Sadly, this Christmas, I have to boycott some of my favorite places. If I want pretty or delicious things, if I am going for aesthetics, these places are not where I usually end up. For decorating and gifts I go to Pottery Barn and catalogues, Marshalls and T J Maxx, our local greenhouses operated by Chuck Hafner which has all my gardening supplies and the piney things I love to hang at Christmas time. The places I have to boycott right now are my convenience favorites. Walmart won’t pay its associates a living wage, so I have to boycott Walmart this Christmas. I go to Walmart when I run out of all my OTC meds at once or when I need a gift of toys for one of the children in the family (toys which I will have to find elsewhere this Christmas), or when I want to add to my winter jigsaw puzzle supply.
Boycotting McDonalds will leave a small hole in my life. McDonalds is my source of the occasional quick lunch; my choice, filet o’ fish and diet cola. I have a 96 year old mom and I occasionally buy her a milk shake, which I would do more often except that she insists on paying me back. I lie and say it was on the dollar menu but after brazenly staring down her suspicious mind (she’s turning me into a good liar), then she must dig around in her purse to find four quarters for me before she can enjoy her milkshake. I guess I will have to get her milkshakes at Burger King for a while, but I will have to tell a new whopper when I claim that these milkshakes are on the dollar menu at Burger King also. Does Burger King even have a dollar menu? So boycotting McDonalds is forcing me to sin.
Hobby Lobby is the third place I love that I cannot enjoy because they said some anti-Semitic something and because they will not pay for employees’ contraception through their health insurance; in other words, in some way they have embraced an unacceptable intolerance. Hobby Lobby was my source for decorating doodads like inexpensive fake flowers, frames and mats and posters, cutsy hooks to put on wall and doors to help organize things that look good when hung in plain view.
So, to sum up, Walmart and McDonalds both refuse to pay their employees a living wage and that is why I have to boycott them. I understand that it would not even be a boycott if I didn’t have to give something up in order to make my point. Hobby Lobby I have to boycott because they disrespected someone’s human rights. Actually all three of these places of business have disrespected people’s human rights.
Obviously, one little person, me, refusing to shop at these businesses will have little, if any effect, but if we all boycott these people so that they have to shape up quickly and do what is right, then I will be able to resume my guilty pleasures, including telling tiny lies to my mom. I am sorry that this seems to make this whole situation all about me, which from my point of view it is, but, I promise there will be collateral benefits for all if we win through sacrifice. Christmas time is a very effective time to hold a boycott. So, for a while, stop buying at Walmart, McDonalds and Hobby Lobby. While it might seem harsh to single out these businesses their experiences will serve as examples to others.