My husband doesn’t mind doing the Targeting, but because of the logistics it usually falls to me, and has for most of the past ten years. I’ve long been accustomed to the phenomenon that is The Target Run: I’ll pop in for aluminum foil and bobby pins, only to emerge a full hour later, with three bags of odds and ends that I know I need but surely can’t add up to the $84 I just paid, even though I’ve gone over the receipt three times and can’t find a mistake.
Recently we ran out of plastic wrap and dog food and dish soap all at once on a Saturday afternoon (Poor planning? Yep, but that’s another post for another day) and my husband volunteered to make the trip to Tar-jay.
An hour later, he returned with three bags full and said, “I just dropped $100 bucks and I don’t even feel like I bought anything.”
I stuffed my urge to scrutinize the receipt: we’re both frugal people–we’re not prone to impulse buys–and besides, I know how the Target run goes.
“Exactly,” I say. But my mind flashes back to a hundred conversations I’ve had before, all with married girlfriends–probably because this is the kind of thing you talk about at preschool playdates–and each has had the same shape:
Husband: What did you get at Target today?
Wife: Oh, you know, just lightbulbs, ziplocs, eye makeup remover. Stuff like that. Can you believe it cost $100?
Husband: What did you buy?? Why is everything so expensive?? How did it cost so much??!
But his questions aren’t questions at all; they’re accusations. Because really, until you experience firsthand the phenomenon that is The Target Run, it’s hard to understand how the bunch-of-nothing adds up to three figures.
I’d like to prescribe a weekend stock-up run to these spouses so they can see for themselves how diapers, two pairs of tights, and a box of cornstarch add up to big bucks–even without grabbing the Altoids and a new magazine in the checkout line.
I’m an over-empathizer. (It’s a strength; it’s a sickness.) I’m decent at imagining what it’s like to be in my husband’s shoes but there’s nothing like actually doing to make that lightbulb over my head pop. Trading roles in the Big Things has been surprisingly great for our relationship. It turns out, it’s worthwhile to trade places with the little things every once in a while, too.
I suspect we’re not alone.
Can you relate to the phenomenon that is The Target Run?