Lost in a Walmart, looking for my better half while she was looking for me.
First, it began like any normal shopping day. We filled up the gas tank, then drove to the local Super Center and I got out like I usually do, searching for an Amigos electric shopping cart for my wife. I go into the store looking around to see if there is at least one available electric riding cart for her. It is early, about 8 AM and I figure we will get started earlier since there was a good chance the crowds would come in at or around noon. And shopping early on a Texas summer day is always wise to avoid the afternoon sun and the intense heat it brings to this area of the country.
Well, I managed to find only one cart and it was broken.
I asked the official store greeter if she knew of any available Amigo shopping carts and she told me she knew of one being used by a customer who was about to check out and that I was welcome to wait for it. I did just that. The man was injured from an auto accident. His foot was in a sling and he had had 2 surgeries to his leg and foot and was still unable to walk without crutches. He said he did not mind if I waited for him to pay for his groceries and he would gladly let me have use of the cart. He was thoughtful. I saw that he had about 3 bags of groceries, and a back pack. He was actually on foot. He walked to the Walmart to shop for groceries using a backpack to hold the items and two crutches to walk with. Who knows how far he walked to get there, or how much trouble or pain he was having doing this.
When I thanked the man. My wife had walked into the store and found a bench to sit on and saw me helping that man with his groceries at the check out stand. I told her I would take only a few minutes to bring back the Amigos cart for her. As I followed the man out to the entrance lobby, he stopped to sit on the bench to unload all of his items and I carried his crutches for him. He began to talk to a familiar person who also was sitting on the bench. Apparently they knew each other.
After a brief conversation with the other man, the injured man gave me the cart and I took it to my wife to use. By now she was ready to shop. I took the regular cart she had used as a walker, to get into the store from the parking lot and I told her, "I'll meet you over in the grocery or produce area after about 20 minutes. I need to get a few things and will use the regular cart to put my items in." She went to look for things to buy and I did the same but we went in different directions. After over an hour of taking time to look for things I needed, I decided to go pay for mine ahead of time, take them all out to the car and then I walked back inside the store to get a cup of coffee at the in-store-McDonald's. I ordered the usual, a medium coffee and it came to a dollar-eight. Remember, I told my wife, I would be looking for her in about 20 minutes, right? Well, I seemed to let that slip by and 20 minutes turned into nearly one hour. Big mistake on my part.
I picked up the Sunday newspaper. I began to walk around looking for her. She seemed to be nowhere. I walked the entire store. By this time I figured we must have just crossed paths. It is literally impossible to find anyone in a Walmart when both people are moving from place to place. She could have, at any time, been in the pharmacy, housewares, grocery or any number of areas of that mega mart.
I figured, what the heck. I can't find her but I haven't even taken time to look around and see if there is something I might need and I did do some looking around. Instead of spending a half hour wandering around the store looking back and forth up and down every aisle, looking for my wife I took time to examine some merchandise. I found there were many good things to purchase this day. From Tums to socks, windshield washer fluid and trash cans. I had time to look. I figured my wife was still shopping. But actually that was my mistake.
She was looking for me and not finding me. By the time I took some items to the register to pay for things, I walked to the car to put things away then walked back inside and did a 180 all around the perimeter of the store. She was nowhere to be found. Talk about missing persons. Well the nice lady at the front of the store saw me and asked, "Did you hear your name being paged? Your wife just called you over to customer service. She just had you paged." I thanked the lady and walked to C.S. and there she was, with a fully loaded cart of groceries. She was ready to pay for everything but she said she had gone around the entire store twice, looking for me and was worried that I was lost.
The thing is, we both have cell phones, those pay as you go phones, but I forgot to use mine. It was turned off and for that matter calling in the Walmart seldom works. You only get a dropped call when you try to use it. There seem to be some dead zones inside that store.
After we made it back home, we were both exhausted.
The thing is, I did not do as I said I would do. I failed to remember to go directly to the produce area after 20 minutes. But the biggest mistake of all was that neither of us stayed in one place. If only I had just stayed put. If I had just sat on that bench and had my coffee, she would not have gone around in circles forever, looking for me. I think I need to buy two walkie-talkies. That way we can set it on a frequency and we can stay in touch the entire time. Yep. that is what I need to buy ASAP.
Image Credit » https://pixabay.com/en/retail-grocery-supermarket-store-1424043/