You know you live in rural America when . . .
A. It takes 3 hours to get to any real city
B. You think the high school (1) homecoming game is a a really important night
C. The opening of a Super Walmart is the most exciting event of the last year
Don't get me wrong, I don't even live in a really isolated area and we do have a population over 50,000 people. We are, however, stuck halfway in the middle of nowhere and are just now getting what passes in rural Arizona for a mall! What is even funnier is that people travel from all over the Southwest to enjoy our lake and most of the locals think there is nothing to do (ask any high school student or young adult).
What we have, as of March 2008, is an outdoor mall, which has supposedly been in the works for at least 15 of the 24 years I've lived here. I'll admit the Dillard's is a nice addition and the JC Penney's is much more upscale than our old store, but the anchor that really matters is the Super Walmart. I mean one just like the big kids have in Phoenix and Las Vegas with a grocery store and everything.
Today I took the plunge and headed the ten miles out of town on my pilgrimage to the Super Walmart. Before I could leave I had to take stock of myself in the mirror. Hair not too greasy once a little hair spray poofs it up. Chipped toenail polish removed. Acceptable top and clean shorts. Makeup in place and earrings matching. Check,check, check. Why, you ask, do I care? Because every living soul in my town will be there to check out the new store and if I don't look decent someone will hear about it. This is the event of the year remember.
So I get there and the Great Provider of Everyday Low Pricing is enormous. It has a nail spa and hair salon right in the same building (I know, we are pathetic here). I grabbed my cart and list and began rolling up and down the aisles (the cart was rolling, not me - just for clarification - although it did occur to me that this might make a good air conditioned track for walking off some of the extra lard I've accumulated).
It is wonderful, there are so many choices,and I CAN'T FIND ANYTHING!!!!! In the old store I knew where everything was. I could breeze in for 10 minutes, grab what I needed and duck out without missing a beat. And the worst part is - when I finally find the yarn department tucked away in the back, they didn't think to supersize it along with the rest of the massive inventory. Obviously there are no knitters in that purchasing department.
After consoling myself with the idea of an online yarn order, I accumulated the rest of my items and headed for the check out. After checking out and packing the car came the really geeky and sad part. I find myself sitting in the parking lot trying to figure out whether the savings I received would balance out with the gas required to go out there. At almost $4 per round trip, did I save enough on the diet soda to make it worthwhile? Can I justify two trips a month on my reduced budget and still have enough money for the previously mentioned online yarn order (you understand that logic, right?)
Home again in the 118 degree heat, I sat down with 3 glasses of water to relax from my exciting afternoon. Now if we would just get a Barnes and Noble, life would be sweet.