I remember the days of driving past that infamous red bull’s-eye and internally justifying a spending spree. My 25 minute commute home from work “magically” would turn into two hours and $200 spent on shit I never knew I needed. It was a great life.
Then I had kids and the days of disposable income and more importantly, throwaway time vanished. My love affair with Target abruptly ended when my sole purpose shopping there was diaper deals and pureed fruits. Now as I make my weekly jaunt to Target with two rambunctious toddlers, I often find myself daydreaming of a childless trip to my beloved store. A trip that wouldn’t involve searching through children’s clearance racks for a Little Pony tee in a size 4T. A trip that wouldn’t force me to open two packages of cookies just to obtain ten minutes of silence from my children. What would I do without my children at Target?
The answer lies below…
First, I’d get a regular freaking cart- not one of those “I’m a mom of kids!” carts with the bucket seats and waist straps covered in dried applesauce or melted chocolate (or is it poop? No one knows). I’d push a regular cart that doesn’t require a boating license to properly steer and I wouldn’t fear turning a corner and knocking down an elderly woman or a display of paper towels. What freedom!
Next, I’d want to finally partake in the luring aroma of freshly popped popcorn that greets me whenever I enter Target. When I have my children with me, I have to share the popcorn with my daughter who then declares that she “doesn’t even like popcorn” and wants a slushy instead. If she isn’t complaining then my two year old is reaching for the bag and I have to waste my breath telling him that popcorn kernels are chocking hazards. I know all the young people just want to “Netflix and chill,” but all I want to do is “Popcorn and Target”—alone.
Thirdly, I’d slowly tour the women’s clothing section. My wardrobe has been reduced to tank tops with convenient built-in-bras and mesh shorts that give the wildly incorrect impression that I actually workout. I dress this way not because I’m lazy or uninterested in my appearance, but because every damn time I try to shop for myself, my children take it upon themselves to start strangling one another using dangling sweaters from the sales racks. The last time I tried to shop for a dress at Target, I watched my daughter try to blow her nose into the sleeves of a $30 jacket. My closet has suffered ever since.
Next up: I’ve sped past the beauty section of Target for the last four years in fear that my children would use the nail polish display as tribal war paint. Target apparently has items that will help make me pretty, but I never get the opportunity to actually see them. Every time I whiz by the aisles, I dream of spending time properly color matching my skin to $12 BB creams. Hell, I’d like to have enough time in Target to learn about what BB cream actually is. I’d love to peruse the shelves with exfoliating creams without my son opening up a tube of anti-aging cream and trying to eat it when I’m not looking. Twenty minutes alone on these aisles and I could come out looking like I actually shower regularly.
All while eating my buttery popcorn goodness, I’d want to sprint by the toy section giving it the sophisticated “double middle finger” salute. A trip to Target without touring the newest Monster High doll series or wasting ten minutes searching for a red tractor Hot Wheels. A trip to Target without talking my toddler down from the ledge because she can’t have 16 Shopkins despite the fact that neither one of us know what the hell a Shopkin even is. These are moments that one could only fantasize about.
Lastly, I’d choose the check-out lane with longest line with the slowest cashier and a customer using expired coupons because what’s the rush to get back? Ordinarily, the meltdowns would commence around checkout time and I’d get the judgmental and sympathetic stares from other patrons, but I’d be ALONE. I could read about the ingredients in the packages of gum if I wanted to because once again, there are no tiny tyrants in my Target cart.
However, there would be, inevitably, a Little Pony t-shirt in size 4T and $1 car because
I love my kids so much that shit was on sale.