Did you know? Everything I own is terrible. I know this because I have been to Target. I have seen all that my home could be, and it comes up very short. I know you have experienced this phenomenon. My Facebook news feed is cluttered with Target memes like the following:
I am back stateside due to the bad air in Singapore, and my wallet is breathing a sigh of relief that I do not have much space in my suitcases to bring back hordes of loveliness from the shelves of Target. On a typical Target run, we find ourselves aimlessly wandering the brightly colored aisles when we only went in for some lettuce, goldfish crackers, and toothpaste. Target is a place where the kids are (relatively) less whiny, a place that soothes my stressed brain with the possibility of a beautiful home and an easy home cooked meal via a simple purchase. Target makes me feel like a good mom, and there isn’t much out there that makes me feel that way these days. Hence, I’m drawn there over and over for any reason at all. And as with all good things in life, there is a downside.
If I allow myself to wander the aisles, I WILL run into something perfect, something that contains within it all of my aspirational hopes for a great future. It could be a beautiful character pillow that will bring everlasting smiles to my kiddos face (for 10 minutes), or maybe a gorgeous rug around which I could design a beautiful modern room that would ensure happy days as a family (and spilled grape juice or wine). It might be a cozy sweater that guarantees relaxed evenings sipping hot tea with a good book (and kiddos that refuse to sleep for some reason). Just writing these ridiculous (yet true) sentences, I realize that my brain is indelibly printed with marketing messages that suggest all these wonderful scenarios without the slightest provocation.
The problem is that once you get it home, it is no longer new. It becomes a normal part of your life instead of something desirable. Then Target puts out yet another gorgeous product line that feels so fresh and new and perfect, and you will be in the same situation again. It’s insidious really. Of course it isn’t just Target, I feel the same way in nearly any store. Target just has a particular kind of magic.
But there is hope! I can just:
- NEVER GO SHOPPING.
- NEVER WATCH TV.
- NEVER LOOK AT WELL DRESSED PEOPLE.
- NEVER GO ON FACEBOOK.
- NEVER EVER OPEN MY EYES.
I know, comparison is the devil, thanks to multitudinous “share or perish” posts on Facebook.
But still, marketing teams everywhere find easy prey among those of us who still find it difficult to be content with ourselves and our belongings. Living in SE Asia now and being slapped in the face with the environmental effect of cheap manufacturing and our insatiable need for newer, cheaper, better, I just can’t do it anymore. I need to change. I just spent nearly SGD$4,000 (approx. USD$3,000) to fly to the US for good air. Yet I open the Target circular and see loveliness. The photos do not do the images justice.
I KNOW these things, even bought in their entirety, will not bring happiness. They do not change our lives in a truly meaningful and lasting way the way we hope. But OMG I truly have a hard time at Target.
From now on, I will have to steel my mind to stay only within the grocery area only. I need a kind of force field to prevent the marketing messages to permeate my brain. Lol, I bet I could find a really cute force field for a great price at Target. Sigh…
Any advice from Target shoppers out there? How do you stay strong? Or do you exit Target having happily spent five times what you meant to spend?
In the meantime, I will try to do more