It all started 18 years ago. I had lived in rural Ohio for two years. Need I say more, rural Ohio for two years, people. It took 20 minutes to get to the nearest mall. And it was a sad little mall. If I needed an outfit I had to go to Dancer’s Fashions. Has anyone out there ever been to a Dancer’s Fashions? Sad little place it is. Anyhoo, it was the summer of 1989, I was all grown up and I was moving back to my home state of Michigan. I had not even heard of a store called Target. Then one day I asked my Aunt, “What’s that Target place?” She responded with “Oh, it’s a good store, I go there sometimes.” So one day we went and life has never been the same. It was all innocent at first. It was located close to my workplace and sometimes I would go there on my lunch break to pick up a few things. Then sometimes I would meet my Aunt there on Friday after work. I would have me a cashed out paycheck and I was ready to buy me a 48 ounce bottle of Finesse Shampoo. I love to buy things in bulk. I hate to run out. My mom would sometimes run out of things and wake me up on a summer morning to tell me that I had to ride my bike to the store and buy her some Tide. It’s very hard to ride a bike and hold a bottle of Tide. So that’s why I hate to run out of things. I have a 12 toilet paper roll rule. I must have 12 rolls, in house, at all times. I have issues, I know. There isn’t enough money in the world to put me through the therapy that I really need.
It was October of 89, and I was a new bride. When you’re a new bride, you need lots of stuff. Lots of housey stuff and a 96 ounce bottle of Tide. Okay, it wasn’t Tide it was “Target Tide.” We didn’t have much money. Lawnmower Man and I have spent lots of time together there. We would go on Sunday afternoons and buy all of our essentials. He would buy his motor oil and I would try to put clothes and fun stuff in my cart and try to cover it with a 24 pack of TP. Sometimes it worked, sometimes he caught on. We soon had us a Medium Nanny and we would put her in the cart and she was good to go. She was a good shopper. She had to be. She had no other options. Lawnmower Man doesn’t go to Target as much as he used to because they don’t carry motor oil anymore.
We soon found ourselves in the city of Brentwood, Tennessee. We lived in the Moore’s Lane area. We moved into our apartment in June of 91. The mall opened August of 91. I was there the day it opened. Target-Cool Springs opened March 92. I was there the day it opened. Walmart- Cool Springs. I was there the day it opened. Do you see a pattern? I must be the first one in the door. I can remember special events in my life by counting back to myself and saying, “oh, that happened in 1992, the year the Target opened.” I told you there wasn’t enough money for therapy.
In July of 92, I moved south of the Target. 14 miles south. I loved my new house, but there was one thing missing. Okay, were talking TS, TN in 1992. Everything was missing. There was nothing. Big, fat nothing. Oh, unless you want to count the TS Market. It was not always the steak making, fried-green tomato serving grill that it is today. It was a stinky, raw meat smellin’, stale bread sellin’, $4 dollar milk buyin’ market. It was not cute or quaint. But that’s all we had. I only went there when I was desperate. I’m not much of a cook so I didn’t get desperate very often.
After a few years, I learned to accept my fate of living out here in the land of no shopping. I spent much of life in the car traveling to the land of shopping. That’s just how life was back then. Then one day… life started to change. It started slowly. First a McDonald’s, then a Kroger, then a bank, then a Walgreens, and so on and so on. But there are down sides to not being in the car…I don’t know the words to any songs because I don’t drive far enough to listen to a complete song. Teresa used to stand next to me in choir and I’m sure she can testify to the fact that my song word knowledge had plummeted over the last few years. But that was a small price to pay for my new convenient life.
So last week, the big day finally happened. The day I had been hoping and dreaming about for a long time. It was finally time. It was time to go to Target. And now I have had a full week of livin’ 3.5 miles from the land of red shirts and khaki pants. It’s oh such a very fun place.
Here a few things you might have heard people say to me over the last week…
One of my friends was in Target last week and she heard someone she did not know talking on a cell phone say this: I don’t know how Angela knew it was going to open today.
Fellow co-worker hollered over to me in Target and said: How many times ya been here this week?
Sunday School classmate hollered over to me in Target and said: hey, Angela, how many times ya been here this week?
Various people at church on Sunday: So, how many times have you been to Target?
Clearly, I have a problem. My hunch is…I’m not the only one. And 10 years from now I will be saying…Oh, Medium Nanny, she graduated in 2008, the year the Super Target opened. Someone needs to pick me up on Friday night and take me to our local chapter of Target Shoppers Anonymous. Of course, you’ll have to pick me up under the bullseye. And just for the record, I've only been 3 times.