Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wal-Mart Rage

Dear Wal-Mart,

There is a reason you have shelves and shelves and shelves of so-called "Memorial Flowers" left in your stores the Saturday before Memorial Day. There is also a reason that your downsized rack of small fake flower bouquets is as ransacked as the aisles in Hy-Vee before an Iowa blizzard. Your "Memorial Flowers" SUCK. They are so decidedly hideous that I wouldn't stoop to put them on the grave of someone I hated, let alone someone that I actually liked. To think of putting them on the grave of someone I loved? Ha! Whatever. The crosses you slap a bow on to sell look like something to use to kill a vampire. In fact, why don't you attach garlic instead of a bow and fake greenery? With the Twilight craze, I'm sure you could sell more that way. And the wreaths? I have nothing to say about them that does not involve profanity. I know here in southeast Iowa, we're a slave to your monopoly on retail, but seriously. This is ridiculous.

Not your friend,

True, I waited too long to buy my flowers. I'm aware of this. But I usually DO wait until this weekend to buy my flowers. I'm a teacher. It's the end of May. I don't have extra time to flower shop until my long weekend! I always go during Memorial Day weekend and buy some bouquets of fake flowers. I mix and match them and join them together until I'm happy with the cluster I've created. I feel good about leaving that on my loved ones' graves. Not only did Wal-Mart not have a single little bouquet (they didn't receive ANY of the small ones this year), the medium sized bouquets were completely sold out. There wasn't even a sprig of greenery in the section where they usually are. Nothing!

I thought maybe it was just Fairfield's Wal-Mart, so with a shred of hope, I drove to Ottumwa to the Super Wal-Mart. Well, it was super. The amount of crap in the Fairfield Wal-Mart's Memorial Flower section was supersized in Ottumwa. Crap. Complete and total crap. And LOTS of it. I gathered an armful of $5 ginormous sprigs of fake flowers that are not meant to ever be stuck in the ground. I thought maybe I could make something out of them... then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw... possibility. Glass vases with some unknown gooey chemical sludge in the bottom holding a cluster of fake flowers... the very kind of fake flowers I usually improvise with and create something attractive enough to put out for Memorial Day. Hm. There were plenty of them to choose from because they were awful. I can't imagine putting one of those vases anywhere in public. I don't know what a person is supposed to do with those things. Unless...

I swear I heard giggles at that moment. I could imagine Mom & Grandma looking down at me and both having that, "Oh Lord, what is she doing?" look in their eyes and smiles on their faces. Yes! I loaded my cart with these wretched vases. I had other plans for them. I stocked up on florist tape and bought a pair of wire cutters. I called Andrew to see if he was up for some demolition. When I checked out, the saleslady was trying to be all careful putting the vases into bags. I said, "Honey, don't bother. As soon as I get home, I'm smashing these things to pieces." The look on her face was priceless. Then again, when you work at Super Wal-Mart in Ottumwa, you are probably used to hearing such insanity on a daily basis.

I should also interject that I'm aware I still gave Wal-Mart my money. And not a small amount of it either. But I'm under no misconception here. Wal-Mart is going to keep getting my money because I live in Fairfield, Iowa, and my choices are limited, to say the least. But, this time, knowing that they hadn't gotten the best of me was enough.

After much satisfying glass breaking and wire snipping, and with Andrew's help, I freed those plastic flowers from their wretched cages. I began rearranging them into something suitable, maybe even a little pretty. I wasn't too unhappy with the work either. I seriously loved trashing those tacky vases. And everyone at the cemetery looks loved. Nothing is lonelier than a grave without flowers on Memorial Day. So to my Grandma Nelson, Grandpa Nelson, Great Grandma Sutherlin, Great Grandpa Sutherlin, Grandma Sutherlin, Grandpa Sutherlin, and Mom: You are missed. You are remembered. You are loved. And I hope you were all a little entertained by how it went down.

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