1. Don’t. Seriously, if you aren’t already physically in the store, do yourself a favor and shop elsewhere because, damn. I know it’s hard to resist sometimes because what they lack in pleasant shopping experience, they make up for in low prices — but try to stay strong.
2. If you insist on going, you can do so during the daytime. You’ll experience clogged aisles, long lines and someone staring at the same product you need for 20 minutes while you wait, angry and patiently behind them.
3. If you insist on going, you can also do so during the nighttime. It’ll be less busy (still busy) which is a plus — however, when the night falls the… unique customers tend to roam the aisles. Let’s be honest, you’re liable to see some strange sh-t every time you set foot in Wal-Mart, it’s just that a few more oddballs make cameos in the late night version.
4. Check your shopping cart and make sure it’s fully functional. Faulty wheels are the Youtube ads of stores. Basically just an annoyance that slows down the process.
5. Can’t find an item? Locate an employee to assist you. You’ve seen the commercials and they all seem so pleasant!
6. Realize that customer service is far closer to death than chivalry after a disgruntled employee snarls at you for requesting help. It’s the complete opposite of those upbeat commercials.
7. Buy any and all necessities. Toothpaste, lotion, soap, shampoo, makeup, etc. While Wal-Mart customers aren’t known for good hygiene, body maintenance products are cheaper there than at a grocery store.
8. Dig aggressively through the bin of $5 DVDs. Gon’ head, really get in there, don’t be bashful. Spoiler Alert: Most of these movies are terrible, but somehow What Happens In Vegas will find its way into your basket. Second Spoiler Alert: Ashton and Cameron Diaz’s characters end up together.
9. Dodge someone’s unwatched child who is dashing through aisles like a maniac, screaming and knocking things off of shelves. Glare at their parents who are frighteningly content with their child’s Tasmanian Devil-ish behavior.
10. See an $8 pair of sweatpants. Buy an $8 pair of sweatpants.
11. Avoid eye contact with the strange looking dude who’s staring at you, obviously wanting to engage in some type of interaction. Look away, look away, look away. Just pretend to read the back of this ballpoint pen packaging and maybe, just maybe he’ll leave… Yes, he’s gone to bother somebody else. Also these pens sound pretty legit based on the description. You’ll take ‘em!
12. See a high but well priced item. Begin an internal debate as you try weighing the pros and cons of buying, or not buying this item. There’ll be a splurging devil on one side telling you to just do it, and a budgeting expert angel on the other, suggesting you shop wisely.
13. Now have a full-blown, audible discussion amongst the devil, angel and yourself, still trying to figure out if you should make this purchase. Don’t worry though, you talking to yourself and looking completely insane fits right in with the other Wal-Mart crazies.
14. Buy more of the stuff that you bought last time you went to Wal-Mart, but lost shortly thereafter. Socks, Tupperware, etc.
15. It’s time to checkout so find the least busy line. Hmm — wait a second, there’s only one line open. That’s right, despite having 20+ registers, you don’t have multiple options. Take your place as 17th in line and play Words With Friends on you’re phone until you’re up.
16. Look up and grab from the shelves of persuasion that surround every store’s checkout lines. They’re full of candy, lip balms, gum, snacks, beverages and a number of other things to ruin diets and bank accounts alike. Then get rid of that ‘Q’ by spelling ‘QI’. Nobody knows what it means but everybody plays it.
17. Blink. Look up and see a grand total that is entirely unexpected. It’s high – much higher than you had hoped for. How did this even happen? Blame that persuasive shoulder devil, he did this to you.
18. Walk to the exit. Wait, no — go back, you left a bag on the stupid rotating mechanism. Close call, that was the bag with your new sweatpants in it.
19. As you unload bags, notice that you forgot the only item you originally went in to buy. Mutter variations of explicit, four-letter words. Shh, shh, shh – let it out, mama knows.
20. As you leave the parking lot, vow never to shop at Wal-Mart again. It’s a madhouse, the customer service is often lacking and you spend entirely too much there. Yeah, you’re never going back.
CUT TO: A OF COUPLE MONTHS LATER
You’ve got mismatched Tupperware, two pairs of socks and a tight budget…