What Happens at Target...
by Cori Linder
I like to observe (and write about!) the mom culture.
Maybe it’s because we go through some experiences that men will never fully understand. Maybe it’s because we act one way in front of our kids and then discover our “other self” when we’re celebrating a ladies night out. Or maybe it’s the unspoken bond we embrace when our child, for example, throws a tantrum in the grocery store and we note the empathetic look from another mother.
Then again, maybe it's just better to laugh at some situations so that we don't cry.
But, there’s one place -- one very special, very self-satisfying place -- where moms face similar challenges and share amusing experiences, and it’s a beautiful sight to behold. It’s called Target.
For those of us who like to pretend this retail conglomerate is really just an upscale boutique, we adopt the pseudo-French pronunciation and affectionately say ‘tar-ZHAY.’ It just sounds better.
Here are some observations I've made about moms in Target:
1. Maneuvering multiple kids through the entire store and ending up with the same number of children at the register as when you started is an achievement to celebrate.
2. Whatever Target marketing executive decided to have the $1 section in all the stores hopefully received a bonus.
3. The shopping carts can serve various creative purposes -- probably none of which were initially intended.
4. The inside Starbucks store can be a glorious place. Caffeine means more productive, time-efficient shopping.
5. The Slurpee machine is always broken or messy but somehow you make it work.
6. Young boys tend to lose it in the makeup aisle and end up using a cool-looking back scratcher gadget on each other to pass the time. Meanwhile, you've tossed another shade of lipstick into the cart.
7. Having to walk by the lingerie section with young boys on the way to the toys section is never entirely comfortable.
8. If you've left the toys section without hearing any requests or complaints, then your kids are saints.
9. The week before school starts in the fall is the week you want to avoid the school supplies section. It’s that time when mom-vultures descend and the most driven moms come out to play. You don’t want to ever grab the last 12-pack of water-based color markers, for example. It won’t be pretty.
10. The $5 children DVD movie section is always tempting. Sometimes it includes the movies we loved when we were a kid, and nostalgia sets in. I have yet to see this section without a "Thomas the Tank Engine" or "Annie" movie.
11. Experienced mommy shoppers know that the outside walls of the store (versus the center shopping aisles) are where most of the clearance items are.
12. That "one" item you planned to buy somehow turned into dozens of things you thought you needed and went home and forgot about.
13. We feel the need to confess to the cashier that we had planned on buying only a couple of things. And as we explain this, we’re still loading items onto the conveyor belt.
14. In the two-story Target stores, there's that moment of angst when your full cart is loaded onto its own automatic escalator and you wonder if it's going to settle nicely in the latch. And when it does, you still stare at the cart all the way to the bottom as though there's a chance it might suddenly become ambitious and break free.
Note to reader: The day before I wrote this article, the escalator broke with my cart half-way down. The picture on the right inspired this article. My cart is the one in the middle.
15. You return home with all your stuff... and your husband shakes his head. It's from either disappointment or defeat; sometimes it's hard to tell. "We really need all of this," you tell him, and you almost believe it. Even the Brita filter water bottles, the bedazzled compact mirror, and the matching picture frames suddenly become important.
16. You promise yourself to wait for a long time before you return to Target. And then, the next day when you realize you forgot to buy the one thing you actually really needed, you're back.
About the Writer: Cori Linder is a Featured Contributing Writer for Modern Mom. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter.
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