Ok, so I just completely compromised my morals. But I also upheld my morals in a sick and twisted way. Let me explain:
I hate Wal-Mart. They are the world's largest corporation, with the largest profit, yet they still can't manage to pay their employees decent wages or offer them health insurance. They impose their moral beliefs upon their customers by censoring media products and by refusing to fill certain prescriptions (i.e. prescriptions for emergency contraception). Sure, they are a private company, and people can choose not to shot at Wal-Mart, but the way Wal-Mart makes money is by going into a small town, buying out all the local retail stores, and basically becomming the only shopping option. You can read more about Wal-Mart's evil doings at Wal-Mart Watch.
So...why am I ranting about Wal-Mart? Today I talked with someone who had bought a cheap bike from Wal-Mart while she was in Alaska for the summer. She used the bike until it broke (which wasn't that long), then took it back and got a full refund thanks to Wal-Mart's no questions asked 90-day return policy. Hmmmm. I've been looking for a bike. Hmmmm. There's a 24-hour Wal-Mart right across the street. So, you can put two and two together and figure out what happened. At 12:30 am I went to Wal-Mart and bought a bike for just under $60. The plan was to use it for the rest of the six weeks that I am here and then return it.
Ok, so I feel like I'm just on the dodgy side of the moral spectrum here. Am I right to feel a little skeevy? True, that is their policy, so I wouldn't be breaking any rules, just taking full advantage of the ones that are in place. And true, the bike may in fact break and I may in fact have a legitimate reason to take it back. But I still feel a little wrong, first because I purchased something from Wal-Mart (tonight I stepped foot inside Wal-Mart for the very first time), a company I wholeheartedly DO NOT support, and second because I feel like I'm cheating...someone? something? But what am I cheating? An organization that cheats the rest of the world?
So...I was wondering what everyone else thought. Am I psychotic for feeling guilty about doing this? Or am I a horribly immoral person for attempting to do this in the first place? If I can't sleep tonight because of it, I'll return the bike tomorrow unused. (Ok, maybe I'll ride it to work and then decide.) If I still bad about it in the long run, I can always just use the bike for the summer and say that the $60 was worth it and not go back for my refund...or hope the thing breaks.
I'm a nut, I'm a nut, I'm craaaaazy...
Oh, I'd like to add: This was somewhat an act of desperation. I'm getting a slight case of cabin fever here in suburban hell (or maybe it's agoraphobia?), and I want to be able to go places. I want to bike to work because it's only 3 miles away and I feel like driving is completely unneccessary (if two of us bike, the rest can all fit in one car and that's half the pollution--right now we need two cars). I want to bike to parks that are further away so I can run in new and exciting venues! I want to bike for extra exercise. I want a little bit of freedom and autonomy. So, when I found out I could get a bike, now, kind of free, I was a little drunk on excitement.
Also, I realize that my Wal-Mart woes aren't exactly the most pressing problems in the world right now. But my little dilema spawns some important moral discussions, like: is it ok to cheat something evil? is there such a thing as a victimless crime? does intent overshadow action?
I really just need to go to bed...