This is a story about my relationship with Target.
In high school and college I would hear girls squeal, “I LOVE Target!” I didn’t understand this enthusiasm. I kind of felt like, “What’s the big deal? It’s the smaller, somewhat pricier Walmart.” When Hannah and I were both at TAMU though it was fun to go on sister dates to Target. That is still very enjoyable…maybe less so if we bring all our kids.
Anyway, in Japan, people would talk about missing Target and I was like “what the what? Do you need me to show you where the Daiso 100¥ store is next to the grocery store and cheap clothes store? It’s right down the street from here, and all the products say baffling stuff in mis-translated English! Such fun!” So I wasn’t particularly swooning over Targets even just a few years ago.
Here’s when the relationship got serious. First, I had to dump Walmart. The massive store and enormous carts became totally unnavigable with a kid in tow. I left without being able to find 2/3 of my list. Ain’t nobody got time to push a gocart down a football field length aisle of plastic silverware trying to find a mop. I did enjoy the excellent eavesdropping at my local store (“I want to gooooo! Daddy said you weren’t allowed to buy anything!” “I ain’t buying, I’m looking! Shut it!”), but it wasn’t worth the labyrinth.
And there was the Pace, FL Target, offering free popcorn for kids wearing the cart safety strap, and always offering the best designer collaborations at huge discounts even after they’d sold out everywhere else in the county. Score.
We hit a road bump, Target and I, after a traumatically stressful diaper-and-wine Target run on a 24 degree day with an infant and preschooler during deployment. Let’s not revisit that day. For awhile, I vowed I wouldn’t return.
But I can walk in those doors and smell that bottled Target smell and get to the take n’ toss sippycups in under a minute. They are always in the same place. I can get the essentials—target brand diapers, string cheese, that French squeezy applesauce, a box of decent wine, tampons, some frozen pb&ajs, milk—in under 10 minutes. NO MATTER WHERE I AM.
Whether I’m in upstate New York; Hot Springs, Arkansas; San Diego, Pensacola, Texas or Pace, I will not have to wander for 30 minutes trying to find the dang applesauce and having to leave without it when both kids start crying because they’re bored. That’s the beauty of it. One day I wondered at the commissary, “Why do my kids hate the grocery store all of a sudden? Oh, probably because we’ve been here SEVEN HOURS BUT EVERYTHING IS WHERE IT SHOULDN’T BE AND NOT WHERE IT SHOULD BE.
When we are in transit and the roads have unfamiliar names and I don’t know the quick kid-friendly restaurants are or how to get to a friend’s house, Target is there saying, “The applesauce is in the same place. I’ve got your back. Do you need a latte and cake pop?”
And that, to me, after all these years, is true frikking love. But don’t expect any smooches, Target. Not while anyone’s watching, anyway.
We took a break from the beach and the aviation museum to do some chores and run around the tunnels of Fort Barrancas. Isaac earned a Sea Star Scout badge from the ranger and told everybody about it the rest of the day.
We also explored the Pensacola Children’s Museum, the Pensacola Museum of Art, and got beignets at Seville Quarter! We returned to SQ with Chris to watch an Aggie game, just like the good old days when we always lost. And we lost again. But it was fun. We haven’t spent so much time at the beach and downtown since we were here the very first time! Surprise: the kids like beignets.