Tag Archives: Target

Hitting the Target

I was in Target the other afternoon for one thing, meaning the second I walked in I suddenly felt like I needed to buy ALL the things.

As I was walking down an aisle silently praising myself for not grabbing a shopping basket—if I only grab what I can carry, it cuts down on the damages—I saw a little girl with sun-bleached blonde hair and a deep summer tan by the toys.

She looked to be about four or five, but then again I’m a horrible judge of age when it comes to kids. She could be 12 with a criminal record for all I know, but she was little.

Anyway, a second later a boy who looked to be her slightly older, tanned blonde brother came and told her that their mom was waiting. She put down the toy and flip-flopped her way through the store.

I ran into the kids again a few minutes later with a woman who was unmistakably their mother. An older daughter and a baby added to the mix, all of them chatting and shopping — mom telling the boy that they had chips at home and the baby babbling happily from her perch in the cart.

For some weird reason I couldn’t stop looking, which wasn’t hard to do considering they ended up being those people that I kept running into every single aisle.

But I was struck.

This will sound weird coming from me, but the beauty of that seemingly average family scene really touched me in some way. Maybe it was the tans and identical blonde hair or the fact that the mom seemed like one of those moms that the neighborhood kids would all like. Maybe it was the way the kids seemed so fun or the fact that they were well-behaved.

I don’t know what it was, but something just drew me back in. So the next time that our paths crossed and we did that polite, “Yes, we’ve just run into each other again and I’ll give that fake smile once more” thing, I let her know.

“I’m not a weirdo or anything,” I said as we passed once again, which is always a good way to start. “But you have a beautiful family—and they’re all so polite, as well!”

With the baby moved to her hip, she looked stunned, as if I’d just told her the little blonde midget walking through all the toys did have a criminal record.

“Oh my gosh,” she said as she smiled a bit shyly. “You don’t know just how much that means. We have our moments, but yes, we truly are blessed. Thank you so much for that. Really, thank you.”

At that the baby began shrieking, the mom made a joke about how we had cursed things and we went our separate ways, the older kids politely not making any comments about the crazy lady with her arms full of ALL THE THINGS who refused to just grab a cart.

But along with unnecessary items, I also had a strong sense of peace. I know I will never walk into Target as a mom, and will probably never walk in as a wife. Those are experiences that will elude me, experiences I’ll never have, but those are the choices I make.

And while I have not one iota of doubt, regret or envy, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the beauty of what I don’t want or extend my admiration for those who chose paths that I’ll never walk down.

My path is mine. Her path is hers.

And that is a beautiful thing.

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Say What?

There are times I’ll hear a song I’ve heard a million times before and suddenly realize I’ve been singing the wrong lyrics every single time. 

It doesn’t bother me that much because my version usually makes more sense anyway, but this means that when I hear someone else say them  “correctly,” I’m just as confused as when I found out John Fogerty was singing “Put me in, Coach” and not “Put me in a coma” in his song, “Centerfield.”

At any rate, things always sound better in my head—including a bunch of regular words and phrases I assign a certain phonetic pronunciation to that no one else has a clue about.

In other words, I nail 90s rap songs and pronounce “Worcestershire sauce” perfectly in my head every single time.

But there are some words that I know how to say correctly—the “real” correct and not the “Abby” correct—that I still occasionally choose to say somewhat phonetically from time to time, simply because it’s more fun.

Most of them are foreign. This means I sound fancy AND well-traveled in my own head when, for example, I talk about:

Tar-jay (Target), burr-rettes (berets), Vide-ul Sass-in (Vidal Sassoon) shampoo,  tore-tillahs (tortillas), whores de-vores (hors d’oeuvres), a kayfe (café), par-fits (parfaits), Chee-waa-waa or Chee-wah (Chihuahua) or la-zag-na (lasagna.)

Why am I telling you about a bunch of words that I say wrong because I’m easily amused? Good question, and I probably wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for an experience I had recently while at Tar-jay.

Follow along now, but don’t throw anything in the cart that’s not on the list.

So I was checking out at Tar-jay and told the cashier—“Stacey,” according to her name tag— that yes, Stacey, I did find everything I was looking for along with three dozen other things I never knew I needed. 

Because I said this out loud and know how to read, I was confident that her name was actually Stacey. However, she quickly informed me that, “It’s pronounced ‘C’, like in ‘cantaloupe.’  The s, t, a and y are all kind of silent. It’s easier that way!”

For cripe’s sake.

To preserve my own sanity and what little faith I had left in the human race, I had to believe that she thought that sounded better in her head. And while I probably should have thanked her for giving me something to blog about, I think you know me better than that.

So instead I told her, “That’s so funny! If you replace the s, t, c and e in your name, but add in two b’s, you have my name! The a, b’s and y are all silent though. It’s easier that way.”

Was that mean? Possibly, but she gave me a giggle along with my receipt so I doubt that much damage was done.

And after all, you know what they say: “S’est lah vye!”

Or to get technical: “C’est la vie” with a “c,” like in “cantaloupe.”

Put me in a coma.

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