Friday, November 14, 2008

THE TARGET VORTEX

So, it's been two weeks since I resigned.

And I've been to the grocery store at least 5 times, Costco an easy 3, Starbucks EVERY single day since, and Target a cool 8 times. And not just to the one closest to me. PUH-lease! The shame. The horror. No, no, I patronized 3, yes 3, different Targets in 3, yes 3, different cities in less than 14, yes just 14, little days.

And do you know what the first thing I noticed each and every Target has in common? Just how many things there are out there that I just never realized I needed! No, seriously, people -- neeeeeeeded!

How did they know? These brilliant minds, these geniuses of branding and demographics research, these Einsteins behind Target marketing. My god, it's like they're reading my mind! Around every corner was something I just had to have more than the last. How had I so clumsily missed these treasures on previous visits? How had they escaped my grasp? To think I could so brazenly call myself a decent cook without that 12" teflon aerated pizza pan all these years?! How I had made my family suffer through an infinite number of soggy crusts! And here it was on sale. What an utter fool I'd be to walk on by. And oh, how considerate of them, the gods of the bullseye, to place this teeny-tiny muffins pan right here on the next shelf. Why, I don't even have to move to get my hands on that one. So now I'm not only feeling like a better person, but dammit if I'm not just the freaking pillar of efficiency!

And trust me when I say that I am really good. I'm just zooming along, boy, knocking out my actual legitimate list in less than 20 minutes. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.  It was only 9:30, afterall, and I didn't have to pick up the kids from school until 1.  

Have you any idea how many things there are for a $1 there? 

My cart was quickly overflowing with individual tissue packs that rub your nose raw, travel-size wipies that dry out in 2 days, Q-tip packets of 10 that barely have enough cotton and almost always make your ear bleed (but just a little), and, let's face it, people, you really can't ever have too many little bottles of hand sanitizer on a rubber string, can you?

And then it happened.  After 3 1/2 hours of hunting and pecking, I finally came up for stale, filtered retail air to the most unbelievable sight.  There I was in the middle of Home Improvement picking out yet another price-cut washcloth, the color of nothing that exists in nature, when I found myself surrounded by a sea of zombies. Tens of what used to be women, all shells now, husks with giant red carts for their fifth appendage, shuffling up and down the aisles scanning anything with a Price Cut, Sale or Clearance tag.  All of them dressed from head to toe in workout wear they no doubt purchased at Target...on clearance, of course, with coffee stains down their chest, bags under their eyes, pale skin with the tint of flourescence, and no intention of extending their cardio efforts beyond racing between Home Decor and Seasonal to ensure they picked up the very last holiday wreath for $23.99.  Every last one of them with a vacant faraway look on their face, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, forever lost in the worm hole of Issac Mizrahi and Mossimo.

Was this my destiny?  Is this my path?  It couldn't be.  That's not me.  I had a list.  I was still dressing in my business casual clothes, doing my makeup and hair, wearing heels, for crissakes  -- high ones!!!  

But I find myself adding new necessary little things to my list daily - seal-a-meal bags, dog treats, the 145th mini sprial bound notebook for Santiago this year. And I'm trapped once again in the vortex. "At Tarjay," I'll text Amy, "Need anything?" And she's just no help -- in fact, she's little more than an enabler, she is, fostering my addiction with coupons and a Target credit card. Watching silently as I dust off my hot pink Nike outfit. Contributing not only willingly but eagerly to my Targetarrhea...so long as, of course, they continue to advertise the best price for Red Bull and Tom's Toothpaste.

3 comments:

amazonfm said...

You resigned?

Laurie said...

Okay, I'm personally taking offense to the fact that you basically called me out 'by name'... yes, I'll admit that I was the pretty Target shopper/zombie who was walking the aisles with a gigantic coffee stain emblazoned on my shirt... (I'll admit, I thought about not going in as I figured I'd see at least 6 other zombie mama's (and I did) while there! Welcome to the club, Joanna... :)See you there next week!

saia and chago said...

No, no! I was totally referring to some other woman stuck in the vortex. Not you! Never! (*mmmmuuuuaaahhh*)