The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

23 March 2004

Rituals in red and white

Bruce works in retail, so he knows what shopping entails, but shopping at Target is something else entirely:

Target is nesting central. It makes me want to don a shirt that says "no coupling zone" in big letter across the chest. Happy little couples leisurely plod up and down the aisles, looking at towels, picking up decorative lampshades and taking up the whole DAMN aisle! They flaunt [their] happy couple...ness.

Since my usual reaction to happy couples is to (1) puke my guts out and (2) puke my guts out, in that order, I can understand his frustration. But is this inevitable? Do we all act this way?

Hey, I used to be the same way (a little) when I had a mate, but I was considerate of those other people that just wanted to get in and get out. They had a mission. Get a file folder, get some kitty litter, grab a pack of TP and some Doritos. Then get the hell outta there.

I don't think I've ever been the "nesting" type, but I don't think I've ever gone into Target with the express intention of buying X items and nothing but X items, either; I browse, and I take up probably more than my fair share of the aisle. Still, shopping doesn't do a lot for me, and it doesn't do much for Bruce either:

I recognize the cathartic benefits, the sating of our hunter-gatherer instincts, the need to accomplish a task. However I don't have lots of extra money so I can't make shopping a hobby.

I rather suspect that some of the "hobbyists" can't afford it either.

Posted at 3:33 PM to Almost Yogurt


I'm almost obsessive-compulsive about not blocking the aisle. I will pull my cart over to the side and leave plenty of room to pass me even if it's 3:00 a.m. and I am the only customer in the whole store.

And I do indeed get snippy with people who (1) are blocking the way when I want to get through, and (2) pretend not to hear me when I gently say "excuse me". Danged inconsiderate meatheads.

Posted by: McGehee at 6:26 PM on 23 March 2004

Try having two roommates who are a serious, committed couple. Every time we go shopping for apartment furnishings (sometimes at Target, no less), I find myself feeling like the gay friend tagging along to provide decorating tips.

But what can I say? I have good taste.

Posted by: Jeff Lawson at 6:55 PM on 23 March 2004

I may be a nester, but I am NOT an aisle blocker.
Aisle Blockers are one of the worst forms of humanity, right below suicide bombers and right above double parkers.

Posted by: michele at 7:42 PM on 23 March 2004

I do try to stay to the side of the aisle, but the combination of indifferent vision and prodigious girth occasionally causes minor misfortunes.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:33 PM on 23 March 2004

An excellent show on shopping taught me that people actually enter into a semi-conscious state when they shop. I notice this at work, since I'm working and NOT shopping I feel like I'm the only one moving at full speed and everyone else has been sedated.

Remember, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS BE LOOKING IN THE DIRECTION YOU ARE MOVING!

That means no looking to the right and walking to the left, no backing up without looking backwards as well, and by no means should you be pushing a cart where you are not looking.

Posted by: bruce at 10:37 PM on 23 March 2004

I've noticed a correlation in some stores around here between how people push their carts out of the end of an aisle, and how they drive their cars out of the end of a side street onto the main road.

Apparently around here the meaning of those octagonal red signs that say STOP is something of a state secret. But I digress...

Posted by: McGehee at 7:32 AM on 24 March 2004

My favorite pain in the ass is the woman who has to bring her darlings (usually no fewer than three) to the grocery store and she proceeds to put them into those make-shift combination go-cart/shopping carts. The damn thing is as wide as the aisle and the kids inside driving are either screaming their heads off that they can't see what their mother is throwing in the cart, or they are banging each other upside the head because one wants to drive while the other refuses to give up the wheel.

In my opinion, it is the the grocery stores who provide customers with these atrocities who are the lowest form of humanity, according to Michele's scale.

Posted by: Vickie at 9:14 AM on 24 March 2004

I've found that no matter what you intend to buy when you go into Target, there's always a really good chance that you will come out with more than that, and possibly even without one of the items you came in for in the first place.

Posted by: Erica at 3:27 PM on 24 March 2004

Erica's rule, filtered through my personal experience:

More items than intended: 80 to 90 percent

Without at least one item intended: 20 to 30 percent

Posted by: CGHill at 4:24 PM on 24 March 2004