Inside a Woman's Mind at Target

Friday, March 7, 2014


A trip to Target is a lot like how I imagine heroin must be. There's always a rush of excitement when you first walk inside, and most times you're not even sure why you're there to begin with, yet almost every time you leave with a feeling of remorse, guilt and a set of new track marks on your arms. But still in the back of your mind you already know you'll be returning very soon... to take something back you tell yourself.

Somewhere along the line it spread through the stay-at-home-mom circle that Target is the best place to bring your screaming child on a Friday morning, because they are everywhere. The mothers all have that same dazed look in their eye, that look that says they are so emotionally beat down from their child's torment all week but they are going to persevere on regardless. They're going to pick up their new razors, a witty birthday card for their friend, and an unnecessary decorative plate on clearance even if it kills them. And it just might.

When I'm past the mothers the first thing I'm drawn to is the dollar section. Even though I know it's going to be there every time I walk into Target it still manages to take me by surprise. But I'm not going to get duped this time, I don't need yet another stack of brightly colored plastic cups. I'm going to walk on by.... but wait, are those miniature bags of Combos? Perfect for an afternoon snack! And linen lined wicker baskets? I can't pass up a basket. I just can't. You can never have too many baskets. Never ever ever. And they're only a dollar after all. I might as well grab a few polka dot miniature tin buckets as well, you know, to keep pens in or something. Or maybe I'll give one to a friend I don't really like as a gift. Why not? They're only a dollar.

I'm distracted by the dollar section only when I happen to notice that swimsuits are on display once again. Oh, it reminds me of college spring break I think to myself. I wander over to take a gander, just for memory's sake. It's still cold outside but the new summer collection by some special designer "made exclusively for Target" makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. I suddenly love this new fake designer I've never heard of. A $17 nautical coverup?  Never mind that swimsuit season is over two months away, you can't beat that price. I need this coverup! I might as well grab a new sun hat while I'm at it.

I walk away from the clothing section only after I browse the clearance rack of tops and bottoms. I'll pay $1 for a polka dot bucket but I'll be damned if I'm going to pay $3.99 for a fleece jacket, besides it's basically summertime. But then I find an adorable grey hoodie. I love hoodies. Who cares if it's labeled "maternity?" What does that really even mean anyway?  I put it in my cart as a "maybe" just in case. I don't try anything on because it's Target, it's not like a real clothing store, you know? And because the ladies working the dressing rooms are all usually pretty mean.

What did I come here for again I ask myself. Oh yeah, hairspray. But that's clear across the store so I better take the long way there wandering through the aisles of furniture and trendy patterned pillows. Target actually has pretty cute furniture I think to myself. I'm about to stop and look at an unusually small leather couch I don't need when I suddenly see a group of women hustling over to a specific aisle. I can smell their excitement and I know a sale must be going on. Like a good Target customer, I follow the herd.

I'm led to an aisle of frenzied women quickly heaving items into their carts. I feed off of their intensity and immediately start grabbing things for myself. I discover that it's an aisle of marked down Mardi Gras decorations. I've never had Mardi Gras decorations in my life, but suddenly I need all of them. I need the purple and green table runner, and the party string of masks to hang above my kitchen sink, and even the plates and cups because in an instant I've already decided there's a good chance I might have a Mardi Gras party next year. I mean I have the decorations now, so why wouldn't I? It only makes sense.

Two women fight over the last colorful jester door decoration and I eye them with contempt. Get a hold of yourself I think, it's just a door decoration. But suddenly a man in a red Target shirt and khaki pants brings out another colorful jester and discreetly sets it on the shelf next to me and I move toward it like it's my first born caught in a fire. I've always wanted a colorful jester to hang on my door. And now I've got one!

The crying child I saw earlier sits happily in his cart next to three new toys: Hungry Hungry Hippos, a Ninja Turtle, and a Spiderman car he has already opened. He holds his new prize toy in his hand with a smile on his face and as I look at my jester I can't help but think we're not all that different. His mom returns and carefully lays three bottles of wine at his feet. She looks happy, as well.

After I have my jester I make it a point to get to the cosmetics. I came in here for face wipes, after all. Right? Yeah I think so. I browse the ends of the aisles for anything marked down that I might need. A coffee mug that says "Chicago" or a framed photo that says "Blessed" or maybe even a new blanket. I love new blankets. But by this time I'm starting to come down a bit and nothing seems cheap enough for me to put in my cart so I eventually get to the makeup aisle.

I'm pretty sure the main reason I came in here today is to get face lotion so I grab a bottle (Up & Up brand because it's basically the same thing and I don't come to Target just to waste money.) Or did I come in here to get a new blush brush? I don't switch out my brushes enough and this one is on sale so I grab it.

When I get to the checkout my cart is full and I'm exhausted. As the cashier starts ringing my items up I see things in my cart I don't recognize. "Oh that's not mine," I say as she rings up a t-shirt that says "I Am Fat Tuesday." She puts it aside and smiles at me condescendingly. My final is bill is $208.00. What in the hell just happened I wonder? It's like I was in a blackout.

