Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Standing for Something

By now, you all know that I'm a fair-weather blogger. My posts have become few and far between, and my blog-reading as well. That's in part because I'm actually trying to get some decluttering done, I'm stupidly trying to write two books at once, and we got a Wii. We're playing Dance Dance Revolution to get fit, and my husband is already losing weight. What do I have to say about this? Phffffbbbbbt. I'm happy for him. No, really I am.

Anyway, I'm sharing something that burns my buttons. It stemmed from a culmination of experiences over the last year. I decided to take a stand for decency. Instead of explaining, I'll post the email I wrote on Saturday to Sam's Club. It's edited for privacy.

"Last year my three young children and I were in our local Sam's Club in xxxx Missouri. As we walked in, we passed a big-screen tv. There was a movie that I had not seen before, but an intense/scary scene popped up just as we walked past. My then five-year old son saw and was instantly upset by it. I walked directly over to Customer Service across from the tv and told them what happened. I was very pleased as we left from shopping that the movie playing had been changed, and hoped Sam's Club would be more careful.

We walked in a few months ago, I don't remember when but it was in the spring. There was another movie playing that had an intense or scary scene, but I was able to tell before we got up to it so I told my children to look the other way.

Last month we were in the video game section, and as we walked up to a main aisle "I Am Legend" was playing. I had seen this movie so I was able to tell my children that a scary part was coming, so I was able to avoid them seeing it. If we had walked up a minute or two later, I wouldn't have been able to prevent them from seeing one of the scariest parts of the film, which includes a dog being badly injured.

The final incident was today. This time I had my now six-year-old son with me, the same one who had been upset last year. As we were walking up an aisle, in the main aisle, I saw a scene from "Batman Begins" playing. The scene had a man pointing a gun. I immediately told my son not to look, and he obeyed. Again, if we had been not even one minute later, he would have seen a man get shot in the chest.

I always thought Sam's Club was a family friendly store. Two of the four movies that were played had a PG-13 rating. I do not know what the rating of the others were, but the content was inappropriate for young children. PG-13 means "parental guidence for children under 13". We have chosen not to show movies of this rating to our children, and frequently edit movies that we're watching as a family that have a PG rating. I expect when I enter a warehouse club or grocery store that I should be able to bring my children. I have six and seven year old boys, and a two year old daughter. It is morally reprehensible that Sam's Club is actively contributing to the loss of children's innocence.

I shop at Sam's Club often, several times per month for food, dog food, etc. My husband James and I both use Sam's Club Optical for our eyeglasses and contact lenses. We purchased tires for our van there. I enjoy the quality of the produce, the grapes I purchased today are fantastic.

I really have no desire to discontinue my membership. However, I would rather discontinue my membership than risk my children being traumatized by seeing scenes that no responsible parent would let their children view.

I am sorely disappointed in Sam's Club.


Rebecca xxxx"

They asked for my membership number and where the club is located. Apparently they didn't read the email first as the club location was named, but I hope someone reads it. I hope Sam's Club rethinks their television viewing displays, or they'll be rather disappointed in the outcome. I don't usually make a big fuss about things, but this involves my children. Care to know my philosophy? I am the proverbial 'mother bear' about my kids. Mess with me, fine. Don't you dare mess with my kids.

I have hope that Sam's Club will fix the problem. If they do not, I will go to my local newspaper, television station, and start a "Boycott Sam's Club" forward to pass around the internet forever. (Want immortality? Start a forward.)

Hopefully these measures will not be necessary. I like to think that Sam's Club will do the right thing. I will keep you posted on what happens next.


Kimberly said...

I am so stinkin' proud of you! Way to go!

I should write that letter I wanted to write to Walmart complaining that I was not able to purchase a one piece bathing suit, for my four year old!, at their store. Bikinis for babies. What next?

Michal said...

good for you. it is so important that we stand up for decency. it is better that you wrote that email than if you had just decided to stop shopping there. let me know how it goes--i'd be happy to boycott with you (i'm a costco fan, myself:).
and don't get me started on all the bikinis and sexy clothing for baby/little girls (kimberly's comment.) ugh.

Michal said...

i miss your blogging, although i understand having other, more important things, to do.
i'd love to have you join my exercise challenge--just drop me an email: sleepymumATgmailDOTcom and i'd be happy to add you to our website and tell you how to log your exercise.
can't wait to hear from you!

mindyluwho said...

I realized that I had not commented on this last post and wondered how that could be as I usually anxiously await your posts! But then I realized that it was written while I was in the midst of my brothers hospital scare so I didn't feel so bad...ANYWAY...I'm so impressed that you would write a letter like this and it is so well thought out. I hope you will share with us if they responded or not. I, too, get very frustrated with the things that are playing in stores such as these and the video games that are there for kids to try out.

I miss you!

The Palmers said...

Good for you Rebecca! I am glad somebody did something. I think we should boycott Sam's club anyway. It would be nice if they did stop showing obcene things but the world being the way it is I doubt it. Good job anyway.