Friday, January 9, 2015

Target and I Broke Up…and I Don’t Miss it.

I was this woman:

I loved Target. I darkened their door several times a week when I lived equidistant between two of their stores. Where else could you buy a leotard for your preschooler’s dance class, an appropriately priced present for an impending birthday party, and a package of blueberries for $3.99 all in the same place?

(Okay, a couple of places now that I think about it…but that isn’t my point!)

Then I moved to a place where Target isn’t. The closest Target is over 30 miles away, which takes 30 minutes if you drive the speed limit. While I likely spent almost that much time driving to my local target in my old stompin’ grounds, somehow this feels FAR. My relationship with Target had become “geographically undesirable.”

So, I broke up with Target…pretty much after I moved. I have been there a total of two times in 14 months. In fact, I had been there so infrequently of late I didn’t bat an eye when they had their data breach in 2013.

If you asked me 14 months ago how to live without Target, I would have answered you, “I couldn’t.” So steeped in the Target culture, I couldn’t imagine life without its red-accented aisles, resplendent with affordable merchandise. I drank Target’s Market Pantry Knock off Kool-Aid and wiped the chemically stained mustache it left behind on my lip with a satisfied, “Ahhhh!”

Now with some distance between us, I see the flaws in our relationship, the flies in the Kool-Aid if you will. Some of you don’t see them. I get you. However, this relationship isn’t healthy, and because I care about you, I feel the need to intervene.

Six Reasons You Need to Break Up with Target:

      1. The dollar bin is today’s bargain, tomorrow’s clutter. Just like you, I have browsed the $1 bins at Target. Even my discerning eye found at least one or two incredible bargains I couldn't resist. However, one week after, said item would undoubtedly find its way under my foot broken and in the way. Just say no, ladies. There’s a reason it only costs $1.

2. Some of the $1 bin items are $3. Okay, so a measly $2 isn’t going to break the bank, but mixing in $3 stuff with $1 stuff is sneaky. Period.

3. Target fashion is an oxymoron. Unless you want to wear the same thing as every other bedraggled mom in the Tri-State area, buying anything at Target to wear is a losing proposition. I know…Isaac Mizrahi is a judge on Project Runway. But he doesn’t send any of the clothes he sells at Target down that runway, does he? The clothes sporting his name at Target are designed for inexpensive construction by a child not much older than the one tugging at your sleeve begging for another bag of popcorn. If you do buy something, forget about washing it. I never had a piece of Target clothing return from the laundry in wearable condition. Wear it until you can’t spot clean it anymore and just throw it in the trash.

4. If you want to punish your feet, buy Target’s shoes. It’s undeniable; Target has cute, inexpensive shoes. They are also torturous to wear and inevitably end up looking cute in the shoe rack as you reach past them for the old shoes you were trying to replace. At least you don’t bleed when you wear those.

5. The food at the Target Snack Stand is nasty. I applaud Target’s attempts to give us healthy choices to feed our children (alongside the unnaturally blue, high fructose corn syrup laden Slurpee dispenser). But it’s gross. Whenever I go to the Target snack stand, I smell feet. We only bought popcorn…they can’t put feet in that, right?

6. Get Poppin’. Speaking of popcorn, I have an ax to grind with Target’s, “We usually pop popcorn after 10 a.m. policy.” Dear Target: My three-year-old doesn’t give a hoot that it’s 9 a.m. The only way I could coerce him in here without a three-alarm meltdown was to promise popcorn, so crank up the popper right before you unlock the door, for the love of Pete!

I know some you think I’m just wrong. Maybe I am. Maybe I created these faults to help me cope with my loss. However, if you search your feelings, you will acknowledge there is a ring of truth here that cannot be denied, even for the most fervent Target devotees.

I encourage you to resist. When the Market Pantry Kool-Aid knockoff is passed to you, say, “No thank you!”, stride past the hello kitty socks for $1, breathe through your mouth by the feet smelling snack stand and head back to your car. In just 426 more days, you won’t even miss it.