But I wasn't. I was in a redout. I obediently sign my name on the debit card screen feeling a little sick for how much I've just spent. The cashier hands me my receipt and says "thank you for shopping at Target, see you soon!"

I won't be back for awhile I think to myself. "Yes you will," she responds. And I look at her like, did I just say that out loud? "No, no you didn't" the cashier says and she starts to laugh like the menacing drug dealer she is.

I quickly grab my bags and run out into the blistery Friday morning toward my car, past the other strung out mothers dragging their babies inside to get their fix. The wind blows through my hair and as I load my bags into my trunk and sit down into my driver's seat I realize one thing: I forgot hairspray.


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72 comments:

  1. This is perfect. Our target is 30 minutes away so it is much easier to avoid these days.

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  2. Good lord. REALITY. This is EXACTLY WHAT IT'S LIKE. HILARIOUS! I CAN'T STOP CAPITALIZING!

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  3. Haha this is me in Target every time. I went to Target last Saturday, and even still can't remember why I actually went. Oh wait. Dog food. But I didn't actually buy any -- I forgot that. I always walk out with something I "needed."

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  4. This is exactly what goes through my mind every time I go to Target. I can't just walk into a Target and come out empty handed, those little red clearance stickers suck in me in like magic every visit. I always walk out with that feeling of "what did i just buy"

    casualepiphany.com

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  5. This truly couldn't be more accurate. It costs me at least $100 just to walk into that store. Yeesh.

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  6. You are brilliant. You need to be writing for SNL already.

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  7. perfection, down to it being a Friday thing! It's like I have nothing to look forward to in my week if I go on a Tuesday :) And let's be honest, moms don't really get a "weekemd" so this is about as good as it gets for TGIF

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  8. Soooo true...I hit up the Starbucks in my Target first then wander around aimlessly buying stuff I don't need. This is about to be 10x worse since we just bought a house. (I think they pump something through the vents, they have too)

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  9. YES! This is exactly how every trip to Target goes unless I drag my boyfriend along. He's the only person who can manage to keep me on track. One of my friends and I inevitably end up in the Shampoo aisle for about 30 minutes just smelling all of the different kinds.

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  10. The best thing I ever did was move further away from Target... or was it the worst thing? Somehow I spend more money there now...

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  11. LOL! I just knew you were going to forget the hairspray! How could you do otherwise? Too many other great deals marketing wizardry and stuff you don't need bombarding your brain.

    They do tons of research to break down any barriers we have when we enter a store like that. Don't feel bad.
    We all succumb in the end to the glow of the red target sign. Just think of yourself as the target. And they got you. They got you good.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  12. Yup! I walk into to target to buy toothpaste and walk out $200 poorer with bags of stuff I didn't plan on finding. It's a love/hate relationship ;-)

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  13. Oh so true. Super Target and the one at State & Madison are the worst, there is double the amount of things to get sucked into! Everything seems to be 50-70% off right now too, very addicting.

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  14. You speak the truth. And this is why I avoid Target unless necessary these days. haha

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  15. Spot on. It's even worse when you have a Target credit card {5% off everything!} AND Cartwheel coupons so you can justify every purchase because it's all "on sale"! Also, this was hilarious!

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  16. THAT was the most hilarious and ACCURATE post I have ever read!! All the while reading it I'm thinking - I do that, yep, I've thought that...oh yeah, that's happened to me!

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  17. It's like there is a scientific procedure. And blankets? Pretty sure I have every one Target has ever put on sale.

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  18. Yes!! This was hilarious and oh so true! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one:)

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  19. Omg this is totally me! I don't think I have ever left Target without spending $100.

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  20. This is amazing! I can't tell you how many times I've done the very same thing at Target! I've imposed a time-limit on myself at this point. Twenty minutes, tops. Then, I gotta get out of there.

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  21. So accurate... Target and Marshall's are def my weak points. I can't tell you how many costumes I have for my dog because they were in the $1 section. Oh, and she has never worn them. Oops.

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  22. You hit the nail on the head with this one! Luckily our closest Target is a town over so it's not as tempting as if it were right down the road. Oh man I'd be screwed if we ever got one.

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  23. I'm laughing out load at work as I read this because every sentence is true. I dropped $167 last weekend and most of it was bathing suits. I don't even have a place to swim!

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  24. OMG. This is my life. SO PERFECT!!!!!!!! HAHAHA

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  25. I'm laughing so so hard at this! You just made my day. I've been "prepping" myself for my after work Target trip. I consider it a true miracle if I make it out of there spending less the $50. Now I know that if someone gifts me a $1.00 polka dot tin from the dollar section they don't really like me that much. True. So True.

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  26. I've been excited this whole week for my Target run on Saturday and this is EXACTLY what happens to me. I always take the same path around the store, even though what I need is at the end of my loop. It's madness I tell you, madness!

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  27. It's like you're inside my brain! Only I probably would have left with a new shower curtain. And possibly a chevron printed plastic pitcher for $14.99 because OMGTHATSTHECUTESTTHINGEVER.

