Target is the New IKEA
August 21, 2006
For several summers in a row, we've had the misfortune (translation: BREATHTAKING STUPIDITY) of going to IKEA on a big back-to-school weekend. Possibly THE back-to-school weekend. You know, the COLLEGE STUDENT back-to-school weekend, when every single college student from every single college in the area descends on IKEA in hopes of transforming their eight-foot cube of a dorm room into a Scandinavian paradise of modular shelving with perfectly-sized wicker baskets and big shaggy rugs, despite 1) having a roommate who is going to get drunk every weekend and dump all the wicker baskets over in attempt to find one to wear as a hat, and also 2) not realizing what a goddamned pain it's going to be vacuuming ramen noodles out of that big shaggy rug with a borrowed Dustbuster.
The good news is: we did not go to IKEA this weekend. (Although in an alternate reality we might have, had we made good on our plans to move out of the city this summer. Which you may have noticed, we most certainly did not. We attached some handles on our kitchen cabinets and Jason CLAIMS to have fixed the toilet that randomly decides not to flush, and by "randomly" I mean "every time you poop in it." But we're kind of paralyzed by fear and doubt and real estate prices that have not gone down as much as we thought, and the realization that we'd probably be the kind of homeowners who forget to mow the lawn and leave toilets on the front curb, and I am basing this on the fact that we have had a SPARE TIRE in our FOYER for THREE MONTHS NOW.)
Anyway. We did not go to IKEA this weekend. We went to Target instead.
THINGS WE NEEDED AT TARGET:
1) Mouthwash, and
2) an iron.
AMOUNT OF MONEY THESE THINGS WILL COST YOU AT TARGET:
$312.87, not including the mouthwash, which we totally forgot to buy.
Yet you may not know that I have similar love for Target. How could I not? Target sells makeup, which you know I need a lot of to hide the black eyes I get after I anger IKEA and he backhands me across the face for daring to expect a full set of wooden dowels, like do I not know how much stress IKEA's under these days over at the factory? IKEA's boss is a total dick, and he just wants to drink some lingonberry wine to take the edge off, and then I have to barge in with my whining about a tilty floor lamp that sparks when I plug it in? Can't I just leave IKEA be for five minutes? Goddammit, woman.
Until this past weekend, I've always thought of Target as my Safe Place. It's big! Bright! Clean! (Did I ever tell you how I almost got peed on at Wal-Mart once? By someone who I did not give birth to, who is pretty much the only person who would make that sentence even remotely less horrifying? I mean, I'll gladly let IKEA crush my tender spirit for the sake of a cheap TV cabinet but I REALLY DRAW THE LINE AT GETTING PEED ON WHILE TRYING TO BUY A WAFFLE IRON.)
Anyway. Target + Saturday + suburban parking lot + 40 Million College Students Who All Want the Same Damn Minifridge and Are Willing to Fight to the Death Over It = A Very Bad Saturday (Weeping + Gnashing of Teeth)²
You might want to put that equation on a little flashcard. For your wallet maybe.
The good news is that we got a lot of cool stuff that we totally didn't realize we needed until that very moment, although I am trying to think of a single cool thing that we bought and cannot, save for a box of Kix (not because Noah is bored of Cheerios, but because WE are bored of FEEDING him Cheerios) and an 10-pack of bibs for nine damn dollars. That's less than a dollar a bib, y'all. Go on. Do the math yourself. I double-checked it.
The bad news is that Noah yelled at the top of his lungs the entire time -- not cried or fussed, just YELLLLLLLLED -- and at one point I decided the thing to do would be to just YELL BACK, and I did this at the precise moment of an announcement over the store's loudspeaker, which everyone in a five-aisle radius miraculously decided to shut up and listen to, and then Noah -- startled more by the loudspeaker than my yelling, I think -- crumpled into a little bundle of teary tears, much to the tongue-clucking dismay of some nearby tongue-cluckers.
I may also have been holding a box of condoms at the time.
The worst news, however, is that I killed a woman in line for writing a personal check, realizing that she had a actually had a coupon for Goldfish crackers, then realizing it was an EXPIRED coupon, and then deciding that she didn't actually want a box of Goldfish crackers after all. I killed her, and I am writing this entry from jail.
It's not bad, actually. Although a nice shaggy throw rug and a minifridge would really brighten things up.
Next time, I will pee on Goldfish Cracker Coupon Lady.