The Annual Camping Trip and Walmart Avoidance Day

November marked three years since we’ve shopped at Wal*Mart, Evil Empire. Sometime after My Masterpiece was born, I nursed her through a documentary called The High Cost of Low Prices, and I stopped shopping there (and at Sam*s Club) immediately. It may be a drop in the bucket, but instead we elect to spend all of My Chemical Romance’s hard-earned salary at Target instead. (By the way, I do not know if Target is any better. Probably not. But until a movie is made about it, I will continue to boycott Wal*mart and shop there instead.)

Follow me while we take a brief segue into a yearly late-February Cub Scout camping trip…

Last year it was unseasonably cold — so cold that he realized after sleeping there on a Friday night that they needed a space heater for the tent. The problem was that this camp site was in the middle of nowhere, and the only place to purchase necessary items when you’re camping in the middle of nowhere is at Wal*Mart, Evil Empire.

My Chemical Romance called me and explained the situation. It came down to this: Go into Wal*Mart, Evil Empire, and buy the space heater, or freeze to death.

Being the rational person I am, knowing my children were losing feeling in their fingers and toes while they slept outside in the elements with only a flimsy non-heated tent to protect them, I shrieked, DRIVE AWAY FROM THE WAL*MART PARKING LOT IMMEDIATELY AND I WILL FIND YOU A PLACE NEARBY TO BUY A SPACE HEATER!

This was not how I was planning to spend my weekend of freedom. Still I recognized that my integrity was on the line, so I googled and searched and made phone calls — seriously, I may have even used the Yellow Pages for god’s sake — and found a mom-and-pop store that had a space heater he could use in the tent. I called him with the directions and he went there and bought it for probably $10 more than Wal*Mart, Evil Empire, would have charged. That’s integrity!

Fast forward to this weekend. My Chemical Romance and the four older kids are camping, once again, at that same campsite in the middle of nowhere. They have everything they need. I’m attempting to enjoy my blissful freedom, which isn’t quite as blissful when your chest is tethered to a baby’s mouth, until I get the following text from My Chemical Romance:

Can u find me a place to buy glow in the dark face paint pls luv u

I stare at my phone incredulously.

And I text back: You are not ever going on this camping trip again. Because really, what’s he going to ask for next year? A dancing circus elephant that dresses in drag while singing Barbra Steisand?

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