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  28. Spot on! I always forget the one thing that I desperately needed from target and leave with $200 worth of stuff I don't need!!!

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  29. This post couldn't have come on a better day considering I was just hired to work in that horrible, wonderful land of Target. Apparently, the people doing my old job from when I worked there years ago aren't working out & I needed a job... so now I have a discount again, aka more excuses to buy everything in sight.

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  30. Ha ha ha ha ha... Yes! EVERYTIME, I forget to pick up what I originally came there for. :)

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  31. Every damn time. I always spend like $100 more than I planned.

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  32. I can't help myself when I go to Target..

    I also can't help myself when I pronounce it "Terget" like Kristen Wiig in SNL.

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  33. This post is fantastic!! Only place where you go for a $5 item and walk out with at least $100 in merchandise. The dollar spot is my worst enemy. A million cute things I don't need but hey, it's only a dollar, right?! If I added up all the dollars I spent in the Target dollar spot I am sure I could've bought a new car by now. Sigh....

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  34. I don't really need those new pillows, but clearance for $7.50 each I'd be sick later for not getting them. hop in the cart, momma will take you home.

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  35. Simply amazing! I feel like every time I'm at Target I end up in the maternity section (not pregnant) and all of a sudden I wish I was pregnant so I'd have an excuse to buy the clothes.... Target must have a drug slowly being pumped into the air.

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  36. Good lord this is good. Laughed the whole way through. Excellent.

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  37. I actually just literally got home from Target... it's only five minutes away from my house!

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  38. hahaha i am fat tuesday. i would definitely put that in my cart. yep, it's a red out.

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  39. You speak the truth! This is so me in Target, except when I go with my boyfriend and he acts pouty the whole time then it's not as fun and there's no "redout" boooo!

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  40. Oh my goodness this is way too accurate!!! I'm dying! If you haven't already, you should work this into your next stand up act! ;)

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  41. Hahahaha- the shopping path is so dead on! I am literally always just going to buy one beauty product and shop the entire store on "my way" there. Loved this post! :)

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  42. I'm trying to remember when Target became like super cool. I feel like it happened overnight. They always have the bestestest clearance clothing, though. OMG. must. resist.

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  43. That was the perfect Friday afternoon read. I've been sucked into the Target vortex many a time.

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  44. Ok your Target store doesn't sound like our Target stores, ours are more upper class, it sounds more like our Big W or Kmart, just saying.................

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  45. I think I need to go to Target Anonymous :(

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  46. o. my. gosh. I love this. You are so funny.

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  47. Bravo! Hope this post makes your "popular" list. STAT. It's right on and hilarious.

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  48. YES!!!!!!! to ALL of this. I was laughing so hard I was crying. And I was also extremely comforted to know that I am not alone and I am not crazy like my husband thinks. I will make him read this for sure :) You are so right on about moms taking their kids....a field trip to Target on Friday mornings are seriously a LIFESAVER. And this addiction starts at a very early age....when my daughter was 2, she did "this little piggy goes to Target" on her baby brother, and now at 3 asks to go to Target on a weekly basis, and will sometimes cry about it.....

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  49. Most accurate description of a trip to Target ever. And now I'm off to the land of red outs...

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  50. bahahahah! Story of my life! I went to target three times last week to get trash bags. I have a cute new dress and pre sliced apples, still no trash bags.

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  51. Hysterical! Having moved to South America I miss Target so much! Enjoy it for me Taylor!

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  52. Hope ya don't mind - mentioned THIS post in my latest blog post

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  53. I went there three times last week alone...sigh.

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  54. This is hilarious. And so true. My target law is that you NEVER get out of target for under $100. Never. And you only bought 5 things.

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  55. Hahaha, yes! Totally true!

    Did you see that "10 Things Mothers Do in Target" article, very funny and true also!

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  56. Haha! How did you know *gasp*
    I love people that can tell you exactly how you behave without knowing you. Scarily accurate.

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  57. And this is precisely why I stay out of Target. I probably only set foot in there.... maybe 6x a year. It's glorious.

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  58. This is so incredibly accurate. Hysterical!

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  59. Ok.. so I'm reading your posts in "back order". I read the negative post first and threatened to kick people's asses after you handed over Harlow's autograph! Anywho-- something that comes to mind.. didn't someone comment on your grammar or something like that? At least you spelled aisle right! What more can they ask for?!? Also.. I don't see THAT much reference to SAHM's and their binge drinking.. WHICH THEY KNOW THEY DO because they need a break! Anyway-- great blog post, even if I am drunk.

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  60. This is amazing and it is definitely worth all the press it got!

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  61. Story of my life! Yes - this is me.

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  62. This is absolutely hilarious! I love your writing style and your blog is definitely becoming a must read of mine.

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  63. Guess Buzzfeed's Lara Parker agrees that 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery'? http://www.buzzfeed.com/laraparker/53-thoughts-every-girl-has-while-shopping-at-target

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