Target and Moms are like mashed potatoes and gravy. They just GET each other. Sure, you can put butter, or cheese sauce, or even ranch dressing on your smash-tates, but it was written in the STARS for gravy to drizzle down that fluffy mountain of whipped starchy tuber veg. Same goes for shopping. You can get the same bag of cosmetic sponges at Walmart, or that same box of toothpaste at Fred Meyer. But does your soul sing when you walk through those automatic doors like they do as you strut your stuff down the red carpet and into the sweet scent filled room of buttered popcorn and fresh brewed coffee that stimulates your senses and wakes you up, rooting your feet back down to the ground and out of the fog that you’ve been drifting through and into that red and white foyer of your local Target?
I didn’t think so.
Anyway, here are my top 5 reasons why I think Target is a mom’s favorite store.
-And no, I’m not getting paid to write this, but I would totally take a free pretzel if they offered one. Salted, like my attitude, of course.
1.big red balls
Let’s be honest here. You have totally told your kid to go pick one up, right? Or watched (and laughed) someone try to kick it, and then they cry because they got the worst stubbed toe of their life. If I’m alone here, I’m gonna be severely in shock. My children KNOW that it’s coming as soon as we pull into the parking lot…
“Hey Offspring, I triple-dog-dare you to pick up one of those red balls and throw it as FAR as you can. If you beat me, I’ll buy you whatever you want inside.”
“Anything I want?”
“Awesome, you go first. ” *giggle*
Offspring walks up to the cement ball and bends down to pick it up by way of hugging…
“lift with your knees!”
“ITS TOO HEAVY! MOOOOM! YOU KNEW IT WASN’T A BALL! NO FAIR!”
2. the carts
No joke. If you have EVER had the pleasure of pushing around a shopping cart (or buggy if you live somewhere else), you know what I’m talking about. These things don’t know what it means to have a squeaky wheel alerting the other shoppers that you’re coming. Or that demon cart with the spinning wheel… Call an exorcist, because, just no. Target must have put a lot of moolah into the R&D department when they were ready to make the big buggy buy. Let me just put it like this: Target’s carts are the Cadillac of the cart world. Smooth, comfortable, and easy on the eyes. Every other place makes you drive a cold, steel Geo Metro- that turquoise one, with the pink flash stripes. yeah. Somehow, these carts glide like a hot knife through butter. Are you even walking? Maybe the floor is just a conveyor belt that you’re standing on that conveniently steers you in the direction of your ultimate destination (ummm, everywhere).
Even their “I have too many kids” cart is awesome. Yes, it’s extra gigantic, and yes you still feel like an A-Hole pushing it through the bra and panty section while your sticky-fingered children snag undergarments and try them on inappropriately, but even THIS mega cart glides as if on ice. Smooth. Obnoxious, but smooth. Heck, I’m just glad I can cram all 5 of my kids onto a single cart and threaten with a promise to skip the toy section while they are all clumped together. That smells like a victory in my book. Chasing those monsters out of clothing racks and away from priceless iPad displays is my worst nightmare. Thank you, mega carts, thank you.
They also have those neat little cup holder things that clip onto your cart. If you’re lucky you will have trained your children to leave them alone, but I’m not sure that’s real life.
3. food and drink
This is huge. Target has a mini cafeteria so you won’t shop hangry. You know it’s happened before.
Remember that one time you went to the store to get your middle schooler a plain white collared shirt for the orchestra concert that you might have forgotten was on your calendar the following evening, and as you were trying on a new pair of sandals to match the adorable handbag you found just minutes before, your stomach does that rolling growl thing. Then you start to feel dizzy, and realize your last meal was eaten by the toddler who insisted that she was going to DIE OF STARVATION if you didn’t let her eat your cheese stick.
