Posted in Mom-ness, Random Rage, Retail Therapy, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness, Yo! It's a girl thing! | Posted on 25-01-2010

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The one place I love to visit, and visit often, is Target.

Wait, let me start over.

“Hi, my name is Muffintopmommy, and I’m addicted to Target”, or as I, and seventy bazillion others affectionately (nay, lovingly?) call it, “Tarjay”. I know that to some Target might just seem like any other big box store, but to me it’s so much more. I would go so far to say it’s a huge part of my life right now. No, I am not kidding!

Really. Stop laughing, you! Come on, did you really think I was going to say Bloomingdale’s or some fancy pants place like that?


“Henderson, cut the lights, lock the door…I see the bourgeois coming. Quick, quick!”

Target is where I buy a lot of household stuff, sure, but it’s also where I end up socializing, and for better or worse, buying a lot of my clothes. Now, this is partly because I can rapidly toss clothing items into a moving red plastic cart while I shop on the fly with the little scamps in tow…. and partly because Target really embodies ‘cheap chic’… in my humble opinion. I like to think I really am quite the budget fashionista—please, don’t tell Stacey and Clinton. (Or better yet, do tell.  I exaggerate my talent, and could use a $5,000 wardrobe makeover and some pointers on how to disguise the muffin top, because it is becoming abundantly clear that I am just going to continue to whine about it while doing nothing to change.)

There, I said it. I feel better now.

Please note for your shopping pleasure that Target really knows its audience. “A” for effort Target marketers—no doubt a team of savvy moms—you thought of everything. Frazzled mommies on the go rejoice that the big red shopping carts that restrain your crew can easily navigate their family changing rooms. Take that Bloomies!

Every time I hit Targ I run into other moms I know and end up yukking it up by the laundry detergent or seasonal items. I’m not going to lie to you, staying home with three kids four and under can make for long days, especially when those frosty New England winters hit, and I so look forward to my impromptu social hour. Don’t even tell me you didn’t know Targ was an informal social club? (Are you lying? Admit it— you’re right there with me.) They don’t advertise it in the Sunday flyer but it’s a well known fact among moms. You might have your water cooler, we have our aisle seven!

Target having everything I could possibly need under one roof is both a blessing and a curse. It’s fantastic because I only have to take the kids out of the car seat ONCE to do a million errands. What’s more flipping annoying than taking three kids, none of whom can buckle themselves yet, in and out of car seats on multiple errands? You might as well go have a tooth pulled then do that. (Although wait, I just remembered– that’s my vacation!)

Really, the only downside to my love affair with Targ (I like to abbreviate words. So fun. Go ahead and try it. Be a rebel. I dare you.) is that it is absolutely a threat to my household finances. But if posed with the choice, heat, light or Targ, I gotta admit, I’d have to think about it long and hard…..

Okay, I decided.

Who needs light when you can just go to Targ and enjoy all the lovely, fluorescent bright lights you want for as long as you want?! Lighting at home is so glorified anyway. So twentieth century. Laura Ingalls didn’t need light, so neither do I!

It is just so terribly easy to become derailed in Targ. I swear the orangey red décor riles you up into a spending frenzy or there’s some kind of secret old school subliminal messages in play. All I know is I might go in there for toilet paper and soap, a minor and necessary expenditure, and then come out with new wine glasses, some shorts, a frame, a book, bathing suits for the kids, tortilla chips, stationery, a purse and—oh, don’t forget the undies at the check out—seven pair for $6.99 with the fancy cursive writing on the band—sing with me now, “I’m bringing sexy back. Yeah!” 

But the kicker? I’ll get all that and then forget the toilet paper and soap that I went there in there for in the first place.


I’m pretty careful with the household budget but in Tarjay I end up like a kid in a candy store and since most things are reasonably priced, I figure what’s the harm—til I get to the register and realize, omg, all this piddly stuff really adds up and did I really just spend that? If I get out under $100 bucks, it’s a good day. (My friend’s sister jokes that there’s a $100 cover charge at Target. I swear no truer words have been spoken.) I have no idea why each and every time I shop at Target what I spend astounds me. You’d think I’d learn some defense or something, or, gasp, just not shop there. But the fact is I don’t want to stop. I can’t stop!!!!


I think I need an intervention.

It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who suffers from Targ-diction. I’m not going down alone. As a joke, I started a Target group on Facebook. (What? I do too have a life!) Are you really surprised I’d be into Facebook?  I’ve already revealed that I’m a thirtysomething mom of three boys four and under, who has a serious muffin top problem and looks forward to socializing at a big box store. Should it surprise you some of my biggest socializing now occurs online? It’s not sad. It’s not!

