2

Pajama Drama

So, last week, my red pajama pants split down the middle one night, so I decided I needed new ones.

I went to Target yesterday to pick up some new ones, and found…myself in a pickle.

Every single pair of pajama pants I saw had some sort of character or logo on it. Marvel, Batman, Harry Potter…all I wanted was a pair of pajama pants, soft and in a solid color. I already have a pair of Family Guy pajamas, so I’m covered on that front, but how much is it to ask for some plain pajama bottoms? And not ones that are shorts or sweatpants? Corporate branding has gotten pretty preposterous. Grown men should not wear Marvel comics on their pajama pants as much as they should wear a yellow tuxedo.

Anyway, I settled for a pair in blue plaid. Not exactly what I wanted, but hey, it’s 2018. This is the year of “I guess we can’t all have what we want.”

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8

regressing to someone else’s childhood

I think that’s what’s happening to me.

A few weeks ago, I saw one of those adult coloring books at Target. I swore I wouldn’t buy it, since even though I did some coloring as a kid, I colored maybe 15% of what I owned, so I knew it would just end up being more junk somewhere, but I bought it anyway.

And one night last week, I was awake until 2 AM coloring in one of the pages of mandalas with an intricate pattern, for absolutely no reason.

On Saturday, I played around with a jigsaw puzzle when I went to the rabbi’s house for lunch, and yesterday, at Target ,as I was walking past the board games, something within me reached out to grab a puzzle. I don’t even know what it is – it’s something with cats and flowers – but, even though I had and still have essays to grade, papers to write, blog posts to update, and books to read, I spent 2 hours this afternoon just playing with the pieces and connecting a few of them together. I liked puzzles as a kid, but it was just like I was ACHING to buy a puzzle and put it together, like, RIGHT NOW.

Next thing you know I’ll be wearing a onesie. I saw a grown man in a Spiderman onesie, at Target, and wondered where acceptable fashion in public has run off to. I guess looking like an infant is the new black?

Am I regressing into someone else’s childhood?

4

Coupon Theatre

Who says you can’t see an immersive piece of theatre at Target?

Last night, I was there buying colored pencils, chocolate, and a fancy hat, and got in line behind a young woman with an impressive coupon binder in her cart. As she was organizing her coupons, we were chatting; she was a lovely, but tired, stay-at-home mom, and clearly very methodical.

She finished her transaction and gave the cashier the coupons, and he called over two managers to help out. Obviously, they did not understand how coupons work.

  1. “You can only use one BOGO coupon on these feminine products.” BOGO, limit 2 coupons per customer = you can get 4 items, 2 of which will be free. She had 2 coupons, and 4 items. Simple math.
  2. A second coupon rang up 4 bottles of kids’ shampoo at 4 cents each (nice work!) and the manager said, “um, no, that can’t be correct, why would we do that?” Um, you didn’t do that; this lady managed to combine coupons so well that it comes out to 4 cents.
  3. A third coupon was refused because “it expired today.” Hold the phone, Joe. Expiration date means that you can use it that day. Kind of rubbing salt in the wound.

On top of it, the managers were kind of jerks about it to the lady, who was being assertive, but not loud or abrasive. As she was writing their names down to call corporate, I whispered to her that she was absolutely correct, and to come back tomorrow morning and try again with a different manager. We exchanged a smile before she left, defeated. She had clearly calculated everything down to the penny, and was not trying to stack or cheat the system, just being a conscious shopper. Maybe the first two were legit, but with the third one, the managers were just rubbing salt into the wound. Some couponers are greedy, but the majority are a) really in need and doing the best they can for their families or b) like to save a little money here or there to save up for other things. I enjoy using coupons, but I’m grateful that I do not have to rely on them for a living, and as a result, deal with clueless managers who think that you’re stealing crappy shampoo from their chain store.

1

Happy In(Dependence) Day

The past few days have been kind of torturous, so before I get into the fun story of the day, here’s what up with me:

Thursday: Day 5 of the Get Yourself Together and Eat Healthy Diet. Pretty normal day, do a 20 minute interval run in the early evening. Once at home, I start to feel completely rotten. I’m hot and cold, my legs are numb, and I’m feeling dehydrated. Oh well, says I, probably a side-effect of running too much. Maybe I’ll head to bed a little earlier than normal (about midnight).

