I've decided to stop shopping at Wal-Mart. I know there may be reason to run in there once in a blue moon, and I'm okay with that, but I will not be bringing my children with me. Why? Because they are not family friendly. I have known this for years, but have only just now reached the point where I declare "Enough!"
It started about 5 years ago when #1 wanted a pregnant Barbie. Yes, they have them. She's not really Barbie, but her friend Midge. Midge is married (she has a painted on wedding band, and you can't be more married than a ring you can't take off) and this is their second child. Her husband comes with their toddler son. I was pregnant at the time and thrilled to see a family represented in toy-dom. We had seen her in her rotund glory in the toy aisles at Wally World, so that's where we went. She wasn't there. They only had a version of her with a newborn. No pregnant belly. I asked the guy stocking shelves where she had gone and he said that corporate decided to pull her. Was there something wrong with her? He didn't know, so I called the corporate headquarters of W.M. The long and the short of it is that three different managers at the corporate offices said she was pulled because she was "NOT AN APPROPRIATE ROLE MODEL FOR LITTLE GIRLS." What? She's married and expecting a child...what's wrong with that? So, anyway..strike one.
Fast forward to a few months ago in the checkout aisle. The Cosmopolitan magazine is at my 6 and 8 year olds' eye level. Which led to the charing questions of "What is an orgasm?", "What is sex?", "How can sex end up in the E.R.?" All taken, no kidding from the front of the magazine. Being the big mouthed girl you love, I asked for a manager and asked him if it couldn't be moved to a higher level and swapped with say House Beautiful which was at my eye level. He said sure. We went back several times. It was never done. My children kept seeing inappropriate things. I even wrote to corporate about it. I got thanked for my interest and blown off....strike two.
Then last week, I made a run into the dreaded superstore for cold medicine and vitamins. I don't know about your local store, but at ours the vitamins are on the same aisles as the condoms and pregnancy tests. The pg tests were up high, the condoms and Wal-Marts new line of sex toys were, you guessed it, at my children's height. More upsetting questions from the Little Kids who were with me. (I will have these talks with them some day, but 3,6, and 8 is not the time to discuss vibrating condom rings.) So we abandoned our cart, wound our way past the thong displayed on the mannequin (Mom, why doesn't her underwear have a back?)and left the store...Strike three.
Barring an unforeseen emergency (like my mother-in-law coming and only they carry her favorite whatever), we will not be returning to Wal-Mart. They may be cheap, and carry lots of stuff, but their displays have a PG-13 rating and I live in a G-rated household.
For another reason to boycott Wal-Mart, like how it's destroying small American businesses, click here.