Thursday, June 10, 2010

9. Target

Today's topic is something that makes me very, very happy. That's right: Target.

They have everything there, and it is all arranged in a pretty and aesthetically pleasing way that beckons me to purchase or at least browse. The moment of infinite potential: my house can be beautiful and I can be beautiful and my kids can get along and I can have elaborate impromptu dinner parties on the patio and make it all look effortless, all with a little help from Target. Yes, I can attain "The Dream".

Everything looks pretty, shiny, new. One of my favorite things about Target is that there is no music playing. You get to shop and daydream in a blissful cloud of quiet. I detest stores that insist on blaring loud music or worse yet, ads (you know who you are, Wal-mart). In fact, I abhor loud stores so much that I simply refuse to shop there (TV ads in your face at Giant? I now only shop at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, thankyouverymuch).

Which brings me back to Target. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. I am having a Zen moment just thinking about it. I used to take Tall there, back when he was an only child. Then Short came along, and I quickly realized that it was too difficult to navigate a store with eight toy aisles while having two little children in tow. I started to take just one child with me and leave the other with The Husband. (What other store has the brilliance to have a $1 section near the front door that can be used for bribery purposes? "Tall, if you have very good behavior for the next hour while Mommy gets paper towels, then you can choose ONE THING from the dollar section! Yay!")

Now I save the extra dollar and just go by myself. It is Retail Therapy at its finest. You can tell The Husband that you have run out of paper towels and MUST go to Target right this second, and then you can peruse the cute summer clothes and the new dishes and outdoor patio furniture after locating aforementioned paper towels. Maybe grab a magazine or three.

To do Target "right", the MOV way, it is crucial to go at the exact moment they open. You will frequently find me there at 8 AM on a Sunday, wandering aimlessly about with a silly grin on my face. "Me Time"! The worst possible moment to shop at Target is 11 AM, as all my fellow moms are there with their impatient toddlers clogging up the aisles. 4 PM is another time to avoid as it is the window of opportunity right after school.

Don't even get me started on the 9:30 at night crowd; suffice it to say DO NOT SHOP THEN. The store is quite congested and picked over. By the time they are ready to close, Target is indeed out of whatever item you specifically came in for. Cat food? No. Maybe dog food is similar enough at this hour. Hand soap? No. But let's get creative: how different can it really be from shampoo? Out of toilet paper too? Well, just buy a couple boxes of Kleenex to tide you over. I have learned my lesson, and so I pass on words of wisdom to you: Do yourself a favor and be an early shopper.

What I especially love about Target (besides the nice cheap prices!) is the fact that everything is cute and trendy and current. Who can feel guilty buying a couple summer t-shirts for the kids when they are only $5 each? That is pretty much the price of one giant latte from Starbucks.

I also love the cute "non-uniform" the employees wear: red shirt, khaki pants. (Which reminds me, I accidentally shopped there once while I was coincidentally wearing a red shirt and khaki pants........... I could not figure out why other customers kept asking me for assistance. Did I just give off the aura of a helpful person, or had all these people seen me at Target one Sunday morning too many? should I start to worry when I receive shareholder stock dividend checks in the mail? Random Stock Tip #1: buy stock in Target.)

Why is Target perfect? What is their formula? Heck if I know. I have tried to analyze it. Suffice it to say, just tuck this column away and commit to memory what I wrote here the next time my birthday rolls around.

("Musing On Variety")

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