Friday, August 6, 2010

Family Field Trip

We took a family field trip yesterday. I was frustrated with my local, usual Super Target so I thought I would be brave and go to the next closest Target. Unfortunately, the next closer Target took me to a somewhat undesirable locale on University Avenue. Let's suffice it to say that even if you are unfamiliar with my vast urban oasis -- otherwise known as St. Paul, MN -- that most stores on University Avenue in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul are somewhat unsavory and unusually full of extremely "interesting" (euphemism: psychotic) characters.

For example, today I was fairly certain that one of the four of us was going to be kidnapped at Target. And to add to my terror, I’m pretty sure that "someone" was going to be yours truly, because, well, my children had lots of energy to spare and don’t really understand the concept of an inside voice. Plus, honestly, rowdy children do NOT make good kidnapping victims -- which left me... looking run-down, at my wits end, and a bit desperate. Also, I saw the way the dude with the beer-loving boxer shorts and no teeth was eyeing me from across the aisle. It was an “I want to eat your face” look (see picture). And not in a good way.

It started pretty much like any other trip to Target starts. With a list. String cheese. Paper Plates. Nail clipper. Water Bottles for kids sports. I popped Target into Google and found, I think, three in Wisconsin. How is that even possible? There were three Targets within ten minutes of my house in Minneapolis. Why didn't Google list any of the Targets on the east side of the river but three in an entirely different state? Google had the audacity to list five Walmarts in St. Paul! Have you ever tried to buy a toddler-sized container of cheese balls while buying artwork for your wall while buying tampons while buying a camera lens while buying the latest Hannah Montana bedding while buying gift wrap at Walmart? It can’t be done, is what I’m saying.

Okay, so it may be done at Walmart, but I really dislike that place.

I get it, Walmart. You are no longer hyphenated and you traded in your boring old star for some cartoon-ish sunshine smiley-faced thingy or something to make the housewives happier about shopping at your store, but I am not buying it! You are not Target. You will never be Target. No matter what my bloody Google tells me.

Anywho. Well, at Target Boutique I did manage to get a giant container of cheese balls. And deli meat. And water bottles. And a nail clipper. And two Little Critter books (because, seriously, if I have to read The Berenstain Bears one more time…) And pretzels. And gum. And a dress for Little Princess G that was on clearance.

But all of this was done in under, um, about 8 minutes! Why you ask? Because, well, in addition to the scary toothless man who wanted to eat my face, there were far too many policemen in one place for my liking. A policeman at every turn means there’s a need for a policeman at every turn, which, really, can never mean anything good. Right?!

And you know what else is never a good sign? When things like nail files and razors are locked behind glass cases. No ma’am.

I was hightailing it out of there. Quick. And deciding that I should reconsider the next time I want to take my family on a field trip to a "new" Target.

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