Saturday, August 3, 2013

Adventures at Wal-Mart

Today I went grocery shopping.  Yes, at Wal-Mart.  I'm a bargain shopper and I'm also ghetto.  That is all beside the point.  The point of this post is etiquette and basic decency.

So there I was, trying to decide exactly which pork tenderloin looked like the one for me, while Mr J was staring off into space looking bored, when a woman approached me from behind and asked if she could give me a card.  I said "Sure," because usually I like helping people out with fundraising and whatnot.  Well, this was different.  She went on to say that this company helped her get off all her medications and lose 15 pounds in one month.  My husband and I both stared at her, completely flabbergasted.  I swear I almost asked her, "Do you go around grocery stores looking for fat chicks to hassle?"  Instead I gave her what I hope was my best bitch please! look, said "No thank you," and quickly turned back to the pork.

How can anyone think it is socially acceptable to approach a total stranger and more or less tell them they need to lose weight?  Granted, yes I do need to and am trying to lose weight, as documented here.  But it is still none of her damn business.  I was hopping mad (I still am!) at that woman.  I don't know how I managed to keep my big mouth shut and not just tell her off, or lecture her about etiquette.  So, instead, I'm going to make a list of dos and don'ts for you all:


  • Ever tell anyone who is not a family member or very close friend that they need to change their appearance.  And even then, tread lightly.  Phrase it out of concern for their health, not simply that you can't stand being seen in public with a fatty.
  •  Ask a woman if she is pregnant or when her due date is unless you are absolutely sure she is pregnant.  IE: she is showing you an ultrasound picture or is complaining about a foot in her ribcage.  I have recently made this mistake and have also had the question asked of me.  It sucks being on either end, trust me.
  • Stare at other people in the gym locker room.  Whether you're a fat-fatty or are totally ripped, we all feel weird changing in front of each other.  Keep your eyes to the ground.  OK, I'll admit it, I'm guilty of this one too.  What can I say?  I like to compare breast sizes.  But I'll try to stop.
  • Go to restaurants and leave a huge mess for the staff to deal with.  Or, conversely, let your offspring run around like maniacs.  It is not safe for them or anyone else.  Remember, public places are not your house so do not treat them as such.
  • Talk incessantly about your precious offspring in front of your infertile friends.  If they want to hear stories, they will ask.  Otherwise, it is just insensitive and, to be frank, cruel.


  • Compliment as many people as possible.  This is one I try to remember always.  At the grocery store, at work, at the gym, wherever I happen to be.  If I happen to see something I like, such as a cute hairstyle or a manicure, I will be sure to compliment the woman on it.  It is simple enough, makes you feel good and can possibly just make her day much better.  Everyone likes to be noticed.  (But not stared at!)
  • Tell your husband/significant other you love him every day.  It doesn't matter that he already knows, or that you've been together 40 years.  Everyone needs love and they need to hear the words.  Going along with that one, I kiss my husband every single morning before work and every night before bed.
  • Tip your waiter.  I cannot stress this one enough!  The minimum wage for wait staff is $2.13, so they literally make their living off their tips.  It used to be customary to leave 15% of the bill as a tip, but that is outdated.  20-25% is considered customary now, but I often leave 25-30%.  Sometimes, if the bill is low and the service is above and beyond, I will leave 50% or even more.  A good waiter is hard to come by these days so if you find one, reward him or her well.  (Side note to waiters: do your damn job to the best of your ability or quit.  There is no need to half-ass it anymore.)
  • Mind your Ps and Qs.  It is not so hard to say "please" and "thank you," whether you are just at home or out in public.  It will make you a more pleasant person, both in appearance and demeanor.  Also, start teaching your children their Ps and Qs from an early age, but do not criticize them for not saying them.  That will give these nice words a negative connotation.
I'm sure I could think of a million more, but these are my basic etiquette rules that I think everyone should live by.  If we did, I think society in general would be a much more pleasant place.  What rules do you have to add to the list?

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