My life in pictures, stories and open letters.

My life in pictures, stories and open letters.
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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Walmart Story in true Woolco style.


Remember this little girl?



This sweet, sweet little orphan Annie was just about lost forever. Get comfy and I'll tell you the tale.

I was all of 3 or 4 in this picture. After it was taken I went with my older brother, Buddy, who was about 5 or 6, to his friend's place, and I was going to play with this friend's sister.


Let's remember that this was back in "the day" when little kids didn't need seat belts, let alone a car seat until they are 12. There were no bicycle helmets. There were children roaming the neighbourhood on bikes and roller skates from sun up until the street lights went on, which was the cue to get your butt home. We explored. We got (gasp) exercise.


I'm rambling. I'm setting the scene so that you won't judge my mother, who judges herself enough for everyone.


These two little kids walked over 10 blocks to this friend's house. When Buddy was finished playing and was ready to go home, I told him that I didn't want to go yet. I was having far too much fun, and yes, I knew my way home, thank you very much. I was just little, and new to the neighbourhood. What did I know?


Well, definitely NOT my way home, I'll tell ya' that!


When I was ready to go, Joanne's mother said to me, "Are you sure you know how to get home?"


"Yup."


I'm three. I didn't even know my last name for crying out loud! How was I supposed to find my way home??


Yes. You know this is coming.


I got lost.


The only thing I got right was the part between the door of their house and the side walk. The rest was inside out, upside down and backwards.


I wandered down the busiest street in our area (which my mother will have me point out is interstate-busy, and that there was not even a sidewalk, but a grassy boulevard). Crying. Sobbing. Uncontrollably.


Many cars kept driving. Losers.


One car finally stopped.


"Are you lost?"


"No." (Seriously, that's what I said to them.)


"Are you sure?"


Sniffle. Gulp. Nod.


"What's your name?"


"Rhonda"


"Rhonda who?"


Silence. (I didn't have a freaking clue!)


"Where do you live?"


Silence. (Again. Nothing.)


"What's your phone number?"


Strike three. I'm lost.


Well, let me tell you. Those delightful strangers gathered up this cute little girl with the really bad hair and snuggled her on the lady's lap in the front seat. They dried her tears and gave her hugs and told her it would be okay.


Then they dropped her off at Walmart.


Yes, folks. Walmart. (Or for my fellow Canadians, back when Walmart was still Woolco!)


Do you care to venture a guess as to what was brewing on the home front while I was being rescued?


My family was searching for me. They were riding their bikes up and down the block. They were calling my name. They were cussing out my poor brother, who at five, should have had the good sense not to leave me alone. This went on for a while.


Finally, close to the Amber Alert phase of the search, my mother thought of the one last resort.


Walmart.


Yes my friends. No only do the kind strangers think of Walmart as a great option for a lost little girl, but apparently my mother does also.


They flew into Walmart, these frantic parents, who should have felt a little weird about looking in Walmart for their lost child. But then again, Walmart advertises having everything you could possibly need, so, really, why not a cute little girl with bad hair. (Perhaps those kind strangers should have dropped me off at a salon?)


There, close to the doors, sitting at one of the check out counters was I. Eating licorice.


And that, folks, is one of the events that helped shape me. (Serious pun going on there!) When all else fails. Eat.


It also helps me to understand why even now, when I'm feeling sad and a little lost, I end up at Walmart.

18 comments:

Ronda's Rants said...

I really don't understand why they would have dropped you off at Walmart...But, I guess since they were kind and your Mom knew how to find you...it was the absolute right thing to do!
I think you look really cute BTW!

wy-not said...

Oh my God, you've managed to make me laugh about that worst most dreadful day in my life...I think it helped shape us all. You know how my hair is falling out in front and I'm developing male pattern baldness – yeah, well, it all started on that dreadful WalMart day!

InfertileMadWoman said...

First off, I LOVE that pic of you!!!

Second, I ALWAYS end up buying licorice at Walmart when I am really sad.... how freaking creepy is that??????

Hugs to you and your Mom!!

Rebel

Betty said...

LOL! Really, I am laughing out loud and that rarely happens when I read something. You looked adorable and I can just imagine what your mom must have gone through looking for you. But Woolco?? You must have been some serious customers back then...
Tell us more of such stories! I love them!

jill jill bo bill said...

Freakin' HILarious! And I went giggling about Porky Silouette. So by the time I am done reading, I am on the floor. You are too funny! Why do you have to live so far away?! Damn y'all canadians and your bacon that just makes me fatter!

angie said...

Totally crazy that a couple picked you up and instead of taking you to the police took you to Walmart.....even crazier that a mom trusted a 3 year old to walk home. 3? I'm astounded. And nearly speechless.

I can see why this experience shaped you. :)

3D said...

"Let's remember that this was back in "the day" when little kids didn't need seat belts, let alone a car seat until they are 12. There were no bicycle helmets. There were children roaming the neighbourhood on bikes and roller skates from sun up until the street lights went on, which was the cue to get your butt home. We explored. We got (gasp) exercise."

this is what we like to call the good ole days...

Blog Stalker said...

WOW! I am glad this turned out so good. One of the funniest and well written blogs I've read today. I needed a good laugh, let me tell you. I could totally visualize the whole thing. Its true we were free to roam the neighborhood all day. noone looked for us and we managed. I definitely ndont have that going on at my house today.

Thanks for the smile.

Heather said...

Did your mom call the lady that let you try to walk home by yourself? OH MY STARS...

I love my mom, but we lived in a trailer park on the bayou and she would let me go down to the river and throw rocks at the alligators. By myself. At age two.

DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM said...

There is so much wrong with this story! LOL My mom was very over-protective even way back in the day. I didn't get to wander too far off. I can't believe they took you to Woolco, AND that your mother thought to look there! Too dang funny. By the way, I'm from FL and we had Woolco's, too!

Rhonda said...

Hmmm. I always thought Woolco was a Canadian company. I remember everyone here just going batty when they got to go to the states and shop and Walmart! lol To me, they're basically the same.

I can get pillows, winter boots, pictures, tampons toys and new tires all in one store. Hello.... Can you say convenience? lol

I grew up very free. Which was both a blessing and a curse, and when my mother reads my little comment here she may either go weepy or freak on me or shrug her shoulders and say, "Yeah, your point..?"

Betty: More stories to come. I did a lot of really stupid things.

Heather: Oh. My. Stars. Right back atcha! Gators? You're kidding right?

Blogstalker: Thank you so much for your kind comment!

Everyone else: I'm happy to supply you with some laughter. lol Even my mom laughed about it for the first time today. It only took her 32 years.

amelia bedelia said...

wow, great story! i'm thinkin' you are making this up the whole time im reading. walmart? that's funny! glad you made it home, annie!

Shan said...

I love that picture of you, melts my icy heart.

Mamahut said...

OH my gosh, could you be any cuter? The street lights were our cues also. We used to try to break them so we could stay out longer...duh? Walmart? You should get some kind of free stuff from them...you could be their poster child lol.

Krazy Armstrong K's! said...

awww, what a heck of a story... but shopping even at WM can make a day better right? oh yea and of course eating! lol

Melissa said...

What a story!!!! Eating and shopping always make bad days better!!

American in Norway said...

omg...i am having flash backs...same outfit... (I had the Dorthy Hamile haircut...) Lost in the hills of California.... My those were the days...

Tulsi said...

This is so funny. Is that naturally curly hair?? Mine is but not that curly. Walmart is kind of a funny place. But if everyone thought of that, it worked out! I'm telling my kids to head to Walmart if they are lost. I'll meet them there!