“Hmm, do I buy the Starbucks Sumatra k-cups or the generic dark roast? If I buy the Starbucks ones, can I afford the name-brand paper towels?”
I tumble through this mental gymnastics routine every two weeks when I’m picking up groceries. I stand in the aisle, eying my options, and mentally budgeting what I can or can’t afford. If I went out for lunch a few times during the week in lieu of brown bagging it, I usually have to opt for the budget brand. However, this changes when I walk into Target. I’ll double down and splurge for both. Target holds me to a higher standard.
Let’s face it: shopping at Walmart is a freakin’ nightmare. By the time I’ve traversed through the hordes of screaming kids, dodged erratic shopping carts, and cussed at the self checkout machine, I’m exhausted. AP ranked Walmart #1 in “Places to find people wearing tank tops who shouldn’t be wearing tank tops”. I don’t have a source for that, but you can believe it right? Walmart has no structure, no rhyme, and no reason. It’s a dystopia of proletariat chaos.
Let me be clear: I’m not saying I am above the people who shop at Walmart. My family has blue collar roots and I’m proud of it. I like to drink cheap beer out of Styrofoam coolers. I can admit that I like the taste of Great Value peanut butter. I’m simply not comfortable when I shop in the madhouse that is Walmart.
The sensory overload of the place just beats me down. The last thing I want to do when I get off work is subject myself to the stressful brutality of that place. It chews you up and spits you right out.
At Target, I’m on my A Game. The products are well organized, the associates are friendly, and the selection is fantastic. It’s a superior shopping experience all around. People there even say “Excuse me” when they pass through the aisle. Plus, have you seen the good looking older women who frequent the place? I fall in love at Target every time I go.
Sometimes I go in there just to peacock. “Sure Karen, I’ll reach up there and help you grab that 6er of Lime Perrier,” I say as I tuck a pack of La Croix into my cart, right next to the SPF 8 Tanning Oil and copper mug set.
By the time I’ve perused Target’s home décor display, eyeballed their extensive cheap wine selection, and gathered the items on my grocery list, I’m walking out of there with full bags and my head held high. My boosted confidence means I always end up splurging for the good stuff. The fancy K-Cups, the softest Charmin TP, Jif Peanut Butter… give me all of it.
Sure my wallet might be a little emptier, but the relief and good mood I carry with me is enough to fill the void in my checking account. Besides, the ladies who shop at Target are used to a certain lifestyle. I’ve gotta show ‘em that I can keep up with the Joneses..