Breaking News! Target Myths Debunked!

My red and white bulls-eyed world has been rocked not once, not twice, but three times in the past month.

This is how we Target.

I should think it could go without saying I am a willing drinker of the kool-aid that is Target. I mean, duh…I breathe, and Target exists. It does not take a genius to deduce anything here. Besides, the Target kool-aid is hard to resist, seeing as how it is always attractively arranged on end caps alongside clearance candles, brightly chevroned decor by designers I couldn’t otherwise afford had they not decided to slum it with “exclusive” “bargain” collections, and cleaning products that seduce me into thinking that if I use them my house will finally be rid of that stagnant faint smell of dog, kid sweat, and week-old bowl of leftover cereal and milk that I know is somewhere, under something, but I can’t find where the stench is coming from for the life of me. I dare anyone to resist that kool-aid.

That being said, my status as a fervent follower of the Target way of life creates certain truths I hold to be absolute. One, snack foods taste better when they come from Target. (I’m not sure, but I think they are imbibed with extra snack-tastic-ness when placed in those red plastic shopping carts…speaking of which…) Two, Target shopping carts have an extremely high accuracy for repelling germs, dirt, and wonky wheels (Seriously. When was the last time you got sick after visiting Target…or felt uncertain about placing a bunch of bananas directly into the cart without a bag…or sounded like you were dragging a wounded animal along with you every time you wheeled down an aisle? You can’t say that about Walmart.) Three, Target gift cards are the perfect gift for the person who has everything…or nothing. (Because who couldn’t use one more boyfriend cardigan at that price? Not princesses…OR paupers.)

But the two most absolute-est absolute truths about Target are 1) everyone is a Target person deep down, and 2) *everyone say this with me* you can NOT leave Target without spending under $100 and/or buying at least one extra item for each item on your list.

Well, get ready to be told the earth isn’t flat. It turns out, BOTH of those are myths.

I’m sorry. That was so abrupt. I should have told you to sit down first. If you need a moment before you read on, that’s okay. I was where you were not long ago. Go on. Get yourself together. Pour yourself a drink in that tumbler from the dollar bin. Have some Market Pantry comfort food ready. Find a Nate Berkus throw pillow in case you need something to beat in disbelief. Maybe pop an Up & Up ibuprofen. It’s about to get raw and real in here.


Okay. Forget Loch Ness. Forget Sasquatch. Forget the Yeti. This past weekend, I was face to face with the most unbelievable mythological creature, one I was sure was only a folklore legend: someone who claims to be “not a Target person.” And the scariest part was that she looked like a normal, well-adjusted woman. She is someone who walks among us, easily passing herself off as a Target-loving human whose existence follows the known laws of natural science.

What’s more, this person, this “not a Target person,” is someone I have known and trusted for a good portion of my life. How is this information just NOW coming to light? I have always held fast to the belief, nay fact, that if given the choice and all other things being equal, not a soul walked the earth who wouldn’t choose Target over Walmart. But as sure as the sun rises every morning, there she was, telling me she preferred Walmart “for the entertainment value when buying toilet paper.” Sure, Walmart does have a certain “entertainment value” that Target can not seem to equal.  But…but…the shiny red carts…the boyfriend cardigans…the fact that I can get a Starbucks, a harvest chicken salad, a slotted spoon, and a Star Wars Lego kit all in one stop. How can cheap entertainment value compete when push comes to shove? I mean, I love watching Real Housewives, but if there is only one hour of space left on my DVR, I’m scheduling it to record The Walking Dead. Every.time.

Alert the tabloids! “Not a Target Person” has been spotted! photo credit: beckstei via

I know what you are thinking. Someone who prefers Walmart over Target? It’s MADNESS. And I am sure you must be hoping for some proof…some photographic evidence that such person REALLY exists. Sadly, I have none to offer. Not even a blurry photo that could just as easily be of a peanut butter smudge on my lens. I simply have to hope that my word is enough, that the bond of trust we have built over posts about superhero keg parties, being a bad Catholic, and going to a Michael Bolton concert will be enough to warrant your belief in my tale. And here is why: I just could not bear to expose this “not a Target person” to the masses, to leave her open to ridicule or hate mail or over-zealous Target evangelicals who seek to convert her…this person who otherwise blends in seamlessly with us Target people. For, though I do not share her sentiments about our beloved mecca of stores, I learned that this “not a Target person” is not the monster we all imagine them to be in our campfire stories. She is a gentle creature, who would rather forgo the grande non-fat mocha latte and surprisingly good quality footwear for the price, in favor of shopping for toothpaste and organizational bins alongside a lady who brings her three cats in a stroller. She is not hurting anyone, and there is no reason we can not coexist peacefully.

