Good Old Target, the store that practically raised me. When I shuffle through my room, my backpack, the kitchen, the living room, I guarantee there will be at least three items if not more that are from there. It has had a bigger impact than you may have noticed. I remember afternoon Target runs with my mom since I was little. Sitting up in a shopping cart with a slushy and bag of popcorn. To a little kid this store was the coolest thing ever. Target was practically a field trip for me, if mom said she was going I was the first one in the car.
It sounds absurd, but Target is where a lot of us grew up.
It taught us, help us discover; it was just a part of our lives. This store had an impact that most of us haven’t noticed.
In late July, the store puts up all the back to school posters and all the school supply lists are out waiting. Seeing this, every kid knew their summer was officially over. For many of us, the terror that one felt after losing their mother in the clothing department. Naturally, I never seemed to want to hold my mom’s hand while in the store.
This was also a place for a kid to be imaginative, pretending the floor tiles were lava and trying to avoid the red ones. It was a place where clothing racks became your own personal jungle-gyms, castles, mountains, whatever your young mind could conjure up. Target is the home of your very first temper tantrums, over toys that mom said to put back.
Embarrassment was often part of the experience, for us or for our parents.
You probably broke something off a Christmas display or spilled a drink on the floor. The sibling rivalry and bickering, then mom jumping in and threatening to make you go back to the car. Despite all these things, this was where the little you flourished. This store was your everything. It’s amazing how all of us at one point were able to create something at out nothing there.
Target was still there for us even at our most awkward times. Buying tampons with your mom, and then in the next aisle over you spent almost forever looking for the perfect acne wash. It was the place where you bought your first cheap lip gloss just to impress the cute boy in the 3rd period. Or that really “manly” cologne that you would practically bathe yourself in after gym every day.
Then there were the bras. That little bit of nervousness you’d get as your mom held three different ones up to your chest just so she could figure out the right fit. Inevitably everyone you particularly didn’t want to see at that moment managed to appear.
There was that thrill you got when your mom first sent you in all by yourself.
Now Target is where I have go to grab supplies for projects that I have procrastinated for way too long. To grab a t-shirt that I need for no reason at all. It’s now the place where friends and I go to race each other in shopping carts pretending to be kids once again. Now I see my own friends are working there. There’s more stress. Whether I’m trying to make sure I have enough money on my card, or choosing between needs and wants. I actually read all the labels on the items now. I’m extra careful in the parking lot so I don’t hit anyone’s car. The store is just my go-to for everything, but the “adulting” version.
I finally understand why Target was always so packed, why my mother made me hold her hand, and why we spent hours in the acne wash aisle. It’s different now, but it hasn’t completely lost all of its thrill and excitement. I just can’t fathom how much I’ve gone through in this one store. How over the years of going there I have changed so much.
Looking at the items in my basket now versus what I put in my mom’s as little as just three years ago, it’s kind of weird to think about. That store is filled with so many memories, these are part of what made us who we are. Until next time Target!
Images via Bloomberg