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When Men Go to Walmart…

cartoon of age differences

Here at the beginning of September I'm thinking about some milestone birthdays in our family this month. On the 17th our firstborn will turn 30, and on the last day of the month, I will be 15 years younger than John McCain! (He's a lot younger than most people realize! You do the math….)

As I age gracefully, I'm noticing some of the subtle differences that come with each stage of life - the way you see things and do things. (Notice the cartoon on the right…) On a more personal level, when I was a 20-something, it was nothing to pull all-nighters or at least to stay up late into the night doing fun activities or doing grading and course preparations as a young teacher. Now I have a hard time staying up very late at all. Just this past Friday evening a bunch of us teachers got together for a game night. Most of us played games late into the early part of the evening! Sigh!

Today's "instant vacation" takes a look at some of the changes that aging makes in something as everyday as going to Walmart.

When men go to Walmart…

You are a man doing some kind of project around the house – mowing the lawn, putting a new fence in, painting the living room, or whatever. You are hot and sweaty, covered in dirt or paint. You have your old work clothes on. You know the outfit - shorts with a hole in them, old T-shirt with a stain from who knows what home repair, and an old pair of tennis shoes.

Right in the middle of this great home improvement project you realize you need to run to Walmart to get something to help complete the job.

Depending on your age you might do the following:

In your 20's:
Stop what you are doing. Shave, take a shower, blow dry your hair, brush and floss your teeth, and put on clean clothes. Check yourself in the mirror and flex. Splash on a lot of your favorite cologne because you never know, you just might meet some hot chick while standing in the checkout lane. And you went to school with the pretty girl running the register.

In your 30's:
Stop what you are doing, put on clean shorts and shirt. Change shoes. You married the hot chick so no worries in that department. Wash your hands and comb your hair. Check yourself in the mirror. Still got it. Add a healthy shot of your favorite cologne to cover the smell. The cute girl running the register is the kid sister of someone you went to school with.

In your 40's:
Stop what you are doing. Put a sweatshirt that is long enough to cover the hole in your shorts. Put on different shoes and a hat to cover up your messed up, unwashed hair. Wash your hands. Your bottle of Brute cologne is almost empty, so you don't want to waste any of it on a trip to Walmart. Check yourself in the mirror and do more sucking in than flexing. The spicy young thing running the register is your daughter's age.

In your 50's:
Stop what you are doing. Put on a hat, wipe the grime off your hands onto your shirt. Change shoes because you don't want to get dirt in your new sports car. Check yourself in the mirror and you swear not to wear that shirt anymore because it makes you look fat. The cutie running the register smiles when she sees you coming and you think you still have it. Then you remember the hat you have on is from Buddy's Bait Shop and says, "I Got Worms."

In your 60's:
Stop what you are doing. No need for a hat anymore – nothing to cover up. Hose the dog dirt off your shoes. The mirror was shattered when you were in your 50s and no need to replace it. You hope no one will notice the hole in you pants. The girl running the register may be cute, but you don't have your glasses on so you are not sure.

In your 70's:
Stop what you are doing. Wait to go to Walmart until they have your prescriptions ready too. Don't even notice the dog dirt on your shoes. The young thing at the register smiles at you because you remind her of her grandfather.

In your 80's:
Stop what you are doing. Start again. Then stop again. Then you remember you needed to go to Walmart. You go to Walmart, then wander around for an hour trying to think what it is you are looking for. Then you burp out loud and turn, thinking someone behind you called out your name. You realise you went to school with the old lady who greeted you at the front door an hour ago


I want to be perfectly fair, though, and remind my readers that it's not just we men who are conscious of their appearance when they go to shopping. Here's a picture of a newspaper article that proves that women think about what they're going to wear when they go to Walmart.

picture of a newspaper article

Have any of you been or seen a "fashion plate" at Walmart lately? Or how 'bout some of those conversations you can't help overhearing?


"You never realize what a good memory you have until you try to forget something." - Franklin P. Jones

=^..^= =^..^=

Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes.

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13 Comments on “When Men Go to Walmart…”

  1. #1 Sherry
    on Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:28 am

    That was so funny! 🙂 I never cease to be amazed at the vast spectrum of people one can encounter at Wal-Mart. Just last week I saw a lady dressed to the nines–obviously just “dashing in” (if that can be done at Wal-Mart!) for a quick ingredient or something for her dinner party that evening, only to be followed by someone who very much resembled the 70-year-old man described above–a grandfatherly-type older man with little regard to his appearance, but a cute smile and look on his face. (I think he was a little confused by all of the college students jaunting about, carts full of Ramen noodles, Pop-Tarts, and laundry detergent!)

