or steel?
4 Spin speed? – Fast enough to spin out the water…that will work. Why would there even be more than one speed? I'd prefer not to have to twist and wring them out myself so as fast as it can go please.
5 Delay start? – Delay start? Why would I need to set it to start at a later time? Who’s going to be there to put the clothes in the dryer if I wait til later when I'm not home? Do you have that option, too? Someone to do the laundry for me? A personal laundress, maybe? Yes...thank you. I'll take the laundress option.
6 Balance system? – Well of course I want it balanced…I would prefer it didn’t bounce across the house into another room. Unless it plans on picking up the other dirty clothes still left all over the floor from my kids, while it’s making the rounds of the house.
7 Noise reduction? – That would be nice. I would appreciate not having to scream over the sound of my washing machine. That may be somewhat annoying.
8 Hoses included? Don't you kinda need the hoses to deliver the water into the tub to wash the clothes? Of course I want the f**king hoses. Who wouldn't? Is there such a thing as washers that don’t utilize H2O?
9 Agitator? – Uh…yes, yes I am. I won’t be once you stop asking me a million questions.
10 What color? - Do you still have that avocado green we had back in the 70’s? That was an interior designers dream. I'll take that one please.
11 Price? - Oh...that. How about 'buy one item, get the second one free?' If I buy a laundry basket, could you throw in the washer? NO? Okay then...Let's keep it cheap…under $500. I don't think I need the drum thrown in. I can just listen to my iPod.
I guess $500 is not a realistic price for a washing machine if you actually want it to wash your clothes. The salesman looked at me like I was crazy and steered me in the direction of the computer. "Well, ma'am...This is what you can get for under $500...
"I wish you the best of luck."
**Please note…I have no problem with people moving to the U.S. from other countries. My problem is…if you are living in this country, and working in this country, please speak the language of this country. That language is English.