A week ago, I went to Target. For ex-pat American women, Target is almost a religion. When we get together and hear about someone's recent trip to America, one of the first questions that gets asked is how many visits there were to Target. We all fantasize about one day living within ten minutes of Target. When we are in America we take photos of ourselves at Target and post them on Facebook.
My parents live 1.7 miles from the closest Target. And 3.5 miles from Costco. And 3.5 miles from Trader Joe's. But the other day I was at Target. I only needed a few things - some groceries, diapers for William, a pair of pants for Sophia - but I decided to browse just because. My children were all at home without me and I was alone at Target without a fixed return time.
I never browse stores in Dushanbe. Mostly because the only store I ever go to is a grocery store, and those aren't very exciting after the first few visits. I shop for everything online because it's easier and faster and most things I couldn't find in Dushanbe even if I wanted to. So browsing is something that I've fallen out of practice doing.
First I visited the clothing. After looking through a few racks, I found a couple of shirts that looked promising. Then I looked at the prices. And considered the sizes. And thought about trying them on. When I reached the third step, I panicked and put all the clothing back. Next I tried the children's clothing. Was this dress really worth $16.99? Would Sophia actually like these pants? How many shorts does Joseph have that look decent? I took a quick exit from the children's section.
I always enjoy browsing home goods, so I fled there. Picture frames were on sale, and I picked up some I liked. Then I thought about putting them in my suitcase and hauling them to Uzbekistan and put them down. I looked at lamps and wondered how much they cost online and if they were too big to ship to the pouch. I looked at furniture and knew that it was definitely too big to fit in the pouch.
Then I noticed the time and headed over to the groceries. When I saw the avocados, mangoes, ice cream, bacon, fresh orange juice, Oreos, and candy and didn't put any of them in my cart, it was an amazing moral victory. It was also difficult to put only three gallons of milk in my cart instead of eight. Target is only 1.7 miles away, I reminded myself. You can come back in a few days for more milk.
When I finally went to check out, the total came to over a hundred dollars. While I was busy resisting the clothes, groceries, home furnishings, and delicious food, a couple pairs of earrings, shirts for William, shoes for Eleanor, mini chocolate chips, flavored cream cheese, tasty yogurt, and other very necessary items had snuck in. I shook my head and promised myself that I would stay away from Target for a whole week at the minimum. At this rate my suitcases wouldn't have any more room and my Target card would be in serious trouble.
Good thing I have a whole other card for Costco.