My ex-girlfriend’s mother was a member of the Walmart generation, and when I first met her she showed us around the house. Part of this tour meant that she pointed out the new coffee table. I realize now that it was meant to complement the matching drapes, but I didn’t know her, so I mistakenly assumed that somehow—despite living for years in the house—they had never owned a coffee table.
She was outraged by the suggestion, and declared that of course they had owned one. More confused than ever, I asked her what happened to it. I could not imagine that someone could break a coffee table. She told me they had kept it in the garage. Only then did I belatedly realize that she was from the Walmart generation, and therefore discarded and purchased furniture as easily as one might change their socks. It was too late then, she felt judged by a rabid environmentalist, and nothing I could say would ever change her opinion.