Saturday, August 17, 2013
Is it just me, or are Dollar General stores popping up EVERYWHERE? Honestly, it's like they build them during the night while the rest of the town is asleep. I can't count how many times I've passed by a Dollar General in recent months and thought, "When did THAT get there?" It seems like we have a DG on every street corner in Wayne County now.
Don't get me wrong- I love a good dollar store just as much as Dora the Explorer loves to explore and ask questions. Especially when said dollar store offers semi-non-cheesy greeting cards (without typos!) for 2/$1. Especially when said dollar store has a clearance section. Especially when said dollar store offers basic groceries that (A) don't bear expiration dates from before I graduated from high school (here's looking at you, Big Lots) and (B) don't look like they were hauled around in the bed of a '77 Chevy down a 100-mile stretch of dirt roads (cough cough, Ollie's). Especially when said dollar store is a Dollar General!
I'm pretty positive I inherited my love for Dollar General from my mother. She is the DG Queen!! She says she doesn't have access to "The Back" of Dollar General (you know, the warehouse area of stores where employees like to hoard all the good stuff), but seriously, she finds the best stuff in there that no one else can find. She recently showed up at my house with a cool pair of Navy flats that, I kid you not, looked JUST LIKE TOMS. My mother? Wearing Toms? Oh no, this can't be happening! I don't even own a pair of Toms yet.
"Mom, I didn't know you had a pair of Toms!" I said, pointing at her shoes.
"Eight bucks, Dollar General!" she exclaimed with a snazzy snap of her fingers. "And who's Tom?"
Another time she brought me an adorable set of owl garden ornaments. Cutest things I've ever laid eyes on. Three guesses where she got them? Dollar General, baby! For less than a #7 combo at McDonald's, of course.
So anyway, I guess it was my mother's godly influence that sent me to Dollar General earlier this week when I needed aluminum foil. It was my youngest son's 3rd birthday, and we had made big plans to grill out. I wasn't really in a hurry, so I grabbed a cart on my way in. (Can I just interrupt myself here and admit that getting a cart instead of one of those handheld baskets is a pretty big financial commitment? It just screams, "I'm here for more than just milk and bread. I'm here to find THE DEALS!")
I started browsing and adding a few things to my cart: SpongeBob hand soap for $1? Don't mind if I do. My favorite TRESemme hairspray for $3? I think I'll take two, please. Batman pj's for my boys that will probably fit a Ken doll after one washing? Why not?
I had quite a cart load of bargains by the time I finally noticed it, and boy, did it snap me out of my retail therapy reverie. The music they were playing in the store.... why was it so loud? And it sounded like two guys having a competition to see who could be more obnoxious- the one banging on drums or the other one screaming incoherent phrases into a microphone. I was annoyed, but I decided to give the DG disc jockey the benefit of the doubt. Surely this was just a bad song choice on Bob 93.3, and we would be right back to Kenny G and Adele after the heavy metal shouting match was over.
Folks, that didn't happen.
In fact, the next song started up even louder and more annoying than the first. The only way I can think to describe it is: if electric guitars and drums could give birth, that song would be the sounds they made while in labor WITH QUADRUPLETS.
My heart started racing in time with the awful beat, beads of sweat speckled my forehead. Oh no, Dollar General, this is not what I wish to be serenaded by while I shop! Don't you understand that shopping without kids is the Mommy equivalent of a Sandals vacation? Are you trying to run me out of the store without buying anything? I have a cart, for Pete's sake. I'M NOT JUST HERE FOR BREAD AND MILK!
I started searching for an employee- anyone with a yellow shirt and black pants that could turn the music off and put those guitars out of their misery. The only person I could find was a sweet-looking senior citizen working at the register, and since she had a line full of customers (mostly basket shoppers) I decided not to bother her. I resolved to get my aluminum foil and get the heck outta dodge, before a migraine set in.
As my luck would have it, I couldn't find aluminum foil ANYWHERE! But then again, being blasted with Annoying Anthems of a Head Banger didn't exactly have me in the best frame of mind. I finally located the aluminum foil (located right below a loud speaker, of course), and pushed my cart to the check-out line.
Bless her heart, sweet Granny At The Register was doing the best she could. But a customer trying to pay part debit/part cash was a just a little too much for her cashier skillz. She consulted a black binder for about forty-five hours and punched quite a few numbers into the computer until somehow -miraculously- the transaction went through. When the next customer in line presented Granny with a pastel housedress without the price tag, I was about done with DG. I was ready to abandon my cart of bargains (don't judge- you know you've done it before) and just pay $7 for foil at the BP down the road.
But something stopped me and kept me in that line of weary shoppers. I knew I wasn't leaving that store until someone heard what I had to say about their choice of music. (Plus, who was I kidding? I really really needed that hairspray.)
Finally, it was my turn. I began unloading my items onto the counter, and summoned every ounce of Southern dignity and grace in my body. I decided to be polite even though I was none too happy about being run outta there before I had a chance to check out the greeting cards. "Excuse me, ma'am," I began politely. "How do you work here with that loud music? It makes me wanna pull my hair out!"
Granny stopped scanning my items and peered at me over her bifocals. "Everybody keeps complaining about it. I guess it's a little too loud." She shrugged, then went back to scanning and bagging my purchases. Everyone behind me in line stood quietly. If it hadn't of been for the Sons of Lucifer screeching in the background, you could've heard a pin drop.
That went well.
I collected my bags and ran out of that Dollar General, determined to never return again.
Posted by Laura G. at 12:54 PM