For years I've made fun of Wal-Mart.

I couldn't help it. The crowded aisles, the merchandise, even that little bouncing smiley face in the commercials that leads you to the markdowns - I've just loathed it all.

I can't even give you a real reason why. After all, I'm not rich, and I'm certainly not proud. I mean, I shop at Target. I go to the Dollar Store. But there was just something about Wally World that set my teeth on edge.

But this weekend, when I really, really needed something, when NO OTHER stores were open (at the crack of dawn), who was there for me? Wal-mart. And when I found what I needed - a white shirt - and was so harried I left a separate bag of groceries at the register, who let me re-shop for them two days later without batting an eye? Yes. You guessed it.

Wal-Mart. Oh, the irony.

It was like my own little corporate comeuppance. If this had been an after-school special, I would be cast in the role of the bullying mom who finally sees the error of her ways and eventually apologizes to the crowded, overgrown ... oh, sorry ... I mean, misunderstood, corporate kid.

Sorry, Wal-Mart. You saved my butt. I won't forget that. For awhile, at least.


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