Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Brings Out All the Amateurs

As the jingle bells are ringing and there's an endless amount of rockin' around the Christmas tree, there is also something else in the air....

It's not chestnuts roasting on an open fire. 
It's not the pine scent of a fresh Christmas tree. 
It's not even the faint whiff of peppermint.

It's the stench of amateur shoppers that are clogging up my favorite stores.

As you may or may not know, I am a professional Target shopper.  Although it is not an official title, rather a self-appointed one, I am a pro nonetheless.  I frequent this fine establishment several times a week.  They practically know me there.  They have my Starbucks waiting for me at the door (not really but a girl can dream, right?)  They are my people.  They know what I like.

When I walk into my Target, I want things a certain way.  There is a certain order of things that must be followed, if you will.  I have a ritual, of sorts, that I follow when Targeting.  When this is disturbed, my whole shopping experience is tainted. 

So enters the Christmas shopping season.  And amateurs.

It all started about three weeks ago, during one of my weekly Target visits.  As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed that my normal parking spot was taken.  (They should practically give me a reserved spot, but management won't acknowledge my requests. Hmmph.)  Anyways, I thought it was strange that my spot was taken, so I parked elsewhere.  Ruined experience #1. 

Then as I entered to get my Starbucks, which is a necessity when shopping at Target, I noted that the line was about nine people deep.  Instantly, I motioned to Stephen (he's my barista friend with a 'ph' not a 'v') that we needed to get more people on staff at the Starbucks counter stat.  He told me that I needed to wait in line like everyone else and to please stop yelling and be patient.  Ruined experience #2.

After waiting at least 30 minutes for Stephen's crumby Frappuccino, I proceeded to my favorite part of the Target trip....the Dollar Spot.  Oh, how I love those little bins of treasures.  Each one containing little trinkets, sticky pads, pencils with fun toppers, kitchen gizmos and gift bags.  I'm like a kid in a penny candy store with those bins.  But, like I said before, I have a routine.  First, I browse all the bins and then I go grab a basket to fill. 

*Note*  When Targeting, I use the hand held basket.  NOT A CART!  Amateurs use carts.

So, as I was hanging on tight to my warm, crappy Starbucks that I was still mad at, I ventured to the Dollar Spot.  But what is this?  All these people clogging up the way!  The whole section was full of amateurs with CARTS making it impossible for me to browse my beloved dollar bins.  As I glanced over the shoulders of old ladies wearing too much perfume, I felt like a kid trying to get a peak of Santa in the parade while being crowded out by too many adults.  As I was trying to shuffle my way around a man with a cart full of screaming little kids, another lady with a teenage daughter bumped me with her cart, which made me spill a little of my stupid Frappe on my coat.  Frustrated with the Dollar Spot debacle, I gave up and headed towards the women's accessories.  Ruined Experience #3.

Once in the accessories, I felt safe again.  Away from the Dollar Spot demons, I was safe to browse.  In fact, I really wanted a new scarf.  And would you look at that?  A big red sign.  What does it say?  Scarves 50% off.  Score!  This must have been my lucky day, but as I rounded the corner, my wanderlust turned into pure hatred for the Christmas shopping amateurs.  Damned if the whole section of my 50% scarves were gone!  Ruined Experience #4.

Feeling totally defeated and aggravated, I thought I would give this trip to Target one last shot.  One last chance of redemption.  I held my breath and walked back to the books and magazine section. 

As I shuffled past all the amateurs in kids clothing, I heard screaming children and exhausted mothers bribing them with candy and Dollar Spot items.  Amateurs.

The toy section was full of them.  The lanes were infested with single dads looking at Barbies and comparing prices on Legos.  A confused grandma paced the Monster High isle holding what looked like a page from an ad with big red marker circling a much-anticipated Clawdeen Wolf doll. 

I tried as hard as I could to tune it all out and save what was left of my treasured trip to Targe`.  The book section would surely provide me with the peace and solitude that I was seeking in this trip, right?  The book section was the ol' stand by.  I could always count on the book section to give me the entertainment that I needed.  Whether it was the New York Times Bestsellers list or the plethora of magazines, this section was always there for me. 

Turning the corner to the magazines, I felt my worries dissipate.  I was right, the amateurs didn't touch the books and magazines.  My fears were gone and as I sipped the okay-est cup of Frappe that Stephen has ever made for me.  My book section wrapped it's arms around me like an old friend and consoled me.  "There, there, there.  It will all be over soon.  They will go back to Walmart in a few more weeks.  We will get through this.  Together.  And things will go back to the way they used to be.  I promise," sang the pages of the newest best sellers. 

I smiled in knowing that this was true.  These amateurs won't stay long and then Stephen, the Dollar Spot and I can get back to business as usual.  And until then, I will be limiting my visits to only once a week.  During the week, not the weekend.  But only after the after-work crowd is gone. 

Because that's how I do it. 

I'm not an amateur.

I am a professional Target shopper.

P.S.  If you would like to hear more about my funny, Target shopping episodes read :

Prostitutes in Target:  The Time I Overheard a Craigslist Connection in Target

Blogher featured :  A For-Real Conversation that I Heard in Target

My sister-in-law's attempt/fail at being a professional Target shopper. :  Amateurs Step Aside: A Target Story

I'm pissed off at Target :  Target: Say Something I'm Giving Up on You

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