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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
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Monday
Nov262012

We, The People of Walmart

Driving to Walmart the other day I was bumping to this song from this white rapper dude, Macklemore, who I have a mad crush on and have been meaning to tell you about.

For the first time in months I was alone. Both kids home napping. So mama was getting down, yo. As much as a rhythmless mama can get down, anyway. Head bobbing, arms awkwardly raised to the beat, intense overbite, the whole thing.

At one point I passed a guy on the freeway and noted that during the four seconds he had a visual on me he had amusedly clocked me doing my thing. That's when I kind of floated above my body and assessed the situation from a third party perspective. Tired, bloated, slightly overweight woman headed to Walmart for groceries, a woman who obviously hasn't washed her hair in at least a week, no make-up, gym clothes on even though she hasn't been to the gym in longer than she hasn't washed her hair... I giggled in barely contained embarrassment as she/I lip synced every word to the song (singing out loud sometimes ruins it for her because her singing is that bad) bopped her head to the beat, intensifying her white man's overbite until she appeared to be grimacing in pain.

And even though I was kind of embarrassed for myself as myself watched myself, I also felt really fucking good, you know? For the first time in a while I felt good just being me. Instead of mentally ticking off all the stuff that bugs me about me: consistently tired, crap hair, baby weight still clinging, always wearing sweats because my clothes don't fit right anymore after two human beings got jiggy with my birth canal... I was just grooving my ass off in a way I might've done when 22, sardined into a car with a dozen of my best girlfriends and headed to a club.

The feeling continued as I strutted into Walmart, unwashed hair flapping lankly in the torrent of air swirling at every store entrance. Instead of being annoyed and/or awed by the usual "People of Walmart" I mentally clasped them to my sports bra encased matronly bosom and thanked them for allowing me to be me.

You are my people, now, People of Walmart! We're all in this together. I will no longer snicker at your bared midriff in November, will no longer point out six inches of your exposed ass crack to my husband or marvel at the tattoo of Dog The Bounty Hunter that takes up the whole of your back because I am you and you are me and we are one together.

We, the People of Walmart, care not for sleekly styled hair or expertly applied make-up. Asses showcased in designer jeans are the asses that stands out 'round these parts and not our handfuls of stretch-marked flesh spilling forth over our L.E.I. stretchy jeans because we are the People of Walmart. We don't shame you or make you feel un-stylish. Nay! On the contrary - we celebrate the style-less masses! We welcome you regardless of attire!

No shirts? No shoes? No underwear? NO PROBLEM!

A mighty tip 'o' the cap to my fellow Walmartians today. Catch y'all next week when my cart full of diapers and cat food collides with your motorized scooter filled with an unholy amount of Hot Pockets in a variety of flavors. We shall laugh together and discuss the beauty that is the Hot Pocket and then you shall continue on your way to the Snuggies and I shall go read Us Magazine at the check-out stand, cover to cover, so I don't have to buy it.

Reader Comments (20)

Life, parenthood, these are humbling experiences, aren't they? Just please tell me you won't take Violet there in a sundress and sandals when it is 25 degrees out, which I've witnessed at our local Walmart.

November 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeri

I would NEVER take Violet to Walmart in a sundress and sandals in the winter!

She's usually in a t-shirt and slippers.

November 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

hahahahahahaha........I can't STOP laughing. I enjoyed this post immensely. "Severe overbite" link killed me. Yo, funny stuff. Glad you can laugh at yourself and are becoming more comfortable being you. You are great!

November 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterniobe19

I meant "intense overbite" I was going to proof the post but it went straight to posting. Which I LIKE a lot better then having to punch in the code word, etc. but I would have proofed before hitting the comment button. I can't even go to our Walmart. It is a cesspool or purse snatching, change borrowing, lurkers. Our town is so bad, some degenerate actually robbed my daughter's grave and stole the gate that we had erected around her grave. So with all that insanity going on IT IS NICE TO CHECK IN FOR SOME DIVERSION. Thanks for introducing me to Maclemore by the way!

