I don’t know what it is about Target, but trolling its wide, bright aisles is like being on a super duty smiley drug. I feel peaceful and Zen-like. However, as with any drug, there is a dark side to the Target high.
This morning, I had two cavities filled. Sunny was at school, Abs at my neighbor’s, so I thought I’d console myself with a trip to my favorite consumer haven. I braced myself for potential overspending and made a list of (sort of) necessities to keep me in line. Before taking off, I did a quick search online for coupons to help with some of the pricier items on my list. I scored right away with a $5 coupon for the new Brita dispenser we desperately needed (our current pitcher is five years old, too small for a family of four, and covered with some kind of brown residue that is resistant to my Herculean scrubbing efforts). Retrieving said coupon took longer than expected, involving the download of special software, the completion of a form akin to a college application, and a virtual promise to stop using water bottles, which, by the way, I rarely ever do. I earned every cent of that $5, for sure. Coupon and list in hand, I set off like a kid to the candy store.
I had every intention to stick to the list – Brita, sand toys, toilet paper, paper plates, napkins. Nothing special. But as soon as those red doors opened, I slid into a Target coma. Next thing you know, I’m drifting toward the clothing aisle, fingering the colorful clothing, breathing in the Merona smell. I allowed myself to take away a $5 clearance T-shirt. Then the toy aisle beckoned, and I just had to buy bubbles and a cute Tinker Bell ball for the girls. I was so damn happy it was pathetic. La la la. My cart and I moved on, effortlessly, to the water filters, where I admit I was well behaved, buying just the Brita dispenser. That’s when I should have stopped. But suddenly I was in the cleaning section, and instead of buying the dishwasher detergent I really needed, I bought a microfiber mop that I thought maybe I could use. I hit the card, beauty, and pantry aisles in quick succession, snapping up merchandise like it was never going to be available on Earth again. I had no self-control. It got ugly. I finally steered my full cart toward the checkout, thinking in my Target trance: how bad could it be?
I saw the numbers flash by on the register screen. $5 t-shirt plus $10 mop plus $30 Brita plus…and…we’re at $100! And what do I do? I numbly swipe my credit card (don’t you love how you have to swipe it yourself – there’s no one but you to blame!) I roll back out through the doors and into the light of day, wondering what I had just bought that cost $100.
It all started with a $5 coupon. You can see where it ended. That’s consumer therapy for you. Good thing I only go to Target once a month or we’d be broke. EDIT: I realized I just wrote a post about being a spendthrift…guess my consumerism is not strictly linked to being a new homeowner. Hmmm…this could be a worrying trend for me!
What store(s) bring on the consumer in you? I’d love to know I’m not alone!