Friday: Wake up at 8:00 AM sharp, to…pain. Everywhere. My neck, my chest, my shoulders, my torso, my legs. I feel like I’m preparing for a full body X-ray with a suit of lead. I manage to get up, eat something…and then head back to bed, walking through my apartment at about 40% speed. I cave and have some cranberry lemonade that I find in the back of the fridge, then lie in bed, completely awake and completely motionless, for 3-4 hours. Torso and legs are still achy and numb, but I manage to sit up and then stand with less pain. Operating at 65% now, I manage to get some more food, get dressed, and head out for the day…at around 5:00 PM. After getting gas, I stop at Walgreens and wander around like a zombie until I manage to locate a thermometer, because my temperature is feeling wacky and I’m sweating. I take my temperature in the car, and maybe it’s the heat but I’m 99.6 degrees. No wonder I’m feeling rotten. I pop a few Advil. Next stop: Starbucks, to say hey to my favorite barista Lacey and get my daily iced coffee, probably a bad idea, but I need some caffeine. Head home an hour or two later, still feeling blah, and get ready to go to Chabad, giving myself extra time because I’m now operating closer to 81% than 65%. Take my temperature, and it’s 98.3, so maybe the heat from outside affected it. Go to Chabad for dinner, forgoing all carbs but a piece of challah, and head back home early, at about 9:45. I’m feeling a lot better now, but still I take 2 Advil and go to sleep.

Today: Up at 5:45, dehydrated and in pain. 2 more Advil and back to bed. Wake up around noon, almost as achy as I woke up the day before. Manage to get out of bed for yogurt and coffee (late breakfast) and a salami sandwich on lettuce (lunch). Now it’s just after 4:00 PM, and though my joints are less achy, this might not be the best day to go for a run since the gym is closed, which was my original plan. My temperature is 99.3, but it’s probably because I’ve been in my apartment all day, so maybe I should take a short walk outside or something.

I think I lost a little weight, maybe: Last night I weighed myself, and it looked like I had gained weight, but I weighed myself again right now, and it was five pounds LESS than last night, so by splitting the difference, I probably stayed the same or lost 1 pound since I weighed myself a month ago. I’ve heard that after about 2 weeks on the diet, the weight comes off, so I’m hoping to see what happens by this time next week and go from there. I don’t want to be on this diet forever – I want croissants when I get to Montreal! – but we’ll see how I do up until then, hopefully, which is a month from now.

But now, the story of the day…

Last night, I managed to get myself to Chabad for dinner, and just as I was sitting down at the table, we were doing the going-around-the-table doing introductions and answering a question. This week’s question was: what are you thankful for about America?

The answers were pretty banal and almost Miss America-esque, with people saying things like “I’m thankful for religious freedom,” “I’m thankful for a strong economy,” and “I’m thankful to feel safe everyday.”

Then, it’s my turn. My response?

“I’m Jacob, and I’m thankful for Target.”

A few snickers from the table, but I’m pretty serious. Who cares about freedom of religion when you can go to one store and get a laptop case, light bulbs, q-tips, bath towels, colored pencils, sweatpants, and a Nestle Crunch bar? Come on, friends, what do you think about more: free press, or shopping?

And, by the way, your freedom of religion? Tell that to black churches in the South. Strong economy? Europe has free education, and we’re not quite out of the woods with this recession thing. And…feeling safe? Try being a woman, an African-American, or identifying as LGBT. Being a cis-gender white male, I feel marginally safe in this country, and I might be totally wrong about the above three categories of people feeling safe, but were I one of them, I think I’d definitely feel at least a few moments of vulnerability here and there living in this country, especially in light of recent events in here in the good old US of A.

My first choice answer was actually Starbucks, but oddly enough, I did not want to sound too materialistic.

Happy July 4th, y’all. I’m off to celebrate with more salami and lettuce.

12

Two Amazing Things That Happened To Me At Target Today

First, they had Starkist canned tuna for under a dollar a can.

Then, at the checkout counter, I turned around, and the girl behind me was wearing a jacket that said “Sweet Scientists,” just like the team from The Amazing Race last season. She looked up from her phone, and it was Amy, half of the Sweet Scientists, the team that won the whole race and one million dollars. I said hey to her, and that the theatre tickets offer was still on the table. She looked at me and was like…”it’s you!”

