In most shopping plazas, in most suburbs, in most parts of the country, there can be found 3 stores: Marshalls (or TJ Maxx, if the case may be,) Homegoods and a Grocery Store. The combination of these 3 spots is magic. Many times my car seems to be on auto pilot to the strip mall here that houses them. When there’s nowhere else to go, somehow, there I am. With the kids, they are enjoyable errands. Alone? They are my utopia.
My plan of attack sans children: Go to the grocery store. Grab a coffee at Starbucks. Leisurely roam the isles. I can go here first, because I’m not buying milk or eggs or yogurt or and any other perishable necessities. I am here for fun, and there will be no sensible purchases. I might buy an exotic jam, or fancy olive oil or greeting card. What I buy isn’t the point. I can actually read labels. Not have to escort children to the potty. Use a basket, rather than a cart. Not hear a chorus of “can we have this?” and “can we have that?” Not have to apologize to the checkout clerk for the little monsters by my side.
Next stop: Marshalls. First it’s the kids clothes. I refuse to buy clothes anywhere else (except, maybe, Target. That’s a close second.) The treasures you can find here are unbelievable. Baby CZ Cashmere for ten bucks? Yup, I snagged that up. Petit Bateau, Zutano, Kenzo? All here, if you look. Granted, you may have to dig through loads of crap, and it may take multiple visits, but that’s the fun of it. Then it’s onto toys to stock up on gifts. Home decor is next, and finally shoes and clothes. I end with clothes, because when in doubt, I buy. My closet is my dressing room, and if I need to return it, that’s just another reason to come back.
And, finally, the best for last… Homegoods. A slice of heaven, here, in suburbia. Kitchenware, gourmet food, furniture, beauty products, candles, books, gifts… And all for prices better than wholesale. What more can a girl ask for? Cheesy 80s music? Got it. I could (and have)
spent hours here alone.
I come by this obsession for discount shopping naturally. On any given day, my mom has at least one bag of returns to a store in the TJX family. A few years ago, I ended up in an empty TJ Maxx parking lot with nobody but my mother. We, unbenonst to the other, had each arrived at 9:25, returns in hand, before the store even opened. It was hilarious and frightening all rolled into one.
Apparently, the family tradition continues. Lily loves accompanying me shopping. She seems to think there are three stores. The grocery store, Target and Marshalls. In her mind, anything can be found at one of those (she’s a genius, my girl.) The other day she marched in, her doll wrapped in a towel, and happily announced “Don’t you like Mac’s robe? I got it at Marshall’s!”
I laughed, and vowed to let her accompany me the next time I go. Going with her is a close second to going alone. Someday, maybe, it will even be first. Maybe.