I’m filling up my basket like I’m trying to fill up my soul.

OK, not really. At least, not this time.

But the soothing lull of driving a red plastic cart through the aisles of Target is almost disconcerting, if not for its therapeutic value.

Oh sure, retail therapy isn’t truly therapy. I know for certain I don’t feel better by having more things and like any minimalist will argue, it probably makes me even more unhappy.

But there’s an amazing relief I feel when the automatic doors open and I’m greeted with the expected.

Even with the a list, I’ll find an excuse to look at almost anything, though most of the time it’s to run my hands through the clearance rack of clothing or estimate how much body wash I have left at home and whether or not I should probably pick up another.

You know, since I’m here.

I’m not sure where the serenity comes from in buying cleaning supplies or organic granola bars, but it’s there, always under a mile away no matter where I live.

The accessibility and false affordability of Target is an appeal like no other.

It’s not always great. It can be crowded. The lines can be long. Sometimes you go on the absolute wrong day like Saturday at any hour and are confronted with too may obstacles. Too many people who are there with a list and a mission and always a kid who does not want to be there.

And I don’t blame them. I can’t.

I see the mother getting a little aggressive with her toddler who cries “no straps!” as she tightens them around his shoulders and seethes “yes. straps.”

I see myself in her.

To survey Target is to understand my place above the poverty line, the place that lulls me into complacency about my current situation, which is nothing to complain about and yet still not completely satisfactory. Or rather, is perfectly satisfactory but not good enough to withstand a major car repair or dental procedure and certainly not cancer.

Target is where we shop despite the fact that none of us have $400 cash for an emergency.

Here we are in our Hyundais and Chevys and Nissans.

Here I am in the Christmas section buying lights for our new apartment because it feels necessary for no other reason than because I’m making it so. Besides, they are $2.50 a box!

Again, modest living is not an actual problem.

I hate how much I love Target. But for whatever reason, it seems “better” than buying everything on Amazon, which would be easier and often times cheaper, but just not as mildly thrilling as it is to fill up my cart that fills up recyclable bags that fills up my car that fills up my house that fills up my trash that fills up the landfills that fills up the Earth, of which I feel I’m single-handedly destroying with my need to run yet another errand at Target.

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