Well, fret no more. Target has got you covered. Just zip on up to the front of the store, and snag a pretzel, a slushie, and a bag of popcorn for the kids, because you KNOW you can’t have a snack without them begging for a bite. Remember that cheese stick? But what’s the BEST part? In all of the 1,826 times that I have purchased a bag of delicious, buttery,poppiness, I have NEVER been yelled at, side-eyed, or sneered at for my children spilling popcorn in the detergent aisle. What’s that all about, huh? I’m sure they all gather together in the break room, and swap stories of THAT mom and her bazillion kids throwing popcorn at one another as if they were in a snowball fight. In fact, I’m positive that they do. Heck, even I tell others about my bad behavior and how I can’t believe they allow me back. But NEVER have they EVER made me feel unwelcome or that they are doing a happy dance the second we exit the store. Even when I apologize profusely and let them know exactly where the spillage is out of shame.
AND a Starbucks. I don’t believe that more words are necessary here.
4. bullseye’s playground AKA “the dollar spot”
It is physically and morally impossible to walk past this section of Target and not pause. Or stop completely. Or try to maneuver your mega-cart through the impossibly narrow path between those wonderful shelves lined with bins filled with affordable and seasonably appropriate items that you NEED. This is where they get you. It’s where your brain goes from “I just need to get a pair of socks and a bicycle tube” to “I’m buying EVERYTHING!”
- A brightly colored hat with the saying “beach hair, don’t care”
- A large blank calendar for your wall or desk
- Reindeer ankle socks
- A small bag of pumpkin shaped erasers
- Easter bunny ear headbands
- A sheet of stickers for the kids to plaster across the windows of your car
- Tote bag with hearts and rainbows
- Sidewalk chalk in the shape of dinosaurs
- Dish towels with trendy sayings
No matter who you are, you’ll find something to tickle your fancy. and all for under $5. Come on. There is a ton of seriously GOOD stuff up in this bins niche.
5. not walmart
Here’s the thing. I am NOT dogging the Walmart. Not even close. I do 90% of my shopping at the Walmart, and I’ll continue to do so because I’m a grown up and I can do what I want. Also, because it’s the only big store near our tiny town, and I’m a sucker for a deal. Especially when you can buy a home pregnancy test at an Only One Dollar store and then find out that it’s only $0.88 at the Walmart, you know where to go (I dislike the “Dollar” store now).
ANYWAY, Target and Walmart have all the same things: Hairspray, Doritos, Double Sided Tape, Paw Patrol Underwear (2T/3T), Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, a Harry Potter T-Shirt, and of course off brand Diapers. But what’s the MAIN difference? No, not the price, we all know you’ll get a banging deal at the Walmart, duh. One is red and the other is blue? You’re getting warmer… It’s the ambiance. Yes, I said it. I know some big words too…
I love that I can peruse the aisles and not feel rushed. Sure, there are other people in the store around me, but I just get a sense of calm as I meander through the dog food section. Crossing the luxuriously wide space between sections speaks to my rushed heart, saying, “take your time, hun, you’ve got all the time in the world.”
I don’t get bumped into by a passerby. I rarely turn a corner and plow my cart into someone ignoring the unspoken rule that you must drive your cart on the right side… I’m talking to YOU, Janet.
Simply put, I feel classy. I might even start pronouncing it with a French accent without shame (Tar-Jay) because I’m in a boujee mood. I’m still gonna go to the Walmart if I need a gallon of milk and candy bar especially if I’m still wearing my pajama bottoms. But if I’m ready for a grande no-water, no-foam, Chai Latte with 2 pumps of vanilla, then you better expect to see me loading the back of my minivan with bags covered in red circles 3 hours later.
Or if I’m wearing real pants. I think real pants are required at Target. Yes, leggings count- but not the flesh colored ones. Just, don’t.
In conclusion… download the cartwheel app for extra deals, bask in the amazing lighting of the beauty section, assume that everyone wearing a red shirt is an employee, and venture on down to Target for some well deserved retail therapy. And pick me up some Up&Up Makeup Remover Wipes while you’re there?
Expect More. Pay Less.