I’ve heard a few mothers say they refuse to accept that going to Target alone counts as “me” time. And I am not one of them. I mean, I get it, we would all rather be getting a massage, being fed grapes by a slick-looking man with no chest hair, or spending a girls’ weekend in Paris. That all sounds wonderful, albeit a bit unrealistic, but I’d still take Target.
Not because my life is so boring that I simply can’t come up with any other way to spend my precious time — we all know how valuable a mother’s time is — but because I enjoy my trips to Target so much. Seriously, the Target love is deep in my bones, and I feel it in my soul. It’s like my body instantly decompresses as soon as those doors part for me, and I smell the popcorn and caffeine.
There is something liberating about walking in that store alone without my kids asking me for shit. And if I want to stand in the middle of an aisle and answer texts and contemplate whether I should buy the Double Stuf Oreos or the Doritos (because PMS), I can do it in peace. Also, I usually end up with both because I’m the fucking mother in my house and I can. Damn, it feels good.
I don’t need the toys section to babysit my kids when I’m alone, and it’s exhilarating. It’s amazing how much clearer moms can think when we don’t have to keep denying our kids crap from the Dollar Spot, answer questions about slime, or try to keep them from shouting things like, “Mommy, why do you have such a big crack in your boobs?!” while they play the drums with hangers on the 360-degree mirror some asshole thought was a good idea. Fuck yes, this is “me” time.
As soon as I enter, I head right on over to get myself a caffeinated bevy. I may piss my pants when I reach the home section and start caressing all the luxurious throws, but I’m in the moment and I want to suck back caffeine like no one is watching. Besides, I deserve it. And the fact I don’t have to worry about someone spilling it, sipping it or poking their sister in the eye with the straw makes me really go crazy and get the biggest size they have — I feel so alive!
As I breeze through the clothing section telling myself I will just look, I spot a pair of skinnies and think, You are alone, you never get to do this, try those fuckers on. Before I know it I have three pairs of jeans in my arms and find myself under the fresh hell known as dressing room lighting. What the fuck?! Who is the dickweed in charge of the lighting in here? What the fuck is that? What is happening? These jeans run so small. You think they could make the zipper bigger than an inch? Whose vagina fits in here? Get me out. Get me out now.
My buzzkill is revived as soon as I hit the cosmetics section, and I start grabbing jams, jellies, anti-wrinkle cream, and scrubs that wash away cellulite. If my ass can’t fit into jeans with a 1-inch zipper, it’s going to be supple and oiled up. These jars make me believe I will have skin like a newborn babe even though I know better. I am such a sucker for pretty packing and unrealistic promises.
When you are a mother alone in Target, you get to walk right past the toy section, give it the middle finger, and proceed to the food. All that dressing room nonsense makes you hungry and whatever you grab and bust open, you get to eat yourself. After leaning over the cart and fueling myself with some organic crap that is made up of cane sugar and coconut oil, I hit the home section.
This is where I come unraveled. Nice frames. You need new frames. That pillow. Oh, Nate Berkus and Joanna Gaines, you rock my world! If you get the pillow, you need a new throw. The one you have will not do. THE POUF!!! No, don’t look. Oh shit, you are gonna pee. Do the step and cross. Look casual. Be casual. You love the pouf. You will get it.
After my cart has begun to overflow with a few necessities, a handful of guilty pleasures, and several impulse buys, I feel like a new women. Sad or not, it’s the damn truth. Target counts as “me” time any day of the week. I’ve had time to drink alone. I’ve spent time soul-searching in the dressing room, got to daydream while shoving fistfuls of organic granola in my mouth. My head is clear, I’m stocked up on lotions and potions, and looking forward to fluffing my home with some new accessories.
Sometimes all it takes for a mom to feel alive is a trip to Target. I know you feel me.