I Hate Wal-Mart

Anyone who cares at all about justice and people’s ability to make a living wage, knows that Wal-Mart is the third circle of hell. Just based on the way they treat their employees. They suck.

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Well I hate Wal-Mart for that of course, but for other reasons.

Before I get into that, let me say that I live in a small town and Wal-Mart is the only store within a 50 mile radius that has many of the things that I need to maintain my household. We have a small Family Dollar (I go there when I can find what I need) and a small Dollar General and Dollar Tree (I go there when possible also). But for things like detergent, dog food, underwear, cookware, etc. Wal-Mart is really the only option.

I said all that to say I’d never set foot in that store if I didn’t have to.

I never go until I have a list of several items that I can only get from there.  Otherwise, I try to make do with one of the other stores I mentioned and the grocery stores. I only go once every 2 months or so.

I dread going there.  I hate it.

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One reason is because of the layout. If I go in through the garden section, which I do whenever possible because the parking is better on that end, I enter the store next to hair care, toiletries, makeup and such. I get what I need there. Then if I need detergent, or carpet cleaner, or some other cleaning item I have to go ALLLLDAWAAAAY to the other side of the building. And it’s a huge building.

That means there is no such thing as getting in and out quickly. I have to navigate aisles and people and merchandise just to make the trek. Then I have to move back through all that stuff just to pay for the items and get back to my truck. I hate it.

Speaking of people, I don’t know if this is just the people in my area or if there is something in Wal-Mart’s air, but the people at Wal-Mart are the most annoying I’ve ever encountered. I don’t mean the employees. I can understand them being a little hateful. I mean the customers.

They block the already tight aisles with their carts or their bodies. Consistently. And I usually have to ask to be excused several times just to get them to move enough so that I can get where I need to go. They stop suddenly and NEVER look behind them to see if anyone else may have been heading in the same direction. In the parking lot, they don’t yield for pedestrians at the crosswalks.

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Once I was standing in line and a woman pushed her cart into me, left it there, and refused to apologize! I had to move to escape her cart. I hate it.

All of these things have occasionally happened at other stores, but only rarely. However, as surely as the sun rises, every time I go to Wal-Mart I already know any combination of these things will happen.

I hate Wal-mart with a fiery passion.

Welcome to my E-Hood

I just want to take a moment to thank the few people who have started following me. I really appreciate the fact that of all the things to see and do on the internet, you chose to check out my blog.  Welcome.

Based on the last few posts, it might seem like I’m perpetually raging about something. I can assure you I’m not. I am passionate about a few things. I’m passionate about issues plaguing the Black community.  I’m passionate about doing my small (read:mediocre) part to eradicate oppression everywhere.  I’m passionate about being a good wife, daughter, employee, writer,  and person. I could go on.

The point is that I really hope you won’t judge my entire existence based on a few strongly worded, angry sounding posts.

I look forward to keeping up with all that y’all are doing and I hope you stick around to see what goes on here.

Get comfy.

Am I Doing Too Much?

I was reading a conversation on For Harriet between the sites founder Kimberly Foster and author/professor Yaba Blay.  They were discussing colorism and the documentary Light Girls. It was a very interesting exchange, but one thing in particular got me to thinking. The two women briefly discussed a desire they have as dark-skinned Black women to have light-skinned Black women acknowledge their privilege in discussion around oppression.

As a light-skinned Black woman, I get that. It is very difficult to have a productive, non-damaging exchange of ideas with a privileged person that doesn’t even recognize their own privilege.

It has only been the last couple of years that I have been learning about white supremacy, patriarchy, intersectional feminism, etc. I still have a long way to go in that learning, but just those few years have given be a better understand of the way the world works against oppressed people, particularly Black people. Particularly Black women.  This new information has been instrumental in giving me the vocabulary and concepts to express things that have always troubled me.

Prior to this new understanding and vocabulary, I’d say maybe 17 years ago, I became acutely aware of colorism (although I couldn’t yet name it) and how I benefited from it. Things that used to feel like compliments then began to feel backhanded.  Being called “redbone”. Having people fawn over my perceived beauty while dismissing my similarly featured, but darker, relatives. Getting unwanted, but always complimentary, attention from men who were always anxious to mention my complexion or my hair.

Once I began to see this treatment for what it was, it soon became apparent the obviously negative experience of my darker cousins.  They were told to avoid the sun because they would get “too Black”. As soon as new growth was visible at the roots of their relaxed or hot combed hair it was derided as being nappy. The discussions overheard where Black was always used as a negative against someone.

I could go on and on.

I then looked back on my youth.  I could remember grown ass men, men my father’s age, talking about what a heartbreaker I was gonna be with my pretty (straightened) hair and my light skin.  I mean…I was just a kid.  Wasn’t calling me cute enough? Ugh.

Anyway, after noticing how I was treated compared to darker skinned women, I felt obligated to call people out on it.  I also felt obligated to ALWAYS give them extra love and praise.  Just to let them know “I see you girl, and you have value”. I even do it with strangers.  And don’t let it be a natural with hair only slightly courser than my course hair.  Shoot, I’m counteracting some of the negative the world projects on them with my sincere adoration!

I sometimes wonder if I’m overdoing it.  But I know this world has standards that tear Black women down. But I know as bad as it is for me, it is different and often worse for darker women.

Loving them like they should be loved feels like the least I can do.

But maybe I am doing too much.

Here We Go Again (Again)

I started this blog a year ago for the expressed purpose of making a commitment to write regularly.  I wrote a whole post about it. A year later and I’ve only written five posts prior to this one.

*Hangs head in shame*

What is the deal?  Why can’t I do this?  I know my life is not very interesting (read: extremely boring). But I read interesting things.  I talk to somewhat interesting people. Surely there is material there.  Surely I should be able to find something in the words I view, speak and hear that could serve as some type of prompt.

Just taking the time to write the little I’ve written for this post has helped ease the quilt of being a consummate failure at the writing life. You’d think I could at least muster the fortitude necessary to write a little something every day so as not to feel guilty AT ALL. I could avoid the Spiral of Guilt completely. But noooooo.  That has apparently been too much for me to ask of myself.

Come on, Self!  Do better!

Here’s hoping…