On Target…

When you’re an aficionado of American blogs as I am, there are certain things which attain almost mythical status – craft products unknown on these shores (‘Modge Podge’, I’m looking at you…); baking goods only acquirable at inflated cost (Funfetti, Fluff, assorted cake mixes…); and, above all else, the lifestyle essential that is Target.

For those who aren’t American blog fans, the closest comparison I can make is to a French Hypermarket. It sells everything – from food, clothes and toys, to stationery and soft furnishings. For years I’ve read about shopping trips taken there. Of days lost in its aisles. Of children pacified by its contents. Of designer ranges launched – specifically an Orla Kiely line back in 2009. Despite my trip to the East Coast that same year, I still failed to explore one thanks to their absence from the centre of more cosmopolitan cities. (New York, like central London, lacks that most useful of amenities: huge grocery stores.)

It was with genuine concern that Cathers asked, on my very first morning in Texas, if I minded stopping by Target to quickly return some things she’d bought the day before. I think she was surprised at my enthusiastic response. We were both surprised by what eventually ensued…

My debut Target experience wasn’t just a regular Target, it was Houston’s Super Target. Cathers went off to return her stuff and I set off to explore, promising to go no further than stationery. I shouldn’t have worried, stationery alone kept me occupied for over 20 minutes. A suitable notebook for travel journalling was purchased, as were some notebooks so cute that they couldn’t possibly be left on the shelf. In fact, much of that particular section was so cute it was difficult not to leave it behind – I counted over 20 varieties of Thank-You notes alone! (Seriously, stationery addicts would be hard pressed to ever leave that place.) After some time Cathers returned, bearing frozen beverages – yes, Super Target even has its own Starbucks.

Thus, we wondered around the store, sucking mocha Frappaccinos through straws and generally exclaiming in excitement over many a new discovery. We’d been there about an hour when we were startled by a colossal crash. None of the Texans batted an eyelid, but as we looked towards the doors, we saw rain of Biblical proportions falling from the sky. Crashes and bangs interrupted the peace at regular intervals for some time, so we saw it as a sign from God that we should stay in the store longer. So we did.

It’s not even as if we ran out of things to do… We tried on clothes – I needn’t have bought any new summer clothes prior to leaving London, Target had all I needed – an activity that took nearly an hour in itself. Even when we got to the point of being ready to pay, Cathers pointed out that we’d yet to peruse the dollar section. Unpacking my bag last week, I discovered the results of that particular foray – Little Miss Cheeky post-it notes, a pack of Iced Tea mixes, and a book of Biblical word searches I’ll be saving for the next Vicar Weekend. We didn’t even make it anywhere near the groceries section…

Two hours after arriving, we finally left. The storm had passed and the ground bore next to no sign that it had ever been torrentially raining. Target had been everything I had heard, hoped and dreamed it would be – and more.

It’s a good job we had far more interesting things planned for the week, as a shopping trip to Target would have been a fairly pathetic trip highlight. But a highlight it was nonetheless – just last night Cathers and I reminisced over its joys, as she ate a lolly made with her Target dollar aisle popsicle maker, and I wore my Target leggings…

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