I didn’t pack a suitcase, because the place I was going would provide everything I needed: pajamas, mascara, chocolate, and free psychological advice. That’s right: I moved into Target.When I showed up, the pretty manager met me at the door, her lipstick-red polo shirt wrinkled, but her regulation khaki pants mysteriously crisp after a long day of tagging merchandise.
“I’m Terry,” she said, extending her hand for me to shake, “and we’d like to welcome you to your new home.” She did a Vanna White sweeping gesture with her toned arms to indicate who she meant by “we.” “We” apparently was everyone who worked in the store, because they all stood behind her lined up like they might perform a Broadway dance number at any moment. What would be appropriate here? Rent? Phantom? Les Miz?Frazzled, I did a respectful “Queen of England” wave to the group, and to my astonishment, they broke into applause. I felt myself blush.
“So, Team,” announced Terry pivoting to address the employees instead of me, “let’s do everything we can to make Ms. MOV comfortable, shall we?”“Sure!” “Yes!” “You got it!” I heard them yell. I hadn’t felt this good about myself since I was in kindergarten and the tooth fairy accidentally left me two new dollar bills that were stuck together instead of only one.
“I’m Richard,” said a gray-haired gentleman who probably used to be a lawyer but just worked here for fun in his retirement. “I can show you around.”I followed Richard obediently, like a puppy fresh out of training school. I didn’t have the nerve to tell Richard that I did not need anyone to “show me around” as I could draw a floorplan of Target in my sleep (complete with the correct locations of Fast Foto, Pharmacy, and the Dollar Section).
“Here are any toiletries you might need, MOV. Can I call you MOV?” He handed me a new tube of toothpaste and an electric toothbrush. I nodded and smiled at him, then silently questioned the quality of my breath—why was the toothpaste aisle the very first place he was taking me on our tour?“Here is the cookie aisle, Terry mentioned you might want to see that,” he chuckled, not in a mean way, but more of conspiratorial manner. “Help yourself to anything you want.”
I grabbed two bags of Mint Milanos to be polite.Next he brought me to the furniture aisle.
“MOV, why don’t you tell me what you like here, and I can get a few guys to help us set up a living room and bedroom arrangement for you?”I didn’t really like any of Target’s furniture. It all looked cheap. I was afraid if I sat on it, it might fall apart.
“Don’t worry, dear, our furniture will not fall apart,” Richard whispered, as if reading my mind. “It is much sturdier than it looks.”Within 10 minutes, the employees that Richard had contacted on his concealed headset rearranged the entire northeast quadrant of the store to make a lovely room for me. I reached in my purse to get my smart phone to take a few pictures, but then I remembered that I had not recharged it in over 48 hours and the battery had gone dead. Someone on Richard’s team appeared at my side with a Nikon D-3X super-shot professional camera with wide-angle lens.
“This might do the trick,” he said, while removing the lens cap with a flourish. “Would you like to pose over there next to your new end table?”Before I could say yes or no, Richard handed me a hairbrush. He was starting to get on my nerves. He was either incredibly helpful, or like your mom when you were in junior high and you thought you looked great but she wouldn’t let you out the door until she fixed your hair.
“Richard, I’m fine,” I squeaked, but he set the hairbrush on the coffee table anyway.“MOV, darling, let me get you some coordinating throw pillows!” volunteered Richard enthusiastically, as I began to reassess if he had been a lawyer or perhaps an interior decorator in his pre-Target career. “We’ll find something to match those beautiful sapphire blue eyes of yours!”
Sapphire blue eyes? Richard was instantly back on my good list.Right as I started to snuggle into my new faux leather chair with a cozy acrylic throw blanket and the latest issue of US Weekly with the “Bachelor” on the cover, I caught a glimpse of The Husband and our two sons walking toward me from behind a towering display of laundry detergent.
“Sweetie, what are you doing here?” I asked, flabbergasted that they had found me so fast. “You know I am not coming home.”He sat down in a chair next to me and plucked the magazine out of my palms.
“That’s okay, MOV,” he replied cheerfully while flipping to a page with Princess Kate on a tropical beach, “we’ve decided we’re all moving in with you.”MOV