Lately I’ve been pining over the loss of my best friend. No, he didn’t die. Worse . . . he moved to Atlanta. In the process, we both lost a soul mate, you know, without the sex or possibility of marriage. A Grace without a Will, I’ve immersed myself in retail therapy in order to recover. Only problem is, there’s nothing remotely resembling retail in my fair town. So, I tried to lose myself in the club scene, only to realize that my town doesn’t boast much of one. In fact, there’s only one place that I know of that mixes the best of both worlds: the retail therapy I needed with the kind of balling and flossing only seen in the nicest clubs. That place? Wal-Mart. Yeah, I said it, Wal-Mart.
My first encounter with Club Wally came when I first moved here nearly four years ago. A newly minted girlfriend, I’ll call her “Bootie,” (due to an obvious and prominent part of her anatomy) called me at around 10 pm on Saturday night and asked me if I wanted to go to Wal-Mart. Figuring she was taking me on a pity errand, I readily agreed and threw on my jeans, tennis shoes, and collegiate sweatshirt. When I opened the door 30 minutes later, I was greeted with what I can only describe as full hoochie regalia. Bootie was decked out in dark denim, heels, and a top that damn near showed her navel. That was in addition to perfectly coiffed hair and full face. She raked me from head to toe with a critical glance and announced, “You’re going to Wal-Mart in that?” (funny, I was thinking the exact same thing).
Ten minutes later, I had been cajoled into a somewhat nicer top and a pair of heels and was on my way. Honestly, I didn’t realize what all the fuss was about until I got there. At 11 pm on a Saturday the parking lot was packed. Caddys, spinners, and hoo-rides dominated the parking lot. And when we went inside . . . Well, I’m not that descriptive of a writer just yet. I can say, however, that men had their full club prowl on. As I watched my friend preen and flirt with a gang of dudes, her cart empty, I realized that the point of this trip wasn’t shopping at all (I know, I’m slow on the uptake). Now, I’m not a huge fan of being hit up at the club. But, I at least get a free drink out of it and know when I go that I’m going to get the full-court press from a bunch of sloppy drunk black men. However, getting ambushed by the feminine hygiene section is where I draw the line. There is nothing less sexy than a guy trying to ask for your number while your cart is trapped between the Massengil and Always pantyliners (silly me, I was actually there to shop). Somehow, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t see myself explaining to my future children that mommy met daddy while trolling for the lowest price on contact lens solution.
An hour later, she had four phone numbers and I had a headache, a Brita water pitcher, and a family sized pack of maxi pads. I also learned that this madness wasn’t limited to the local area, as the license plates in the parking lot attested to people coming from as far as an hour away to partake in the happening social scene known as Club Wally. As we headed for home, I made several mental notes to self: 1) My new friend’s boy-craziness may eventually end our association (it did) 2) My new town is really hard up for things to do (it is) and 3) never go to the Wal-Mart on a weekend. However, being the only 24 hour place in town, it has been quite difficult to adhere to that last part, particularly when when I'm bored at 1 am on a Saturday and nothing except for a browse through the cosmetic aisle and a pair of new panties will do.
When those occasions do come, I throw on a cute t-shirt and my tightest pair of jeans, slick on some lipstick, (what can I say, I’m a slave to social norms) and head out to the club.