Coming to Grips with Jennifer

Coming to Grips with Target
by Jennifer Smith

I’ve felt a need to post about Target for some time, but have scarcely known where to begin. How do you catch a moonbeam in your hand?  Target--or Targee (hard g), as I call it (the standard Tar-jay is for beginners)--deserves a Milton or McEwan to sing its praises their due.  But since neither of these writers have ever spent a frantic hour in late August looking for a maternity shirt under ten bucks for family reunion pictures, my awkward pen will have to do.

Many womens’ blogs I read these days feature Anthropologie clothing, Crate and Barrel furniture, even lovingly homemade accessories and decor.  Whenever I peek into one of these stylish ladies’ lives,  I can’t help but think:  Poor girl. Does she not live by a Target?  I see no reason to spend vats of money on quality clothing or rich furnishings when you can buy cheap disposable stuff that looks almost the same, and be sucking on an in-house Diet Pepsi while you’re buying it. Do they have ginormous red carts that will strap in two Slurpee-covered toddlers while you try on clothes at Anthropologie?  I don’t think so.  Can you bribe your kids with a wide selection of Wii games while admiring “affordable” (read: plywood) furniture at Crate and Barrel?  As if.  And why, for the love, would you use hands that have already done dishes and changed diapers to stitch a homemade headband for your little princess when those same fingers can pick one up for a buck ninety-nine on the jewelry endcaps, leaving you two free hours to browse the new Merona line and try on gaudy earrings that you’re sure will pass (in your circles, at least) for boho chic?

I used to cringe a little when confessing to my peers that I was wearing something from Target. No more.  How dare I insult such a loyal friend behind her back?  Was she not there for me right after I had baby number three, with stretchy “fashion” denim that sucked me in for only $17.99?  Does she not come through every Christmas with teacher gifts, always lovingly selected by this grateful parent from one of the Dollar Clearance Bins?  (Who knew the green mug with antlers would be such a hit?)  Did she not babysit my wee ones with soft pretzels and lemonade while I bought fake Crocs for them and Assets for myself? (An aside:  If you indulge in Assets, you can’t afford real Crocs for your kids.  We all make our choices.)  So many different dilemmas, but always the same solution:  Target.  Target Will Provide.  My mother ship calling me home.  

Come to grips with it, my friends.  Come join me.  Leave your Etsy behind and meet me in the “dining room” for a Popcorn/Soda Combo. Art is nice, but a free refill is better. 

Jennifer writes the blog www.strayjuniormint.com.