Kumbaya. Yes? Okay. Now I’m going to rip off the other band-aid. Twice.

Four weeks ago, I, Kelly Suellentrop, of sound mind and body, entered my local Target, placed the six items on my list into my basket, proceeded to the checkout, and spent a total of $32.17. No extra items. Under $100. Way under. My husband actually offered to take me out to dinner to celebrate the achievement. But wait. There is more. Last week, I went and did it AGAIN.

To answer your question, yes, I have already made a doctor’s appointment and requested a thorough medical workup. But seeing as how there is at least one “not a Target person” in existence, it seems that maybe this Target tenet of mandatory over-spending should also be called into question.

Or maybe this is more serious than I thought. Maybe I have been infected. Maybe I’m becoming “not a Target person.”

I better go put on a Merona knit dress and some Mossimo ballet flats, click my heels three times, and chant, “There’s no place like Target…There’s no place like Target…”

And the only way I know I will be cured is if I go there and end up coming home with a new bedspread and a summer steel beverage tub for parties on the deck we never have. Somehow, I don’t think my husband will offer a celebratory dinner after that, but at least things will be back in order with the laws of natural science.


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41 thoughts on “Breaking News! Target Myths Debunked!

  1. I’d rather go to Walmart, too. Their prices are cheaper, and, quite honestly, all that red annoys my eyes. I don’t know about other Targets, but the Target where I live has the most hideous patterns on it’s carpeting, and it’s likely to give me a seizure one of these days.


    1. Oh no! Another one! 🙂 I certainly shop at Walmart as well. But to be honest, I don’t find them cheaper on the whole, at least not for enough of the things I buy on a regular basis. It always seems to even out somehow. I end up spending about the same amount regardless of which store I go to. Walmart is closer to my house, so I often swing in there for the convenience of it. And I do like getting all my flowers and gardening stuff there. But the biggest difference for me is how I FEEL when I’m in each store. Often, the Walmart experience is frustrating and takes longer than I would like…they never have enough checkers…it is hard to find employees who can help you…etc. Target just makes me happy when I’m in there. I must like red 🙂

      By the way, now I need to make sure to check the carpet next time I go. I’ve never noticed it before. Maybe that means my store has done away with the hideous pattern.


        1. Sounds like I need to treat you to my Target experience. I officially disown your Target. Unacceptable.

          Bad customer service is one of the greatest sins in my book. It really gets my goat.


  2. Funny…. I just did the same thing this past weekend – went into Target – was there less than 30 minutes and only spent $25! I was flabbergasted…. but I had my husband, 1 year old son and 2 year old son with me…. so I blame it on them. When I return to a target this fall with my bff – we will spend countless hours and hundreds of dollars to make up for it. 🙂 (I have to drive over an hour to get to a Target, thank goodness or I would probably have to get a 2nd job!) Oh and I have 2 sisters who are “non -target people!” Crazy women! 🙂
    Loved your post!!


  3. I was a Targeteer till I moved. Now my nearest Target is a crappy one off Manchester. Travel on Manchester Rd= Aw. Hell. Naw. I converted to WalMart and by the time I realized there was also a Target about a mile down the road from the WalMart, I was too firmly ensconced in my reasonably priced cocoon to roll back the habit and switch again.


      1. I’m like Caroline – there are no Targets within a reasonable driving distance. Of course, most of my Walmart shopping is done online with free shipping to home. And I earn points for gift cards through one of those online programs, too.


        1. Nice! I never remember to use those online programs. Then again, I don’t do a lot of online shopping. I am one of these people who likes to see what I am buying in person…and I enjoy the act of going out shopping. Unless it is the grocery store. I would totally grocery shop online.


  4. I agree with you Kelly. And if I hadn’t heard it with my own ears I would never believe you but it is indeed true! LOVE my Target!


  5. This made me laugh: the bond of trust we have built over posts about superhero keg parties, being a bad Catholic, and going to a Michael Bolton concert will be enough to warrant your belief in my tale. 🙂 My truth is this … I like both places at different times. Sometimes Walmart hits the spot when I just don’t want to care and I need SEVERAL necessities. It’s a bit cheaper and I don’t care who I see or who sees me. Then other times, nothing but Target will do. It really just depends on the day and mood! The one MAJOR difference for me is the cart. My GOSH those chunky, plastic Target carts are the Audi of the cart world, are they not?


    1. I could write a whole post dedicated to those carts. No one has carts like them. No one. And I love that…the Audi of the cart world. Spot on.