    The thing that really drives me BONKERS at Wal-Mart is the lack of sufficient check-out help. It is extremely rare that I can “run” into Wal-Mart for something and be back out in a few moments. I generally am stuck in line–sometimes for up to 30 minutes or more! I try to stand with patience and peruse a magazine or something, but I can’t help but think how wrong it is that a mega-multi-million-dollar corporation like Wal-Mart can’t afford more cashiers. It struck me last week that it’s perhaps part of an evil plot to get even with us for the “always low prices…” that we enjoy. Perhaps the Wal-Mart Big Wigs figure they have saved us money and “convenienced” us by making every Wal-Mart “Super,” so we should be willing to stand in line for these blessings of low prices and all-in-one shopping pleasure. However–I have often been persuaded to pay a few cents more and shop where the aisles are clean, the products are fresh, the shelves fully stocked, and the help MORE than helpful and polite at Publix–“Where Shopping’s a Pleasure!” 🙂 If I can’t get it at Aldi for cheaper than BOTH places, I’d much rather go to Publix, when the bank account allows. 🙂 Too bad Wal-Mart can’t offer us affordable prices and a totally all-around pleasant shopping experience! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the funny–and often true!–thoughts! 🙂

  2. #2 Janet
    on Sep 2nd, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    So true, Sherry. I shudder when I have to go to Wal-Mart, but sometimes it seems as inevitable as death and taxes. And just as our perception of Wal-Mart changes with our age, its clientele changes with the time of day. Wally World is a very different place at 2 in the morning than it is at 9 on Saturday morning. Oh dear, I’m shuddering again, but in a different way!

    As for aging, I appreciate sunrises now more than ever. The pictures my daughter takes are amazing! I could look at them for hours after I get up!

  3. #3 Michael
    on Sep 2nd, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    My wife and I prefer Target to Wal-Mart. It is interesting to note the people who go into places like those and what they’re wearing. I think the thing about my appearance that I’m most concerned about is my hair, which if it’s messed up, I put on a hat to provide coverage. I have yet to acquire one that says “I Have Worms” however.

    I can stay up fairly late, but I really do feel bad in the morning. I’m glad I don’t have cable TV at home or else I would probably stay up late watching sporting events. Also, the Wellness Challenge at BJU motivates my wife and me to get a proper amount of sleep each night.

    And, I love the quote about our memory. I believe it’s part of the curse that we can so easily remember the wrong and pointless things in life.

  4. #4 Shauna
    on Sep 2nd, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    I have not laughed that hard in I don’t know how long. This is my first time here…I’ll be back!

  5. #5 Rob
    on Sep 3rd, 2008 at 6:49 am

    Sherry and Janet, I laughed as I read your comments. I could see shoppers like you described. Actually, my wife and I have stopped at Walmart on the way to or from a wedding and looked WAY overdressed! And I share your frustration at the time lag in the checkout lanes. I try to go to the self-checkout, but even that is often crowded. I’ve found that early on Saturday mornings is a great time to shop almost anywhere.

    Michael, we also like Target, but not all the products available are the same, and going to Target is a longer haul from our house. We go there if we’re already in the neighborhood or need specific items they carry or that we know are one sale.

    Shauna, I’m glad you’ve found my blog. I hope you will return for many more laughs. My ivman.com site has five and a half years’ worth of humor – both text and images. Be sure to explore all the tabs at the top and the links in the sidebar to other parts of my site.

  6. #6 Tammy
    on Sep 3rd, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Just think no matter what, after this election many of us will be older than the president or vice -president! I can remember when the president seemed so old!

  7. #7 Carrie
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Yesterday I was waiting at customer service (WM) behind a guy that didn’t quite fit the categories. He was 20ish, but had obviously come straight from his lawn-care job. His (very hairy) legs were GREEN and bits of straw and grass clippings were dangling from the foliage. Yikes! It was much funnier since I had just read your blog. Thanks for the laughs!

  8. #8 Jami
    on Sep 15th, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    laughed hysterically over this one! thanks for sharing Rob!

  9. #9 Rob
    on Sep 16th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    @Jami – it’s so funny because it’s so true! The best humor is based in truth! Glad you enjoyed it and told me so. Thanks!

  10. #10 Wendy
    on Mar 31st, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    I’m a little late on reading this one, Rob, but it I must add that it was not a good idea to read this at work as it was all I could do to keep the hysterical laughter in. This was hilarious and some good medicine for me! I am slowly discovering your website. Thanks for doing all you do with it!

  11. #11 Rob
    on Mar 31st, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    @Wendy – Glad you enjoyed it. Many of my posts probably need a warning not to read them unless you are somewhere where you can laugh freely. 😀

  12. #12 Janiece
    on Aug 19th, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Hi! My dad HATES Walmart because it does take so long to get in and out of there. So if I want someone to go to Walmart late at night I have to take my brother.

  13. #13 Rob
    on Aug 20th, 2009 at 6:49 am

    @Janiece – I’m trying to imagine your dad at Walmart…. 🙂 I’m glad you don’t do a late night run to Walmart alone!