We need to talk, Target. Pull up a red plastic chair.
I've loved you for a long time. That says a lot, coming from me. I mean, you're a store. I usually hate stores. They broke my heart so many times, all the stores before you. They flirted with my sense of fashion, toyed with my materialistic ego, whispered that I could get away with the chunky heels and the short skirt. Them and their army of nitwitted sales cheerleaders, they made me believe the lies. What's worse, they took my money in the process. I swore I would never go to one again.
But then you came along, with your wide aisles and your stocked shelves and all your promises. You told me I could buy toothpaste and pants and a desk light in a delight of one-stop shopping. You told me I could outfit myself and my entire house using the same amount of cash it would take to buy a single designer tank top. You told me whatever the season, whatever the birthday party theme, whatever the weight gain, I could find the solution in the gentle light of your halogen bulbs.
And books. You even gave me books.
I told myself to proceed with caution. I'd gone down this road before, and I knew I couldn't let myself get carried away. I mean, look what The Gap did to me with those cargo pants. Borders in bankruptcy. JCrew and all that neon.
All those times before, I let myself think that this time, it would be different. This time, I have found the store that can be with me for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in pregnancy and in half-marathon training. It never was different, though, and every other store ended up ill-equipped for a lifetime commitment to or from me.
With you, Target, I thought I was ready to trust again. That maybe with you, lightning had struck. You made a convincing case. Home after home, trend after trend, kid after kid, you were always there for me. It was as if you knew what I needed before I even knew it existed. As if you knew that on some rainy days with a toddler, you just need a place where it's okay to let your kid out to run. As if you knew that sometimes, a gal needs retail therapy, but she need it on the cheap. As if you knew that sometimes, love means having to say "Isaac Mizrahi for Target."
You knew me, Target. You did. And so I let go. I gave up, and I gave in. Pretended it was cute when you let people call you Tarjay. Overlooked the nuclear tinge to the popcorn you popped up front by the registers. Let you sweep me off my feet into the comfortable love seat on the floor display in the home goods section. Right where you knew I needed it to be.
Joke's on me, huh?
Because like all those times before, the veil has been lifted. I see the real you now. The one you hoped I would ignore or just wouldn't notice, what with you wedging it between the distracting purse displays and the engrossing crafts section.
Well, guess what? I found you out. And you can stop with all the stumbling excuses and petty accusations. I didn't check your register receipts, didn't hack into your mass email engine, didn't scan your draft tweets. You left it out in the open, plain as day.
You think I'm raising a hussy for a daughter and an idiot for a son.
Imagine my dismay when I visited you over the weekend for some back-to-school shopping. Just like YOU told me to, Target, I went to the girl's section. Guess how I felt, Target, when I got there only to discover that everything -- e-ve-ry-thing -- you were offering me there consisted of some sort of glitzy razzle-dazzle sequin see-through low-cut navel-grazing abomination. My daughter is four, Target - FOUR. She is not ready to go out into the world looking like the biggest worry on her mind is whether she should get a Shellac manicure or stick with the acrylics. I am trying to dress her for preschool, not Ladies Night down at the pier. God. You're disgusting.
To make matters worse, everything you threw at me for my son was plain moronic. You see that he is not yet even walking, yes? And that the sounds that come out of his mouth are usually gargled through a thick film of teething drool? So why, then, does every article of "clothing" require at least one football and some stupid slogan like "Mom's #1 Draft Pick." Do you think I would enjoy mocking my son by presenting him to onlookers with a bold-faced lie written across his chest? He is not a Rock Star or a Guitar Hero or a Slugger or a Fantasy League Sleeper Pick. He is an almost-toddler who just wants a shirt in one of the primary colors to spill his pureed food on.
If this is how you think of my children, then I have to reconsider everything I ever believed regarding how you think about me. Do you think I am a bookworm who always wanted to be a hussy, such that I am forcing that lifestyle onto my daughter? I mean, do I look like Dance Moms material to you? Do you think I like making fun of my children? Well of course I do, but not in public.
Shame on you, Target. And shame on me for letting my heart get the better of my head.
So look, let's just make this fast and easy. Like taking off a bandaid. We're done. You go your way, I'll go mine. To quote my hero Taylor Swift, "we are never ever getting back together. WeEEEEeeee are never ever getting back together."
It's not me. It's you. Definitely you.