November 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterniobe19

Whew! that's a relief. slippers and a t shirt should work :)

November 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeri

I laughed my ass off the whole way through this. I even read it twice to make sure I didn't miss any of it. Thanks for making my 2 o'clock work hour somewhat bearable.

November 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSherry

I've figured out that if I wear a puffy winter coat and keep it zipped the entire time I'm in Wal-Mart, I don't have to wear a bra!

This is the Haiku I composed while standing in line there one day:

Wally World you tramp
Your cheapness has a death grip
On my thin wallet

I was so proud of myself I recited it to the young man cashier who replied, "Yeah! The Waltons are my pimps!"

I said, "And YOU are their bitch!"

We broke up laughing only to look over and see his supervisor within earshot sternly staring at us. Har!

November 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline

cracked me up! you know, I secretly refer to Walmart as "Walfart", short for "we all fart", and isn't that what it's all about? Gettin' along? PS. Overbites are funny but i think underbites are really scary.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGina

You are bitchin' and awesome.

That is all.

'Cept where it's not, and I have to add that I loved everything about this post and, also, no need to feel embarrassed about rocking out, espesh when it makes you feel good about being you. Yay!

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPretzel Thief

Here in Brooklandia, looking like you don't care and didn't make an effort is also key. You just have to make sure you also look impossibly hip as well. As my mumsy look grows ever frumpier, the parents at the playground seem to only get more casually cool. And as much as I want to do the Brooklyn thing and shop local, no-one at Target has ever looked pityingly on me because my look is more Mom At Walmart than Michelle Williams in Williamsburg.
I feel like I used to be naturally cool, in the insouciance of my youth, But now, I just want to be clean, dry and warm. And even clean isn't always that crucial.
Yeah, its time to get out of the city and get my country bumpkin on! Your blog has been my get-out-of-this-crazy-city inspiration. Big old farmhouse vs tiny apartment? Cows vrs cars? And when was the last time someone in your neighborhood was mugged for their iphone?

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEsmeandme

Overbite! With the chicken neck thrust! Guilty.

PS Jacqueline should submit her haiku to the New Yorker. She is a true poet.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra

You are so hilarious! Thanks for that.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLK

Funny, funny post; but please stay OUT of Walmart. There has to be a better way. Here in NYC we are being invaded by icky, icky 711 stores. And people are shopping in them! Why bother being in NYC if you are going to immerse yourself in 711 lifesyle/supersized fake slurpies (which I see people carrying out of the store next to my gym). There are other options. Seriously, I know about budgeting, but I refuse to support Walmart or 711. .

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEileen

This is one of my most favorite posts I've read here. Sometimes it's so liberating to let go of all the self-judgment and pent up rage that marriage and motherhood heaps on us and just be. And if being means being cool with Wal-Mart, then so be it. My favorite WalMarts are the ones with the snack bars. That's where the action is.

November 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeatherC

This post made me happy. I hope you can feel like this more often Monica. A beautiful, smart woman in her prime with a wonderful husband and two adorable, healthy children. I too get depressed and let my own issues override my own happiness, so I know it's easier said than done... But do whatever you can, take antidepressant for a while, go to therapy with Serge, watch kinky stuff together to get you in the mood, get some needed time apart and have fun and be happy. I'd love to see that happen for you guys. Life is too short and we often don't know what we have until it's gone. You have all the ingredients for a wonderful life. This is probably the most trite message you've ever received, but it's hard not to get abstractly fond of someone in their blog which I've been reading for years now. You can do it Monica.

November 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRose

longtime reader and just wanted to say, I love that you love Macklemore! As a Seattleite, I can tell you he is as awesome in person and as a person as his music.

November 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan

Oh my! but you are a funny mothertrucker Monica!...Laughed my ass off and then like so and so above, read it again to hit every jiggy of it!

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermama

LOVE this! I have been trying to ashamedly hide my membership in the People of WalMart, but shall now embrace it wholeheartedly. We must band together. :)

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobbie

Um..."slightly overweight?" "No makeup?" WHATEVER! You look great!

November 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteramanda jones

And with this post, I brought in the new year. Thanks for your stories and allowing us to be along for the ride. I have high hopes for 2013. It will be a kind year. It will.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShannon b

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