Surely I wasn’t the only one.
When the kids were younger, it would be just to get out of the house. We’d hit the dollar section and spend a good 45 minutes debating between treasures The bedazzled tiara with a Disney character or the sticky wall crawling spider or the ball that lights up when you bounce. For the bargain price of $1.00, I’d have collateral for the rest of the trip.
When they were older, a trip meant a leisurely stroll down the make-up aisle. Checking out the latest serum with promises to undo the bags under my eyes from those earlier trips. Starbucks in hand, we moms with children in school would glide through the store, giving each other winks of being “in the know” and empathetic encouragement to those in the middle of a meltdown. This was true freedom.
Disneyland is reported to be the “happiest place on earth” for children. It’s Target for moms.
At least it was.
If you live in Southwest Austin, you know what I’m talking about. In fact. if you’ve lived through the renovation of your neighborhood Target, you already know the horror of which I speak.
Ask any mom in the area.
I could go through the store with a blindfold before. If I was in a hurry, it was still in and out. I knew where the cotton balls were, a quick dash down three aisles to the right to grab laundry detergent, two more aisles to the left, top row, middle section, organic coffee, on sale, and out the door.
With time to kill, I’d start in the sale section for kids clothes, 37 steps to home décor, walk along the back wall to clearance, and end with a breezy perusal through Women’s clothing.
I’m telling you, I knew my Target.
The comfort of familiarity was a constant we depended on.
And now, it’s chaos.
And you can see it in all the moms’ eyes as we try to navigate.
I’m telling you, it’ like The Walking Dead in there.
One lady was ramming her cart into the same end cap, over and over, where there used to be an aisle.
Another was trying on a blouse over her clothes, looking at a stack of toilet paper as if it were a mirror.
Another was on her knees, screaming “Why? Why! Why?”
After comforting her, I found out she had been in the store for three days trying to find the 3M Magic Hooks’ section.
Ok, you got me. So, maybe none of those things happened. Or maybe they did. But there is indeed a shift in energy at my neighborhood Target. There are conversations about the confusion and the routine trip that used to feel just a little bit therapeutic now breeds a little bit of unease.
These are small, shallow, first-world problems, I know. But I, for one, will feel much better when The Great Target Renovation of 2019 in Southwest Austin has been completed and I can learn the new lay of the land. I look forward to, once again, having my routine and being to navigate in my sleep. I look forward to the day when, once again, Target can be one of the happiest places in the neighborhood.