I can't quite put my finger on what it is about Target that makes it so compelling.
There's something particular, however. Whoever figures out these Targets knows what they are doing.
Because it taps into the same place that was triggered when as a kid, I would visit the grocery store when we were in the US in the summer. I'd be dazzled - literally dazzled - by the vast array of choices. In the cereal aisle alone!
So many options! So many colors! So much snap crackle pop pretty shiny sparkly!
And! There were SO MANY MORE AISLES just like it!
(Related: Have you ever read the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver? Oh, I loved that book.)
Anyway, if you ever went to giant theme park like Disneyland when you were young, that feeling of stepping into a semi-unreal kingdom of overabundance and magic is kind of like what going to the grocery store in America was like for me for quite some time.
I mean, it wore off well before adulthood. It's not like I get goosebumps every time I walk into Safeway.
And actually, I find most grocery stores kind of overwhelming. There is just too much, well, too much everything. It's all in my way while I'm trying to find my some things. They make me not hungry. They make me annoyed.
(And! Also! Have any of you looked for full-fat sugarless yogurt to feed your kids? Nearly impossible to find! It is all zero-fat fake sugar crap! We are a nation of overweight people eating scads and scads of fat-free sugar-free yogurt! OK. /rant)
Somehow, Target is different. Target seems all fraught with delightful possibilities. I really need baby formula, but ooh! pretty scarf! And such cute thank-you cards! Hey! Lip gloss! And do I need neon turquoise capris? (Um, no. But the possibility exists! And maybe they could change my life!)
Now, Target does do those fun collaborations every so often (their Liberty of London one still being far and away my favorite), and they have some cute, affordable clothes, but for the most part, it's not like you can't get your deodorant, toothpaste, baby stuff, etc. elsewhere.
Plus the Columbia Heights store has a worse bathroom than Amtrak. Hand to God.
And it's not like these stores have roller coasters or cotton candy.
So what is it that pulls me back, makes me happy about a Target outing, and then prevents me from leaving the store until I've spent $100, at minimum?
I do not know.