Earlier this week Adam wrote a post about the many wonders of New Jersey. What he did not mention in that post was that the notorious Walmart is in my home town of Washington Township. I hadn’t then planned on taking a trip to New Jersey for the weekend, but when the opportunity presented itself I couldn’t turn down the chance to visit that Walmart and blog about life in the Jerz in general.
Early Saturday morning, my mother needed to make a trip to that particular store for a few items. I can remember when this particular store was constructed not long after my family moved to Washington Township. Back then it was just your regular ole superstore; now the store might just have its own zip code. Its truly a bizarre experience to come from the city, where a petite woman has issues navigating the cramped aisles of most stores, to the burbs, where one could easily drive a Ford F150 around the store and just toss crap in the back. There were no signs of the overtly racist prank that confounded store occupants last weekend. My mother and I prowled the aisles looking for the items on her list. Honestly, I was shocked that I didn’t find the other subject of Adam’s post at the store since the store dedicates huge swaths of space to the kinds of fatty foods that would help her along. It is no wonder that obesity is a problem for America when its number 1 retailer generously displays foods laden in sugar and other carbohydrates in plastic arches over freezer cases.
After fleeing the yards and yards of processed foods, my mom wanted to check the shoe store in the same complex for socks that my brother needed. Moving from one store to another in the same complex generally requires some walking, but in order to stay true to our suburban New Jersey roots, we just had to drive. Of course, this was a Walmart parking lot so it is humongous and this therefore seems less ridiculous in retrospect.
Upon returning home and unpacking, my mother and younger brother decided that 11 am is not too early for lunch and we packed up and drove to the next town’s shopping complex to get some Mexican food. I’m a fan of Mexican food. I am accustomed to to eating it. If I attempted to serve the food we got to someone who came from Mexico (or even visited a Mexican restaurant in a major city), they would forcibly submit me to Montezuma’s revenge. Moe’s Southwestern Grill (originating from Atlanta, GA, which when I last visited was in the Southeastern United States) serves Shtex-Shmex food that shows little resemblance to actual Mexican food. The food is rendered so bland by its creators that they even have to name their food something cute to make you think you are eating something unique. A burrito without any meat is an Art Vandalay. Is that because the latex made by the fictitious character that lived inside George Costanza‘s head has more flavor? I think so.
After we finished our food and visited another shoe store (I think my mother was just trying to get me to buy new shoes), we made our way back to my parents house, where we were soon joined by my one of older brothers and his six-year old daughter. My nieces are one of the only joys I get from visiting my family. Don’t get me wrong…I love my family, but watching war movies and college basketball are my ideas of torture. Anyway…my niece and I decided to get very zen by digging a hole, raking more dirt into that hole, scooping the dirt out of that hole, and dumping the dirt into a wagon. In the end, I don’t think my father should rent a rototiller after all. He can just put us to work for a few days to get the ground ready to be sodded.
I hope this brief glimpse into my life has taught you little more about the magical fairyland that is Southern New Jersey. I fear it has only taught you that I belong in the city, where the stores might be cramped, but at least the food tastes like its made out of food.