Reality Check, Aisle One

Last night was evidently “take your screaming child to Target night,” something I was unaware of when I set out on my journey to distract myself and find things to buy that I didn’t know I needed.

And although I set out to Target as a form of healthy distraction, it ended up being quite a workout. See, I had the unfortunate pleasure of spotting someone I knew in the store and would have preferred not to run into, therefore mandating generic conversation and awkward smiles (even the word “awkward” is awkward, no?)

I’m really not that anti-social, but to be honest, I couldn’t remember her first name for the life of me.

So while I entered the store and began browsing the clothes (sidebar: Is it just me, or do today’s “fashions” suck? I’m not into clothes, but these were ridiculous.) Where was I? While I was browsing the “clothes,” I had my first encounter with aforementioned screaming child. This particular midget was trouncing up and down a row of shirts, randomly pulling them off as she passed—and accenting each successful attempt with a delighted shriek.

I was somehow convinced that my leer towards her mother would jar her back to the sad reality that her child was a monster, but no luck. Mom was oblivious to both her child, the evil eye I was shooting her way and the fact that the clothes she was looking at were hideous.

So I journeyed on to the home department where I can spend endless minutes convincing myself that I need a new drawer organizer or Glade Plug-In just because it looks neat or smells good (this is also my criteria for dating and eating, by the way.)

That’s when I saw her—I say “her,” because I couldn’t remember her name.

Ironically enough, she had her own cart of offspring that were starting to get antsy themselves, whining in a way that would soon escalate into boredom-induced bellows. At any rate, I quickly darted to the next aisle, narrowly missing a run-in that would have my brain racing for her name and my mouth spouting generic “hey you” and other avoidance addresses.

It was like I was a magnet.

I went to the bathroom accessories, she made her way to the bathroom accessories. I scampered over to the kitchen appliances like a maniac, she calmly wheeled her brood over to the kitchen appliances. An encounter seemed inevitable, and my brain was still searching for her damn name.

It was like my brain was an anti-magnet for recollection and sanity.

So I hiked it over to the Halloween section and was greeted by not scary costumes, but scary children screeching about what they wanted to dress up as. Right then. Not at Halloween, but right there in the aisle. Harried parents were looking longingly at the prop weapons while their children ran around with pumpkin buckets on their heads.

OK. Maybe I was looking longingly at the prop weapons.

Soon enough the nameless wonder made her way towards the costumes, inciting a minor riot from the two kids in her cart. I quickly made my escape around the back and through the candy aisle—there might have been a slight diversion here—and found myself free from the ties that would bind me to social etiquette.

I grabbed my big purchase for the evening—no fun foods, cute clothes or much-needed make-up, but rather hair mousse for the few strands I have left—and breathed a sigh of relief as I made my way to the register.

My eyes scanned the scene, still on the lookout for the nameless wonder—confirmation was still negative. So I moved up to pay for my mousse and made small talk with the cashier, dropping a couple sarcastic remarks about the plethora of screaming children that were seemingly invading our precious Target on that Friday night.

She remarked that a little girl had come through her lane earlier and said nothing, just stared at her, and then proceeded to start screaming at the top of her lungs until the mother put the princess crown from the cart on her head.

I suggested the cashier keep one behind the counter to plop on the heads of subsequent screaming children (and possibly adults,) and she laughed. It was at that time I looked down at her name tag—Marie.

Yes my friends, the same name as the person I had worked so hard to avoid throughout my journey.

It was like a weight had been lifted off my bony shoulders at that moment of recognition. In fact, it felt so great I was tempted to journey back into the store and leisurely make my way through the aisles, no longer afraid of an amnesic encounter.

As a child’s size shoe zoomed past my head and a mother’s pleading warning to said footwear hurler cut through my fantasy, I grabbed my mousse and headed home.

Reality check, aisle one.

I know, I’m wild and crazy going to Target on a Friday night. How did you spend yours? Anything you go to Target for specifically, or do you randomly roam like I do?

8 responses to “Reality Check, Aisle One

  1. I also go to Target just to roam around.The other day I helped out two old ladies pic out vitamin supplements. It made me feel super helpful!
    Last night I hung out with undergrads in downtown Bryan and went out for pizza. It was actually really fun and a much needed excursion.
    This morning wasn’t so great, but now I am off to eat lunch and clean my apartment. What kind of hair mousse? Anything fun?

  2. I had a horrible day yesterday, so I spent friday night in a pool of tears and then went to the grocery store to stock up on some things. Never got to a supermarket friday night! Pre-clubbing girls flock there in their “dresses” (more like slightly oversized shirts) and seven inch heels looking for the cheapest liquor they can find.

    I like the kitchen gadget section (obviously) and my target started selling cool foods like greek yogurt. I once saw Leonardo Di Caprio with his supermodle girlfriend there. And like you, this became a workout as to avoid them.

    And your post reminded me why I will probably never conceive.

  3. What is it about Target that calls to us when we have nothing so shop for in particular? I’ve done some window shopping in other stores, but I go back time after time to Target for no reason!!

    Since I work in the mall, you can imagine that most of the time I’m there, I’m going to be bombarded with screaming children. I’d like to say that I’m use to it by now, but that would be a lie. The unfortunate thing is, I can’t cast them the evil eye. I have to smile and be helpful……….

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  5. I was at Target on friday as well. Went in for shampoo and $50 later I came out. I specifically go there for refrigerated almond milk and 3-packs of orbit cinnamon gum <—– addicted to it and it's sold nowhere else. Also any cosmetic products are cheaper there. I felt betrayed when I realized I had been paying $12 for mascara when I could be paying $6. Fool me once….

  6. Oh man, I LOVE Target. What I don’t love is running into people. Whenever I see people while doing errands, it feels very out of context and odd to me. I can never remember names. I saw my dental hygienist once and, because she wasn’t wearing scrubs or whatever, all I could think was, “That woman looks so familiar. Is she famous?” I get so disoriented.
    As for screaming children, I had my own horror story today at Trader Joe’s where this stupid nightmare of an 8-eight-year old was yelling (YELLING!), “MOM, I DON’T WANT TO BE HERE. HURRY UP AND SPEND THE MONEY BECAUSE DAD’S NEXT CHECK DOESN’T COME FOR A MONTH.” Yikes.
    Favorite Target buys: Cards, Clif Z bars in a box (I haven’t seen that anywhere else), toothpaste, make-up, household cleaners, a DVD (it always sneaks in, strangely), and some kind of medicine.

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  8. Target is my favorite place to waste time.

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