It's Saturday and that can only mean one thing: Time for us to "rollback" to the big box on the highway. It was chaotic last Saturday morning and I was determined not to endure a repeat performance; I was going early.
The parking lot was impressively empty when we pulled in at 8:30am, a good two hours earlier than our normal arrival time. I use the word "empty" loosely...that just means we had our choice of parking places near the store instead of having to hike across the lot or luck into a close spot when someone pulled out ahead of us. Yes, this going early thing was going to pay off.
Armed with a longer-than-usual list for the holiday meal ahead, we breezed through the store. There were people shopping, for sure, but you could actually get down the aisles, a foreign concept last week. People seemed focused on getting what they needed instead of standing in front of the shelves with a glassy-eyed stare. Saturdays in Walmart will do that to you...but not this Saturday, at least not at this hour. Losing a little sleep and skipping some of the normal morning routine was a small price to pay for these wide-open aisles. I was patting myself on the back at that point. Even emply spaces on the shelves where items I needed used to be wasn't enough to dampen my glee.
With the buggy filled we headed for the check-out stands. Then we waited....and waited....and waited some more. There were only four cashiers working the non-express lanes on the grocery end, and while we could have walked on down to the non-grocery end, there weren't many more there. And every cashier at both ends had a long line. You can imagine how fast they moved since everyone was buying groceries for Thanksgiving dinner. I figure we waited ten minutes or more, and it would have been longer if more people hadn't come to open up additional registers.
I had a good plan and it was working to a "T" right up until the end. Who would have dreamed Walmart would have a skeleton crew to take money at 9am on the Saturday before Thanksgiving? Certainly not me. While I would have rather my smooth-sailing shopping trip had continued right to the end, the important thing is that it's done. Well...for the moment anyway. No doubt I've forgotten this or will run out of that before the meal's on the table. There's sure to be at least one last-minute run to the store before we sit down to eat on Thursday. Maybe there will be more cashiers on duty then.