For the Love of Target

September 17, 2018
For the Love of Target

Coffee. Wine. The kids’ bedtimes. A clean house.


These are a few of moms’ favorite things.

Granted, not all mothers follow this specific formula of rightful thrill. Some have ingredients in their stew of the above, percentages that bring them enough of a minuscule bubble of intense contentment or welcomed sanity to push through. So many mothers, after being sucked into the vortex of responsibility over her family day in and day out of a given week, deserve some level of felicitousness.

We find what we can find, however we can find it. Mommies have to find a happy place.

For me, part of my unfettered mommy time-out joy involves going to a literal happy place.

Target makes me so happy.

I do not recall when those fuzzy feelings started nor from where they derive. I seek out Target as a point of peace, a hangar of hope, a terminal of temptation. I can make purchases often in the style of a manic merchant, carefully choosing from a pre-listed order of needs (as not to forget the purpose of the trip) and, most times, winging it and going completely out of budgetary bounds.

I enter my local superstore and breathe in the fluorescence of the atomic moment. I visually take in the dollar section, the endcap kids’ clothes and those on stylish mannequin models, and, from afar, sense the coveted beauty section where I purchase my hair products.

I usually scoop up a delightfully red basket and slide the handle onto my forearm, positioning it for comfort from the start. I skip my way around, when alone, without missing aisles. I go down those I have no business being in.

Organizational totes.

Decorative pillows.


Outdoor furniture.

None of which I need. Well, maybe the containers. Sometimes.

But I must see everything. I owe Target my undivided attention and intention. I’ve never felt odd going up and down aisles of fishing gear or kitchen appliances. It’s part of my individual time-out cleansing process.

My frequent patronage may give some of those red-and-khaki-hued associates their tuition reimbursements. I’m more than excited to support.

The parenting blog multispace buzzes with other self-ignited Target fans.

In a comical chronicle regarding one her own dazed shopping seances at Target, writer Taylor Wolfe describes entering the store: “A trip to Target is a lot like how I imagine heroin must be. There’s always a rush of excitement when you first walk inside, and most times you’re not even sure why you’re there to begin with, yet almost every time you leave with a feeling of remorse, guilt and a set of new track marks on your arms.” (Wolfe, 2014)

A mommy writer with a new baby composed what she believed to be some of the underlying truths regarding so many mothers’ relationships with Target. “Target is a little like going to the mall that sells not only adorable shoes, but toothpaste and diapers too. . .So, to the mom who would love a tropical getaway, but will settle for a quick trip to Target, I so get it. And while Target does a great job of setting the scene for an easy getaway, it also points out a bigger truth that sometimes, momma just needs a break.” (Thompson, 2015)

And there it is, probably the reason why many mommies are so fond of Target stores. Target provides a holiday, a voyage that other stores do not or cannot. I do not have enough fingers to place on why. It’s just one of those universal truths.

Blogger “Target Mom” asserts this truth. “This unnatural and maybe unhealthy affinity for Target cuts across somewhat broad social and economic boundaries.  It is a common thread that exists between working and stay-at-home moms.  It is a subculture that seems harmless enough, but now that I realize I am part of it, I can’t stop thinking about why.” (“Confessions of a Target Mom”)

What is it in the air at these stores that create such a frenzy? Is there some kind of science involved? Are we all…hypnotized…by that clever bullseye?

Finally, is it factual that mommies make up a bulk percentage of Target shoppers? Who has the answers?

In an article “Things Moms Do at Target,” Jackie M. wrote, “You don’t have to be a mom to love and appreciate Target, but once you become a mom, you realize that a trip {alone} to Target is basically the equivalent to a vacation. It becomes more of a retreat; your happy place. It’s pretty, it’s organized, it’s colorful. Target knows what us women want and they deliver that experience. They are on to us. It’s quite scary.” (M., 2016)

I am a content gerbil on my experimental wheel. Unfortunately, as a willing participant in the Target consumer simulation, I will be abducted by the aliens who will land in the parking lot of Targets across the country to collect the species of “mom.” I cannot say that my Target trips, biweekly at best, will increase, but I hit that button quickly each time my son or daughter enacts one too many inexplicable screams my way.

My husband is forgiving. Thus far.

Writer Danielle Dayney characterizes me, the mommy Target shopper. “Then there’s you, who’s finally out of the house without children. You have the look of crazy in your eyes because you are free. What do you do? You come to Target sans babies. You shop at your own speed with your child-free red cart. You’re buying nothing but underwear and applesauce.” (Dayney, 2016)

Works Cited

Confessions of a Target Mom.” Confessions of a Target Mom, n.d., Accessed May 23, 2017.

Dayney, Danielle. “Why Target Moms Are My Tribe.” Danielle Dayney, Sep. 20, 2016, Accessed May 23, 2017.

M., Jackie. “Things Moms Do at Target.” Denver Metro Moms Blog, Apr. 18, 2016, Accessed May 23, 2017.

Thompson, Becky. “To the Mom Who Vacations at Target.” Becky Thompson, Jan. 18, 2015, Accessed May 23, 2017.

Wolfe, Taylor. “Inside a Woman’s Mind at Target.” Thought Catalog, Mar. 12, 2014, Accessed May 23, 2017.

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