Can We Talk About Target?

Dear Target,

You magnificent bastard. Let me begin by saying it’s not me. It’s 100% you.

This relationship has become untenable. We need to establish some boundaries that work for both of us. Starting with seeing less of each other.

I mean, I used to be a drug addict and an alcoholic and yet I still managed to get clean and sober. But you? You I just can’t seem to quit.

I’ve heard it said that you can’t have too much of a good thing but these people apparently have not gone into a Target ‘real quick’ to just grab toothpaste and come out with the complete furnishings for a guest room they don’t have. Or a new poncho. Because looking like a potato cannot be passed up at 30% off.

There’s no such thing as Target and quick.

I see you. I see what you are doing. And I’m totally falling for it.

This is psychological warfare. Conveniently and strategically adding Starbucks and the dollar section at every entrance? The caffeine and crap trap, as I now lovingly refer to them. I can’t get into the store without being forced to take on a labyrinth of absolutely unnecessary plastic garbage. Why? Why are you doing this to us? Do you hate the earth or just mothers? I consistently justify my $8 mocha and $5 pastry because, like any self respecting heroine addict, it will only be this one time. And I get it, you know that I can’t resist a package of cat pencils. Or a bag of multi colored whistles.

Because diversity whistles.

I literally find myself saying a heartfelt prayer before I enter your premises. A sort of shopping serenity prayer. It goes something like, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot afford, the courage to only buy the things I need, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Spoiler alert: prayer does not work here. We will never know the difference.

I find myself stalking your website late at night while in bed. Looking at things I have no business looking at. All those savings. Throwing things in my basket with reckless abandon. Only to find at checkout that I’ve racked up a $534 bill on a $20 budget. Cyber savings my ass. As a result I have developed a contentious relationship with the “save for later” button. There’s an expectation of delayed gratification that I just know is never going to happen.

But I am also self aware enough to confess that you may need a restraining order. You know. My occasional drive by. Purposely going the wrong way home just to get a glimpse of that beautiful red and white logo that draws me in like the Death Star tractor beam. Softly it beckons, “Come hither all you stay at home mothers. We have all the things you need and a whole bunch of sh!t you don’t.”

Get behind me Satan.

You are a black hole. A time warp. The second those sliding doors part. For every 20 minutes I expect to be in your store I know full well that Every Single Time it’s going to be a minimum of an hour. But I conveniently lie to myself. Because I’m an adult.

I can no longer forgo basic hygiene and self discipline just because I spent an accidental 6 hours wandering your aisles like a lost dog. I have a home, a husband, and small people that need to be fed. But you already know that. We have the dread card. I mean the red card.

Many times I am forced to bring my twin 6 year olds with me and my nightmare starts in the parking lot. I need you to enforce a ‘leave the double seated carts for mothers with multiple children’ rule. Cause if I see one more person using that valuable real estate for their suitcase sized purse or extra shopping, yes I’m looking at you Doloris, I am going to have a very real and public nervous break down. All the way from my car to the customer service area. With bells on.

I have a mental illness and I’m not afraid to use it.

Twins are no joke. They require harnessing. Otherwise I am not responsible for what could happen in your store. It’s up to you.

And I think we can all admit that the worst is definitely when we realize at 10:05 pm that we forgot to pick up toilet paper. But in a cruel twist of fate, you aren’t open now. And now I have to go somewhere else.

Like Walmart.

All of the curse words.

I have tried to see other stores, like your ugly cousin Walmart, who clearly has been hit too many times in the head. But as soon as I hit those doors I know I’ve made a mistake. I always leave feeling like I need a shower. That I will never be able to unsee things that make me embarrassed to be part of the human race. Including myself. Where are my pants?

I need my retail dignity back. I need you to start respecting my shopping list. I want to leave with nothing more. Nothing less. Just what’s on the paper.

And finally, you recently redesigned the inside of my store. Not sure which marketing genius insisted on this. But for the record, your covert strategy is working. Nothing is where it used to be. Nothing. I’m having to relearn this new pinball layout that now forces me to bounce from section to section in utter desperation. Asking strangers where the woman’s underwear section is. Because I have lost all self respect.

Can I please just get a changing room? Oh how I long for those florescent lights that draw out every cellulite dimple and fat roll I have. Killing any delusions I had that I am still young. And just to make sure my mortification and self loathing is forever, you have gifted us with the horror house infinity mirrors in each stall. So thanks for that. If anyone recently heard an adult female sobbing in the changing area of the Burnsville Target, mea culpa.

I see what you are doing, Target. It has all lead to this moment. Me. Curled up. Laying in the shoe section. That’s right. Shoes. My home away from home. Where will power goes to die.

I guess we can settle for friendship. But with benefits, okay? I still want those discount emails. It’s fall and Mama deserves a new pair of BOGO boots.

It’s fine. I’m fine.

(whispers out loud to self) I love you, Target.