I hate shopping at Target, and Wal-Mart, with a passion.
Blame it on the ‘keep it local’ Austin vibe, now deeply rooted in my soul, but there’s something about the fluorescent lights, and constant background registers beeping, and ‘SALE. SALE. SALE’ signs everywhere that just eat your money that get to me.
Nevertheless, there are some days that you just have to go to Target.
You are out of toilet paper. Or you need to re-stock your trash bags. Or your shoe collection (hey sometimes you can find cute shoes).
So you make a pact with yourself that you will make the trek into Target, on one condition: You walk out with nothing more than what you wrote down on your list in the first place—laser focused.
You walk in and bee line it to the paper goods aisle: Toilet paper. Toilet paper. Toilet paper.
You grab what you need, and as you whip around to start making your way back up to the front check-out…you catch a glimpse of the Tupperware containers in the corner of your eye.
You remember you’ve actually been needing some more Tupperware for bringing your lunch on the go. It’s such a pain when you misplace the lids.
So you peruse around the Tupperware section—and after comparing the prices, you settle on the middle-of-the-road nandrolone buy pack with 3 medium size containers and 2 bonus salad dressing cups at $7.99 because you figure, in the long run, you save a little extra then just buying the 2-pack at $3.99 since you do get the extra cups thrown in.
Ok, got it. Now…that i am here…is there anything else that I need?
You begin to go over a new mental list in your head, as your original plan—and list is thrown out the window.
Deoderant? Eh…think I’m good—except maybe a mini-on-the-go size for my gym bag.
Aluminum foil? Maybe one so I don’t have to come back for awhile.
Shoes? Well…might as well look.
And the beat goes on.
Once you’re at the cash register, now with a snagged shopping cart in tow and a basketful of items that you seemingly forgot to put on your initial list, you start calculating and estimating how much the final total will be.
Like a Price is Right game show episode, you take your best guess—$56? $62? $70?—all the while justifying the expenditure or construing and contorting where you can cut corners in your monthly budget elsewhere.
Well…I spent about $20 less than usual at the grocery this week, so this can just count towards that.
Or, I totally forgot about that little extra side money I made from consigning some clothes earlier this month.
Or, I can go without buying a coffee out every day this week—I’ll make some at home.
Beep. Beep. Beep…
The cashier begins ringing up your must-haves, while the woman in line behind you states, “Oh! Cute shoes. I’ll have to go check them out,” as you kindly then begin to make small talk—(Feeling more at ease that you have good style and did make some quality, necessary item decisions after all).
Then…$121 later, you walk out with one small bag and one large package of toilet paper in your hand, thinking, Boy…$100 sure does add up quickly!
All the while vowing to not step foot back in that money trap of a place, Target, for a very long time.
In other words: You have been targeted.
Story of my life Friday night—and a big reason why I strongly dislike venturing into America’s consumernist mecca at its finest (because everyone knows Target is far more classy than Wal-Mart).
However, despite my bitterness towards the entity…I DO love one thing about places like Target—really any place you ‘run errands’ for that matter:
I love connecting with people.
All sorts of people.
Places like Target, and Wal-Mart, and the grocery store make for good people watching and good small talk.
This particular evening, I connected with my cashier—J.R.
A young guy in probably his mid to late-20’s, I instantly struck up a conversation.
“How long ya worked here?” I asked.
“About a year and a half,” he said with a sigh. “It’s not really what I want to do.”
(Key moment to connect)
“Oh really? What is it you want to do? What’s your dream job?!” I asked.
“You know…it used to be something along the lines of helping people and wellness. Maybe massage therapy school…or teaching yoga…or right now, I am even considering nursing,” he said with a sigh.
“That’s awesome,” I said. “What’s stopping you?!”
Quite honestly…I don’t know if I have what it takes. But it is something I keep coming back to.
“Dude..you have to…at least explore. Life’s too short not to. You should totally check out Wanderlust Yoga downtown—awesome yoga, and they have a really reputable teacher training program,” I said.
“Really?! Hmmm…(J.R.’s wheels in his head turning)…”
“Yes. And I know the owners, so if you want me to connect you, I can.”
“Really? That would be great…” J.R. said.
And, at that, I had made a new friend…planted a seed of inspiration…and reminded another to stop settling…start living.
Do what it is you were meant to do.
Arriving home, I sat at my counter and whipped out one of my purchases: Two greenroom brand notebooks—my absolute favorite notebooks that are pretty hard to come by.
They are 5×9 size, with nice notebook-ruled lines, manilla pages, and a bendable large ring spiral—making it wasy to open, close and stay open without awkwardly semi-folding in.
Flipping open the pages of the pink one, I thought how synonmous a new blank notebook page is to the start of our every day, or every new moment—encounter (like with J.R.).
What story will you write today?
What impact will you make?
The world is your oyster.