But I’m digressing again (Adult onset ADD? I keep meaning to look into that…but then… I interrupt myself again and forget.). Just for kicks, I decided to see if I were the only loser, I mean, mom, who shared these sentiments about Target. I figured it would be a fun social experiment of sorts. Here’s the group’s description as I wrote on FB, and you can check for yourself, it’s 100% real and serves no actual purpose as evidenced by the fact that I put it under, “just for fun/totally random”:


For all you moms out there who hit Target at least once a week…..if you go in with the intention of buying a ‘few’ things, and come out with at least $50 worth of ‘stuff’…..if you bump into at least a few other moms you know every time you go and love the little impromptu social hour by the cleaning products….if you can’t stay away from the pull, the glow, the allure of the orangey-red decor of Targhhhay….if you passionately tick off a laundry list of why Target is infinitely better than it’s dingy, unhip, uncool and no fun rival Wal-Mart, this group is for you! Target addicts unite! Admitting it is the first step to recovery….although, none of us probably want to recover…where would we go on weekday mornings then???

I’m proud to say, we are 63 members strong! And? We’re a geographically diverse group, having members from coast to coast, and even from Canada making us…an “international” group (That’s what I’m talking about; I like to foster international relations.) and  proving the Target addiction knows no boundaries, and targets (no pun intended) any mom, anywhere. Consider yourself forewarned!

Comments (17)

How do I join the facebook group? I definitely fit the profile! Great blog!


Yup, among my friends, we call it the $100 store. Now that my offspring are all in school, I don’t go nearly as often, but I’m willing to admit I miss it. (And I might go later today. I need just one storage bin…but we all know where that will lead!)


Today’s blog reminded me of seeing the movie “Career Opportunities” in the early 90′s and how surprised I was at the store they were in. I didn’t know Target was a real store then, since it hadn’t made it this far up the east coast yet.
I must say I also have a cover charge there. I never come out only with what I went in for. And having Starbucks inside doesn’t help personal finances either!


I love Target! I’m in there as often as possible….and yes, I buy their clothes, too. I can not stomach purchasing clothes any where else. I do not have the budget to buy $90 pants and $40 tops! No thanks!! I could buy 3 or 4 outfits at Target for the cost of one outfit any where else. To me, it is a no-brainer!


Please remind me NOT to take a sip of my wine when reading any of your blogs! I almost spit it all over my monitor when I was reading this… I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten the TP or soap!!! Too funny.
As a mom of four boys (YES, 4…you didn’t read it wrong) I am with you every step of the way! Keep the laughs coming.


I’m an addict, and I will be one until they take my Merona sweatshirt out of my cold, dead hands.


Yep, I went in there today for paper towels, diapers, and wipes and came out $135 poorer than I started. At least this time I remembered the three things I went in there for.

And as my mom says, “If they don’t have it at Target, you don’t need it.” Amen.


You can view it on my FB profile page I think? Or I think I can send you an invitation. Or you can just put the name of the group into the top right box where you search for people and it should pop up. It’s totally silly but so many of us suffer in silence…why not say it loud and proud together!


Stay strong, Mary!


I know and they are totally stylish! I get so many compliments on my Targ gear!


That is the highest compliment that you spit your wine, Lisa, it really is! Though, I’m sorry for the mess. And four boys? Now I know why you’re drinking wine. Cheers! Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

p.s. Moms of boys unite!


Merona is to muffintopmommy what couture is to the stars….I feel all red carpetish when I bust around in it!


Your mom is a very smart woman Seriously, who needs any other place? In fact, I could be very happy going on vacation to Targ for a few days…yummy food, plenty of cute outfits, books to read, tv to watch, and fun toiletries to try. Hmm….might have to look into that!

$135 for diapers, wipes and tp is steep. Someone got sucked in! HEE. Thanks for reading and commenting, and for “getting it!”


I love Target too, but I’ve just discovered Wal-Mart for the first time in 9 years and I have to say I’m starting to convert. Maybe its because I can shop for groceries and kitchy stuff all at once. Target is still my first love though. You go in for a $5 item and comes out less $100.


I do agree that Wally has raised its game lately and has some cute stuff. But I can’t help but get sketched out by some of the clientele. No, I’m not saying I’m a beauty queen, but I have all my teeth and shower regularly. Just sayin’! My dream come true would be a Tarjay with groceries. I went into one once when I was on a business trip in Kansas City years ago and now I know what heaven looks like!


Totally Relate!!!! I never ever get the paper towels I went in there for but I have everything else a person might need!!!!!!
I am going to join the club on FB!!


I love Target!!! I get everything there, love the “one stop shopping”! It is hard enough to get my 2 girls (ages 1 and 3) into a carriage to do any shopping at all, so more than one store would be out of the question. I am soooo addicted to Target!


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