NOTHING NEW: Pain and suffering in Wal-Mart

“Can we make it? I wanna leave fast . . . Okay, let’s pay this bill, get up very slowly. . . I think it’s gonna be a long walk.”  – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

At the risk of being branded as a tease, I’m putting off the worm composting blog just a little while longer. The idea I’m proposing here will not work for men (unless you’re truly out-of-the-box, guys), but the ladies might find it helpful.

I had to go into Wal-Mart last week for pet food. I had covered a long, night City Council meeting and it was the only place open at 10:30 p.m. that had what I needed.

For someone who has sworn off buying new consumer goods, Wal-Mart is the epitome of temptation — lots of cheap stuff that we somehow can’t possibly live another day without.

A very small choice I had made much earlier in the day helped me get through the store without breaking The Compact.

For some reason, I had chosen the most uncomfortable high-heel shoes I own to wear to work that day. Well, OK, not THE most uncomfortable, but the other ones I would never wear to work – let alone in public – and only on very special occasions. And even then they’re not worn for very long.

The shoes I intended to tackle Wal-Mart in are $40 Sears knockoffs of a Naturalizer shoe that runs about $160 but which I’m sure are much more comfortable.

I barely made it to the pet aisle when the pain became unbearable. Even the thought of a new $30 jar of miracle face cream with grapeseed extract or a cute new outfit for my precious son did not dissuade me from heading immediately to the checkout with only the needed pet food.

I didn’t even acknowledge the “As Seen On TV” section with all those gadgets designed to solve all our organizational and household problems.

Not even the rapidly falling prices on the end caps tempted me to ve ture right or left from the main aisle heading to the large, red EXIT sign.

Using mild, consensual masochism, or should I say, punishment in advance, to stop myself from shopping might be a little extreme, but it worked.

I will keep those pumps in the minivan to wear every time I need to go into a store for only an essential item.

So if, possibly in August, you see me around town in shorts, a T-shirt and black high heels with a scowl on my face, you’ll know why.

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