A couple of weeks ago, there was a blog post going around that detailed one mom’s love affair with Target. Karen Alpert listed out 10 whole reasons on why Target shopping made her life complete. And I commend her. Seriously, I totally do.
The entire post made me laugh, because that used to be me. Used To Be. You see, I have self-banned myself from Target except in cases of dire emergency. The last time I was at Target was on August 9th. Two whole months ago. This self-ban was enacted in 2009, when I was a new mom, partially employed, majorly in debt, and prone to unnecessary episodes of needless consumerism.
I have a problem when it comes to visiting big-box type stores: Target, Wal-Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and even Kohl’s. Banned. Banned. Banned. Semi-Banned. It’s like my self-control is lost, and I end up filling up shopping carts with crap I don’t need, stuff I don’t like, shoes that rub the wrong way, tights that run, makeup that’s just wrong, books I don’t read, yoga mats I don’t use, etc. I don’t even know. I JUST DON’T KNOW, OK. (Photo Credit. Kevin Dooley via Flickr)
I do know that I have a “Target Factor” of $88 +/- 10%. You know what this is. I can’t get out of the store without spending $88. Ever. Even I’m just running in for some laundry detergent. Or a birthday gift. Or cheap underpants (oh, right, because all of your underpants are so fancy.) Don’t even try to tell me that you’re running into Target for the Method Stainless Steel polish and, maybe, new hand soap. Those are the gateway drugs. Because the Method products are two aisles away from cosmetics, which is across from craft supplies, which is next to the books, which can zigzag you over into the home décor section, where there’s an end-cap of decorative pillows, and OH, LOOK AT YOU. Now you’re my college roommate with a maxed out red card and the fanciest apartment in Happy Valley*. (Photo Credit. Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.)
So I did the right thing: I stopped going. No more Target Factor. No more lazy Saturday mornings, afternoons, and evenings roaming the aisles, checking out the “designer” clothes. Because, let’s face it, unless it’s plain t-shirts or the standard yoga pants, the occasional rare find of a good blazer or a cute summer dress is generally an urban legend. And even if I do find something decent, I know that it’s a one-season-wear, and hate myself because I’m wearing Target clothes.
And I don’t even take my girls anywhere near there, ever. Nope. We’re still working on the preschooler’s mantra of “I want” on a regular basis. Taking them to Target just so I can mean-whisper “NO!” and “We’re not here for you” every 12 seconds is not my idea of a good time.
So instead of Target, I buy most of that stuff at CVS, where I play the weekly extra-bucks game, and I can usually get out of there for less than $40. And sometimes I order from Amazon, because I seem to be able to control myself a little bit better online. (I have no idea. Maybe I should talk to someone?)
And, for the most party, it ends up being $88 of crap I don’t need. Seriously, another effing vanilla pillar candle? Maybe I’d feel differently if they sold wine at the Targets in New Jersey. Because you know I need $88 of wine (weekly).
*JMKZ, your ability to cull the gems from the aisles of Target still amazes me. I’d also surprised if the big wigs don’t have a shrine dedicated to you somewhere at corporate, as Patron Saint of Special Buys. xo.