The Free Press, Mankato, MN


March 9, 2013

Ojanpa: Walmart best for woo? Who knew?

— Word that the Wal-Mart company will go forward with construction of a regional distribution center in Mankato wasn’t the only big news involving that company this week.

According to the magazine Psychology Today, which studied nationwide “missed connections” posts on Craigslist, Walmart stores are Americans’ most popular place to pursue love.

Yes, that statement is the mother of all set-up lines for snarky jokes, but let’s stay classy here.

According to the study, people in 15 states tabbed Walmart as their go-to place for trysts, real and imagined.

Those 15 states include the state of Befuddlement and the state of Desperation, as well as the state of Mississippi.

Well, so much for staying classy here. 

Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, those extra-wide Walmart aisles are apparently worth a thousand potential soulmates.

Evidently, it’s easier to connect with a new squeeze there than it is to find an actual checkout clerk for that toaster you want to buy. But I digress.

The larger question regarding this Walmart-as-lonely-hearts-cure is this:

 What is it about these places that acts as an aphrodisiac for folks stocking up on light bulbs and socks?

Is it the seductive glare of fluorescent lighting? The sensual aromas wafting from the in-store Subways? That come-hither sale price on dog food?

All of the above, perhaps, given that everyone has a different romance-triggering mechanism.

Maybe country singer Johnny Lee was wrong. Maybe there’s no such thing as looking for love in all the wrong places.

Think about it: If a guy is lustfully ogling that 55-inch flat screen of his dreams, what’s wrong with detouring that randiness onto the nearby young woman lugging a jumbo pack of diapers?

Conversely, what unattached female can resist the romance novel image of a fella in greasy Wranglers trying to figure out which windshield wipers will fit his truck.

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