I have a love/hate relationship with Target. I mean don’t we all? We love that it has everything from birthday cards to bananas, but at the same time we hate that when we go there to buy paper towels we suddenly feel compelled to buy a new coffee maker and redesign our entire kitchen.
“Okay I’m going to Target, I need a pep talk,” I told my husband as I clutched  the brown paper bag with the all-too-familiar bullseye logo.  Inside the bag was a receipt and a colorful bikini  which I bought during one of those brain-fart moments when I somehow forgot that my butt, belly and boobs don’t stay up on their own anymore. I remember the day of purchase,  it was glorious. There I was in Target by myself sans my constantly moving baby, who doesn’t stay still in a shopping cart unless I put her in a straight jacket, which even Target doesn’t sell.  I had gone in there to buy pajamas for the baby, bacon for the husband and a bathing suit for me. However, next thing I knew, I had spent 20 minutes debating between a coconut or cinnamon scented candle and somehow my cart was filled with picture frames for the grandparents, a toy for my sister’s dog, a onsie for my friend’s new baby, four tank tops for me, two fold up lounge chairs, a pink plastic kiddie pool and a “# 1 dad” trophy.

By the time I arrived to the bikini section, I realized that my two-hour window of time without my ever-crawling-climbing-squealing monkey was done. I flashed to my to do list and realized that getting my car washed, stopping by the bank and dropping off the dry cleaning all just took a back seat to the scented candles. All of a sudden, I came to. “I don’t need all this, what’s wrong with me?” I said to myself out loud. Realizing that I was about to spend our rent money on such fun colorful items I never knew I needed but suddenly had to have,I grabbed the nearest bikini off the rack, pulled out the footy pajamas from underneath the picture frames and dug out the  bacon from the bottom of the cart and left the rest. I thought about leaving an apology letter for the person who found the cart, but instead I told the cashier about my saga. Surprisingly she seem unamused by my oh so “funny” adventure.

“So this time are you actually going to try on a suit before bringing it home?” My husband asked staring at me holding the brown paper bag with the red bullseye.

I tell him that I will buy a bikini from somewhere else at some other time when I am not feeling like my boobs and stomach are one body part.

I tell him that I am going to get store credit for the suit and that I am very nervous about entering into the Target vortex. I then warn him I might come home with pretty plastic plates and cups, throw pillows and new shoes for our baby who doesn’t walk yet.

“I don’t get it,” he says looking at me like I’m a freak of nature. “You don’t even really like shopping.”
I try to explain to him how Target is a whole different beast. How a frugal sensible person such as myself can be transformed into a whimsical trust fund teenager without a care in the world. “You walk in the doors and it’s like an outer body experience,” I say to him in all seriousness.

“You’ll be fine, just go,” he says with a little fear in his voice as if he just found out his wife is some crazy closet compulsive shopper.

“Okay but before I leave, what smell do you think you like better, cinnamon or  coconut ?”