Recently, I went to Target.
And, once again, I fell victim to what I like to call the “Target Creep Factor.” I swear when I’m there, someone pumps gas through the air vents that transforms me into a zombie…a zombie in need of storage containers, Mossimo dresses and travel toiletries. I never leave Target without a cart full of necessities that I never knew I needed.
On this day, and in exactly thirty-seven minutes, I managed to amass the following haul:
1. Three spinning light toy sticks (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Spider-Man and The Hulk).
2. Pine Sol.
3. A floppy straw hat for all the lounging at the pool I think I’ll do every summer.
4. Four different varieties of jelly beans.
5. A mini blender.
6. Archer Farms salsa.
7. An Xhilaration maxi skirt.
8. The “what do you mean I’m not green?” cargo of toilet paper, paper towels, diapers and baby wipes.
9. A couple of $5 Circo superhero t-shirts.
10. Value bag of string cheese.
For a few moments, as my items rolled down the conveyor belt toward the cashier, I reveled in my efficiency, navigation skills and relief in checking this box off my list.
Until I went to search for my wallet.
I stood there staring at the cashier, willing that wallet to appear in my purse. I dumped out my entire Mary Poppins Bag.
The following thoughts came to mind:
- The person behind me really should just pay for me. She looks nice.
- Or, instead, the cashier should just give me a “pass” and let me have all of this stuff for free. I’m a really good customer. And I look nice.
- Did I just lose an hour of my life that I can never get back?
- Did I just lose an hour of my life that I can never get back AND did I just pay a babysitter for it?
- Do I have to come back here and do this all over again with that awful car cart so I can fit all of my kids?
- Quick! Memorize all the things I just tried to buy so that I can do this again tomorrow, but in half of the time.
- What items do I have in my purse that I could potentially barter?
- Wait, did someone snatch my wallet out of my purse while I was shopping?
- I did walk away from my cart to surf the bins of plastic toys that were 5/$6.
- I am a little reckless with my purse in the cart sometimes.
- Uh oh, what did I have in my wallet?
- Does insurance cover stolen wallet items like gift cards and punch cards?
- I’m pretty sure I was one punch away from a free sandwich, a free coffee and a free haircut.
- I just waited in line at the DMV for an hour to get a new drivers license. I can’t believe I have to go back and do it all over again.
- But I really do hate that new picture on my license, I wouldn’t mind a new one.
- This time I’ll take a shower first.
- New credit cards mean new auto-pays for my online everything. No more one-click shopping for me.
- What are the chances that wallet ends up under one of my kids’ beds?
- At least I’ve saved myself a few hours of binging on those jelly beans.
- And now would probably be a good opportunity to rethink those spinning light toy sticks.
I left Target, sulking, empty-handed (except for the empty canvas shopping bags in my hand to recoup some trees for the paper cargo mentioned above) and praying that the wallet wasn’t stolen. Because that would be really, really sad.
But thankfully, in the end, the wallet was recovered. Hidden away in the middle of my kitchen counter.
And I even managed to make it back to Target later that night while the Husband held down the fort (and the kids). By the way, night shopping can be quite the romantic experience. Especially with a Starbucks in hand and one of those really smooth carts in the most “Super” of Super Targets.
The forced down time also helped me rethink some of my purchases. I scaled back my jelly bean variety and surrendered to the fact that I will not be lounging at any time in the near future and, thus, I do not need a lounging hat. And we might very well be at superhero capacity in our house right now.
But a few tank tops and picture frames for my trouble and emotional roller coaster?
Don’t blame me. Blame the zombie.