So going into a Target the other day was sorta scary. After all, I didn't have a shopping list, and my budget was small. But after spending three and a half hours there (really! nobody believes me, but I had decades to make up), I came away with some good - no, great - finds.
I had to have a purpose to set foot inside Target. As I'm going down to Georgia at the end of the month for son Shawn's graduation from Army Officer Training School (Yay Shawn!!), I needed a few things.
Like a dress, for example. For the past 20 years, I haven't had much need of a dress. You don't need one to be an antiques dealer, or a photographer, or a freelance writer (my office dress code is jammies), and the only dress I own is a long sleeved black velvet dress. Definitely cute, but not Georgia-tolerant in August.
Why do I need a dress, you might wonder. Shawn surprised me last month with the news that he wanted me to pin his officer's ranking thingie (sorry, Shawn, I don't know what the heck you call that thing) on him at graduation. This is a very big deal. It's a big deal for him, because it represents five months of grueling training in the super-hot Georgia sun, and it's a big deal for me, because I'm representing Tom, who won't be there. We're going to have a big cry, and then we're going to celebrate. Shawn's definitely earned this one!
So back to Target. After much searching and comparison, I found this:
Yeah, I hung it up outside on my barn, just so I can take photos of it. Barns are great for that. The best news is that God was smiling upon me, and let me find this great blastedly-hot-Georgia-weather dress for only $20. Regular price, not even on sale. And it even fits, not always an easy feat.
Even better, it's lightweight, and scrunches up in a ball, a necessary requirement, since I have to jam it in this:
It looks bigger than it is. It's 20x13x7 inches, so it will fit up in the plan's overhead. I just refuse to pay to take a suitcase on a plane. Yes, I am cheap. Usually that's a good thing. But wandering around Target in circles was a whole new experience for this unshopper, and I somehow found myself way in the back corner looking at luggage. My old duffel bag is probably still serviceable - after 25 years, it only has a couple of small holes - and I was just planning on using that. But I did a double-take at the price, and then a triple-quadruple-quintuple-take. The regular price on the tag said twenty dollars for all three pieces. God was still smiling on me. Of course, he already knows what's in my wallet, because Tom told him.
So I dragged my dress and my luggage towards the front of the store, quite pleased with myself and with my finds, in that order. But wait! There's a 50% sale rack - can't pass that up! And I found myself flipping through that rack and six more, until I found - 45 minutes later - this:
That raspberry color just screamed "Take me home - now!" and once I'd seen this third price tag, I knew it was being piled on top of the dress on top of the rolling luggage. It was $10. By now, I just know that Tom's sitting in his boat up in heaven, fishing rod in hand, laughing himself silly. He knows how I hate to shop, and he knows God is messing with me.
But, of course, all good times must come to an end.
I was so excited that I'd found this adorable lightweight blastedly-hot-Georgia-weather sweater, that I set down my wallet for a moment to try it on. And look it over for any problems that would cause other savvy shoppers to ignore it. Not finding any problems, I headed up to the cash register to quickly pay for my finds before someone discovered that I was robbing Target blind.
And that's where God had his last laugh. I no longer had my wallet with me. And I didn't have the slightest idea where I'd left it. I'd been in six different departments, had circled half the store in mindless amazement of all the cool stuff one can buy, and most likely set my wallet down thirty times. In thirty places.
So I tried to nonchalantly wander back through my circuitous path - as I remembered it - and after 45 minutes and passing the same spot four times, found my wallet. Nobody had touched it - after all, it looked like no one had opened it in years - and I dragged myself up front to the cash registers again, paid and left. Total time in Target: three-and-a half-hours. Really.
One more stop, and I'm headed home. I needed to swing through Joann's Fabrics just to ogle some yarn I've been thinking about. And I had the last laugh (forgive me, God, but I was really only laughing at Tom):
Giant needles, at Joann's, on sale - all three for $5.19.
Take that, Tom!!!
Take that, Tom!!!