Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Stay On Target

Shopping has never been my thing. The sound of clothing hangers screeching along and clicking into each other is up there with nails on a chalkboard. That action of mindlessly looking at one piece of clothing after another just screams of time wasting to me. Sure, every now and again I hit the retail lottery and find a shirt I like in the right size -- but when time is money this is a costly hobby. I've always tried my hardest to get in and out of clothing stores as quickly as possible. In junior high, I somehow (likely peer pressure) was in a teen group at the Bloomingdale's down the street from my house. It was sponsored by Mexx, and all I remember is that I learned you could wear a tube top and it could double as a skirt. I'm sure parents were thrilled to see such valuable information being taught to their young impressionable daughters. I would get lost in the store at the end of the class. Not because I was busy looking at stuff, but because the perfume smell, the persistent sales people, and the mannequins would distract me from trying to find the closest exit.

Today I still have little patience for clothes shopping. I do it when I have to, but I don't enjoy it. My mother taught me to just buy it, try it on at home, and then go back if need be to return. She lived walking distance from stores in NY though so that wasn't as much of a waste of time as that would be here. I now have three people to shop for. I somehow love buying kids clothes more than I ever did for myself. Don't get me wrong: I love new clothes, I just don't like going on a scavenger hunt for them.

Then suddenly, everything profoundly changed when Target entered my life. Target did something right. If there aren't support groups out there for Target addicts there should be. I love Target so much it feels unhealthy. I have a Red Card that now takes the first slot in my wallet over all my other credit cards. I live dangerously close to one Target, and a short drive from two others. I've read that study on de-cluttering your life, and putting an end to consumerism -- I understand it, but Target keeps calling to me.

The whole layout of a Target was done so strategically. Place knick-knack bargain items that appeal to any child or any crafty bargain hunting adult, and you have successfully suckered victims into purchases before they even remember what they came to the store for. Oh Target knows how to Target, they have the woman and girls stuff first. They know who is buying. Then as you attempt to get to the home needs section on your right you will be very much distracted by the home wants section on your left. More crafts, cool vases, faux taxidermy and other random eye catching items that you definitely don't need. I seem to justify a trip to the store for a bottle of soap and then end up with $85 worth of stuff. I know I am not alone in this.

Recently improvements were done to our local store. Thank goodness they didn't have to close during renovations. I don't know what I would have done. They did have to temporarily close the Starbucks. That was a big problem for me since I enjoy a nice iced beverage while I Target. Two corporate addictions quenched in one trip is a good day for all. I have thought more than once that Los Angeles does have earthquakes from time to time. I have recently thought of this when buying earthquake supply kit materials from Target. Where else? At home I have a back pack filled with some bars, water and a blanket. I worry about being stuck at home during an earthquake, but I fantasize about being stuck in a Target during an earthquake. I know, I have a problem.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Win, Lose, Or Dye

My eight year old daughter is a bright, little girl. She can be so charming, lovable, and amazing -- but boy oh boy, can she be persuasive. Rarely, do I feel like I say no to her and she rolls with it. Flexible is not her middle name. I often hear myself saying to her "assess the situation" before she asks something of me. Her requests are usually reasonable ones so we have both learned how to navigate and negotiate, but this last one turned into a bit of a battle. She came to me fifteen minutes before bedtime with a bottle of fuchsia hair dye and said, “Can you please dye my hair?”.

I took a deep breath before responding. I was not going to color her hair, but I could tell by the look in her eye this was not going to go away easy. I explained that coloring her hair is fine but not at this time of night. She begged, she pleaded, and when those didn't work she began to state her case. She would wake up with no issue, she has already done everything else that needed to get done. She would read while the color sat in her hair, she would make the shower part super fast. Her testimony went on and on. I calmly restated my answer. I explained that my answer wasn't going to change and so she had a decision to make: she could choose to be upset for the rest of the time she had with me before bed, or calm down and enjoy our time together.

For the next twenty two minutes she tried to keep me hostage while I listen to her beg. She was hysterical. At one point I escaped with my head spinning and sent this text to my husband who was out ("Wow she is hysterically screaming. I've tried for a very long time to calm her, or negotiate or asked her to stop asking me and she is repeating "mama." This is what she did when she was 4.  I got up and walked out. I am sure the neighbors are about to call Child Protective Services on us. So much for asking them to be a bit quieter at night.") As I pressed send on this, I realized that it was so ridiculously humorous, but neither my daughter or myself felt that in the moment.

The fit continued for roughly 15 more minutes, but the kicker was when I returned to her room and tried to rub her back, because that is what she had turned to me, she wouldn't stop crying. I offered some breathing suggestions and then asked if there was anything I could do that would help her calm down. What was I thinking? She sat up faced me and yelled "DYE MY HAIR." Apparently I must have missed it the 500 other times she asked earlier. That was it for me. I was done.  That's what I got for saying, “Not tonight, but we can some other time."

Being a mother is really not for the weak.