      I do shop both places…Walmart is actually closer to my house, so it wins out whenever convenience is high priority. And I’m am very lucky in that my Walmart is probably the Audi of Walmarts…it is the nicest one I have ever been in. And there is this really sweet greeter who always makes me smile when I go in. I know, I live a charmed life.


  6. We don’t have a Target it our town. The closest one in Fort Wayne is a good 30-40 minute drive away. What I’ve found, being a former Target person, is that a little distance quickly changes that. We stopped in a Target the last time we were in Fort Wayne and I didn’t buy ONE THING! Can you believe it? For some reason nothing looked that appealing to me. The clothes seemed overpriced compared to the clearance items I can get at the JCPenny in (our) town. I did feel like something was really wrong with the scenario of walking out without having spent a dime. I guess I’m NOT a Target person anymore 😦

    And sadly, we do have a Wal-Mart in town, which is the only place I can buy yarn so it ends up in my rotation of shopping more than I’d like to admit. But I will NEVER be a Wal-Mart person. That’s like a cardinal sin of being a historic preservationist. In the mean time, I’m figuring out how I can open my own yarn shop (of course in a downtown, historic building) so I can avoid ever going to Wal-Mart.


    1. Do I smell another Fancy Ponyland??? 🙂

      I do love me some JCP. A lot. But I still love Target in that I can get clothes AND so much more. It’s the one stop shop that endears it to me so much. I am impressed you were able to buy not one thing. That is like ninja shopping.


  7. Regarding the above comment…it is supposed to be “she definitely SAID it, not “David”…stupid auto correct.


  8. Target is slowly becoming Wal-Mart….sad to say. However, their stores are easier to get around, and the prices on many things are the same if not better than Wal-Mart! Quality is also much higher. Wally World does have the high entertainment value, which can also become very annoying.
    I attribute the lack of over-spending to their hidden messages through the music not having as great as an effect. I quickly became immune to the $100 rule. The wife, however, is a different story……
    Great blog!


  9. Target is the place that I have memorized and has an easier parking lot than walmart. Since we get our numerous drugs from them and do the whole Target “red card” think we get 10% when we go. So, probably no worse than walmart for somethings, just more convenient for us.


    1. I agree on both parts. No matter how many times I go to Walmart, I always end up having to back track. But never at Target. I could navigate it blindfolded. And Walmart parking lots…the worst.


  10. I had to quit Target cold turkey a few years ago. It was an addiction and I couldn’t even allow myself to pull into the parking lot. Now, I can go and not go crazy. Usually. But, the other day I bought a desk for $80 (Restoration Hardware knockoff!) and some beach towels for $5 and some White Cheddar Popcorn (not on sale, but my current addiction). I love Target. Most of my kids’ clothes come from there… Recently got compliments on some cute platform booties I was wearing from a friend who is a total fashionista. I proudly told her “$25, Target!”


    1. The answer to “who are you wearing” over at our house is usually “Target”. It helps me stay somewhat on trend thanks to their cheap knockoffs. And their clothes were my best friend when I was teaching!


  11. Not one person has spelled my very favorite French store correctly! It is Tarjet! I am wearing Tarjet, not “House of Kirkland.” We have been fighting for the red bullseye in our community for the past 20 years. I don’t know that it will ever happen. That said, the 40 minute trips to the red cart shoppers’ paradise are all the more special. Some people like to go to the beach or the mountains on the weekend, my friends and I KNOW that it is a far more satisfying sensory experience to make a jaunt southward to our favorite “magasin” (store in French)!


  12. I agree Walmart is cheaper and I always spend money every time I go, but even though I don’t spend much on target I feel that their display makes you want to buy more. So I fill up the cart and then now that it’s not in targets display I realized I don’t need any of it or I can find it for cheaper. So I agree with you about the eye catching clean displays.


    1. They know how to market! I do think Target is cheaper than a lot of people give them credit for. They have GREAT clearances. I think it seems more expensive because they do have a way of enticing you to buy more and/or things you don’t need. I fall for it every time.


  13. This is brilliant. I too, know a non Target person and that person is my mother, gasp!! She prefers Walmart because it’s closer to her house (barely) and better prices and she can always find what she wants. It’s scary and when we shop together we are forced to alternate. Terrible for me, because I could easily live in Target. There is no better place, well besides Starbucks, but you can usually find those in a Target. I hope your health is improving regarding your “shopping illness.” 🙂


  14. Oh my goodness! I loved this post so much! We are AVID Target lovers! My husband often lets me know how much we’d be saving if we could ditch the weekly Target runs for necessary items like nail polish, wrapping paper, and picture frames. I’m totally addicted. Anyone who claims to be “not a Target person” is not my friend.


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