Adventures in Frugality: Dear Target
Today it was the little dolly you see above. She called to me as I walked by, and I picked her up and thought about Valentine's Day, and how I'd been thinking about getting a gift for Henrietta, but I told myself this was silly, since she's four months old, and will not know a gift from a burp cloth. So I hung her back in place, and carried on toward the humidifiers, which I actually meant to purchase. But I kept thinking about the dolly, and how Henrietta doesn't have a single baby doll yet. She has several bunnies and kitties and a stuffed broccoli with an orange bow-tie I made while I was bed resting, but no baby doll. And don't little girls need baby dolls? I put her back in my cart.
I didn't end up getting the humidifier, since I looked up the one you carry on my phone and it had terrible reviews. I managed to get several things I needed, and resisted the call of countless others, but my total at the register made me sigh.
I should receive a medal for all the stuff I put back and didn't buy today. There should be such medals, though I wouldn't expect you to be the one to award them. Listen: I didn't buy the baby outfit consisting of a white eyelet skirt and onesie with anchors on it, even though that skirt would have been gorgeous with an array of onesies we already own. I didn't get a single dress for me, not even the one that zippered down the front and would have been perfect for nursing. I didn't get the nursing bra with black and white polka dots and lace, nor the stunning blue and white floral ballet flats, nor the additional enormous package of toilet paper, even though you told me I'd get five dollars off if I bought two. And this was just the stuff that was, at one point or another, in my cart. I didn't dare go near the housewares, for fear I'd convince myself I needed a new pair of sheets, or a pair of decorative antlers, or a really pretty tea kettle.
What is it about your stuff, Target? Your prices walk this fine border: not so little I feel I'm buying something insultingly cheap that will fall apart momentarily, and not so expensive that I'd only buy you in dreamland. I want so many things at your store that walking your aisles hurts my feelings sometimes, and yet, if I can manage to escape, I can't remember a single thing I turned down (unless I'm making a list, like today). I'm reaching a point where I may just do more shopping online. I could have steered my browser straight to the humidifiers, and stayed away from all departments that might tempt me into sinful paths.
And yet: I bought the baby doll, and brought it home, and held it out for my baby, and she reached her arms out for it and immediately held it close and sucked on her pigtails, then turned her over and sucked on her feet. Watching her do that was the best part of my day. So maybe you aren't evil. Or at least not entirely so.