Costco and Target are two stores I shouldn’t be allowed in. They are like a black hole for my money, where it gets sucked in, never to be seen again. Target has so many things. Things I don’t need but things that I might need, like that nut roaster. Long ago, before Ellen DeGeneres was Ellen, before Yep, I’m Gay and before you were born, she was a stand-up comedian. She put out a CD titled “Taste This” and there was a bit about looking in other people’s carts for the strange combination of items they purchase at the store, “like baked beans, douche and a lawn chair.” I like to do this at Target, to see what people are really shopping for, and what they are buying to cover up what they were really there to get, like those kids who buy a home pregnancy kit and and eight bags of Skittles.
And then there’s me, and it usually looks like I ran down the aisles and swept all the middle shelves into my cart. Last year I bought an espresso maker because it was on clearance for $17.00 marked down from $60.00 and who can pass up a bargain like that? I don’t really drink coffee and Janie has given it up because once, a long time ago when I wasn’t sure things would work out between us and I thought I could just say anything so she’d let me see her lady berries, I promised to buy her a Toyota Tacoma if she stopped drinking coffee for three years (I have a year and a half left to sabotage her and save myself $20,000). I’ve had that espresso machine in my linen closet for over a year now because, as it turns out, no one wants it. That’s why it was on clearance.
Costco gets even uglier, because not only am I purchasing shit I don’t need and will never use, but I will have so much of it that when I find that 8 pound box of Cream Puffs wallowing in the back of the freezer I can’t possibly throw it away because what a waste it would be. I get this from my dad, who once stopped talking to my mom for several days because she threw away a commercial sized can of cooked, cubed beef that he got from a guy at work whose wife had tried to throw it away the week before.
Janie made the mistake of agreeing to pick me up from Target after work this evening if I let her have the car. She worked until 8pm and I took the bus to the mall after my work day ended, which left me roughly two hours to wander the aisles of the store unattended. By the time she found me in the cat and dog section, eying an elephant costume for our three bad cats, I had filled the cart completely. She asked me what I had and why we needed it all and I began to present each item and defend its existence, shouting a little in my excitement like I was that guy selling OxyClean. After that she left to wait in the car because I hadn’t made it to the second floor yet, and she didn’t want to help me carry out that barkalounger that was on clearance, even if it was made of real Naugahyde.