Okay, so a bit of backstory. When they won, I emailed them my congratulations, and since we live in the same town and attend the same school, offered them my comp theatre tickets. They both sent nice responses, and that was about it, until this afternoon.

I introduced myself and we took the elevator down to the parking lot together. She told me all the awesome behind the scenes stuff about the show and we talked for like a half hour, in the Target parking garage.

And those are the two amazing things.

Is this amazing or is this amazing?

6

Let’s Take the Limo to Target

So, quick life update: even through all my slacking, I managed to get my final paper of the semester finished and turned in at about a quarter before midnight last night. It seemed that the more I wanted to focus, the more things distracted me. And when I was actually focused, I got a call, a text, or there was a Hanukkah party. Oh, and happy Hanukkah, everyone.

But I got it done, and to reward myself, I slept in today (well…I’ve kind of been sleeping in every day since classes ended, but today I actually had no need to get out of bed) and didn’t leave the apartment until about 5 PM, at which point I went to Kohl’s to get my reward for surviving another semester and managing to get some good grades: a Keurig. The coffee maker I have is okay – it works well and it’s survived 3 moves between 2 states, but I just kinda wanted a Keurig because they’re cool and would probably prevent me from going out for coffee as much as I do, which is still not very much but I could always do less of that. Kohl’s had a Keurig Mini on sale for $99, and with coupons, Kohl’s membership, and other fun things, I managed to get that plus an extra starter pack of K-cups for a grand total of $67.46. Not ideal, but still not too bad.

After I got a bite to eat, I was on my way home and suddenly had a desire for panettone. You know, the crusty, delicious Italian fruitcake that is actually for Christmas but I have adopted it as my Hanukkah go-to food. So I go to Metcalfes, and I buy some grapes and some bread, but after perusing the store thoroughly, there is no panettone to be found.

As I sadly exit the store in defeat, get in my car, and drive away, I see in front what appears to be a gigantic black limo just cruising past the store, towards Target.

Now, who in their right mind would take a limo to Target?

First of all, the only time I’ve been in a limo involved either a funeral or an airport. It was pretty late in the day for a funeral, but could you imagine?

“Yeah, we have to get to the cemetery for Aunt Sue’s service, but it looks like it might rain and it’s graveside, so let’s hit up Target on the way and get an umbrella, and maybe some gloves.”

“Oh, and it’ll probably take forever, so let’s get some snacks…Doritos, anyone? Cool Ranch? Or maybe something quieter, like fruit snacks?”

“Oh, and we need gum, too. Definitely gum.”

“I know Aunt Sue’s dead and all, but since we’re going to Target anyway, do you think it would be okay if I picked up a Tide pen and a new iPad case? I’ve needed those for awhile.”

“Yeah, oh, and some body wash, since it’s on sale this week.”

Second, if you had your choice of cars, why would you choose the limo to go to Target? “Oh, let’s take the limo to Target. Neat idea.” Who are you trying to impress? You’re going to Target, not Neiman Marcus. Are you buying that much stuff? I know that most Targets have huge parking lots, but if it’s crowded, where are you going to put that thing? Or are you going to have your driver just circle around for awhile? And if you do park, you’re quite likely to get dinged by a rogue shopping cart…let’s face it, a limo’s a pretty big disaster target.

Hey…Dumb Starbucks, meet Disaster Target.

I like it.

In other news, Whole Foods had panettone tonight. It was just okay.

 

0

Hypnotized by the Bullseye

Every single day since I’ve been back, I’ve gone to Target.

And sometimes, more than once a day.

And to more than one Target; there are five in the Madison area and I’ve been to three of them at least once (Hilldale, Fitchburg, and Madison West).

In the past few days, I have bought limes, ketchup, mustard, active dry yeast, soda, eggs, Werther’s Originals butterscotch candies, carrots, frozen veggie burgers, bagel thins, fruit snacks, streusel, cookies, jam, almond butter, a wrench, a UW t-shirt, refrigerator magnets, chocolate chips, all-purpose flour, duct tape, a broiler pan, iced coffee packets, a toilet brush, toilet cleaner, and stain remover.

Today I bought a lampshade, light bulbs, poppy seeds, onion soup mix, and carpet cleaner.

This has been my life for the past week.

I am turning into a real life Target Lady.

Sweet Mary Hartman.