I haven’t physically gone inside a store in weeks. Sure, I’ve done shopping. I’ve purchased several pairs of shoes (well, three pairs of shoes and two pairs of Yeezy Slides) since being on lockdown of sorts. I’ve had to actually force myself to stop going onto Amazon.com to buy shit I don’t need and would never use. True story, I have several Marvin the Martian t-shirts in my “save for later” basket. I don’t even know why I have one, let alone several, in my basket, but there they sit, waiting to be purchased. The only thing I can come up with is that I think Marvin the Martian is one of the realest black people to ever black so maybe one day I was like, “You know what, I need some Marvin gear!” Otherwise, I have nothing. But that’s all online.
I legitimately don’t remember the last time I ventured inside a store of any sort. I think maybe it was PetCo several weeks ago, but even then, I could be wrong. What I do know is that I haven’t been inside a Target in probably close to a month. Hell, I haven’t even driven by a Target.
I miss Target.
Admittedly, I spent way too much time at Target. After dropping my daughter off at school in the mornings—back when school was a thing—I’d have to pass a Target on my way to wherever I was working for the day. And since Target opens at 8 a.m. and there is ALWAYS something to buy at Target, I’d just drop by several times a week. We need toilet paper? Got that. Paper towels? Bong bong. Some new clothes for the kiddies? No sweat, I’ll stop by Target in the morning.
And it was NOTHING to make a Target run in the evening to go pick up this, that or the third. I was on a first-name basis with some of the folks who worked at one Target I frequented. I remember going into Target one day and realizing I didn’t need anything but instinctively just stopped in. I thought it probably felt weird for Target, too. I bought something I didn’t need and all was right with the world.
Now though, I don’t really see a reason to make the trip, and even if I did, it feels like SO MUCH TROUBLE to actually go inside.
For instance, several days of the week I take an early morning drive just to get out of the house. I’m not going anywhere in particular but just going somewhere for about 20 minutes. I’m basically in the car long enough to hear Dru Hill’s (the Sisqo, Smoke and Black [from Playa] iteration) new song, “What You Need,” six or seven times and then I’m back home (yes, I listen to that song on repeat...have you heard it? It’s amazeballs.). Well, a few weeks back while partaking in this ritual, I realized it had been a week or two since I’d had a Red Bull. I’m a Red Bull drinker—I’m particular to the Kiwi Apple and Blueberry flavors. Anyway, I pass several CVS’s and grocery stores on this short drive and every single day I wanted to stop in and get a Red Bull but when I thought of putting on a mask and gloves and having to be extra careful about touching my clothes and not touching my phone, etc. I figured it wasn’t worth it and drove on home. I ended up ordering cases from Amazon so I’m good, but the process kept me from a simple joy of mine.
This is partly why I don’t make any trips to Target, even when I can think of good reasons to go. The care with which I have to operate seems like so much work. And that makes me sad. My wife took a trip to Target to pick up some things and it felt weird that I didn’t even want to go. I miss my daily ritual of random purchases (I have admittedly saved a bunch of money since being largely confined to the house) but all I can think of is the amount of preparation and active concentration I’d need to undertake to keep myself good. My wife is obviously better at this than I am.
Despite this lack of desire to be there, I still miss Target all the same. We have shared so many good times. Like the time when I bought 3 items and somehow spent $230 and couldn’t figure out the disconnect. Who am I kidding, that’s every trip to Target. Or all of those times at the self-checkout where it tells me “thanks for shopping at Target. See you again soon!” and how I’m annoyed at the presumption but how Target is never wrong since I will always see them again soon. Or the time I saw a white Ford Bronco (an OJ-mobile) parked at one of my Targets and immediately let all the homies know that OJ Simpson was lurking about (I never saw him; I’m pretty sure he’d never be caught dead in one). Or what about the time that I heard Eric B. and Rakim playing over the loudspeakers and broke into an impromptu dance session. Target has brought me more random moments of entertainment than I can shake a stick at. I don’t even mind paying the $50 entrance fee (you know you ain’t never spent less than $50 in Target).
Target isn’t just a store, for me it’s an experience and I miss that. I also realize how ridiculous it is to miss a whole big-ass box store, but you know what, Target is one of my happy places and while I’m fine, seriously, I’m fine, I look forward to making trips to pick up a sifter, a screwdriver and a brand new vacuum because why not, ya know?
I miss you Target...I hope to see you soon (when I don’t have to do so much to walk in, that is.)