The Target Phenomenon

Earlier today my friend Bianca Juarez twittered,

“Yesterday I walked into Target and walked out under budget and ONLY with the things I needed. I deserve a hug, a cupcake, and a gold medal!”

She got dozens of responses congratulating her for this impressive feat. Because WE ALL KNOW it is practically impossible to walk out of Target with just the things on your shopping list.

There is always something else beckoning you as you walk down the aisles of this monstrous superstore, “Purchase me.” “You really do need me.” “I am such a great deal and you deserve something special.” “No one has to know that I am not what you came for.”

I fall every time. And as I watch the young checkout girl scan the bevy of unnecessary items that have accumulated in my basket, I cower in embarrassment and think, “this place has defeated me again.”

I walk out to my car and make a firm resolution not to put myself in this situation again. A grocery store or the dreaded Walmart will have to suffice until I can learn some semblance self-discipline. But a couple of weeks later I find myself back for another round. Or more accurately another beating.

Here’s what I want to know. What is the most ridiculous thing you have purchased at Target?

My answer is here (except I bought the oh-so-practical VHS version, watched it once because I HAD to see what happened to my favorite heroine, and now lies in a box somewhere collecting dust.

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • It's Targets fault, really. Their slogan is "Expect More!" It's like a command, or something. You're walking around the store knowing that all you need is a Sharpie pen, a closet organizer, and diet Dr. Pepper, but Target is pointedly ordering you around in your peripheral vision to Expect MORE!!

    Target's a bully. I blame Target for my overspending and for the buying of needless and worthless crap.

    In fact, I'm going to boycott Target from now until the next time I see one! So there!! 😉

    Confession: When I'm in the states, going to Target is like a MAJOR highlight. And since airlines started charging so much for luggage, I have been completely relieved of my poor self-control issues. Now I just go in and walk around… it's kinda sad.
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  • Wow, I've always wanted to be a muse 🙂

    Now I'm officially your inspiration for the daily blog.


    Can't wait to see you!!!
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  • i have bad recall for these sorts of things. i fall victim to tar-jay far too often, but can't remember the crazy crap i have walked out with.

    (wasn't that last anne movie stupid? ugh.)

    (and way to get "bevy" in there!)

  • Wait there was a 'continuing' story of Anne of Green Gables? Gotta run to Target. BBL
    My recent post Got Camp

    • Don't waste your money. It was disappointing.

      • Jen

        I yelled at my tv. It was truly abismal.

        (And don't ever get me started on the travesty that was "Howls Moving Castle". I was so angry i CRIED)

  • seriously. Target is the root of all budget evil. I dont think my wife Erica has ever left that building with a receipt under $50. I always give her a hard time about it, but it's a tough place to have restraint.

    and their credit card machines are always so fast, aren't they? love that.
    My recent post The Truth About Einstein

    • $50 is impressive. mine usually hovers around $100. and it's just me and my dog. no idea what i am buying.

  • Sorry, but the legendary Target's spending magical powers don't have any affect on me. My son Derek, 11 thinks the Target shopping center in Brenwtood is a corner of heaven: Target, Panera, Game Crazy, Fulin Asian food, and a Steak House all together. Now if you were writing about a Nordstrom's Rack, this would be a whole different comment.

  • My weakness is the rotating, seasonal, far-back corner of the store.

    Because, really, who doesn't need a new Halloween candy bowl?
    Or the latest and greatest coordinated Christmas tree ornaments?
    Or new lawn furniture?

    I swear, it's like the Bermuda Triangle back there… My money just vanishes.

    Fun post, Lindsey! Hope you're well!
    My recent post Parentheticals

  • oh my. i always come out with something ridiculous. seriously.

    a rug. an ottoman. a lamp. not all on the same trip…
    My recent post Lasts

  • I've purchased probably 4 different shoulder bags that definitely border on being a purse.

  • im not a big shopper. at all. i can walk in and out of target and not buy anything =]

    it's like having a gift of celibacy. it's a very RARE thing.

    first place i scout when i need to buy gifts: the clearance section. u can find great stuff for less than $7

    yes this single mama is very frugal/thrifty/wise.

    but when i do get my paycheck…i love buying grocery at target. market pantry is one of my favorite generic food brands.

    My recent post 71910 late

    • I love Market Pantry as well. Seriously great prices and good quality food.
      My recent post Got Camp

    • Makeda

      I'm the same way Patricia. I hate shopping so it is very easy for me to walk in get what I want and walk out. Generally if I'm in a store longer than to get what I want, I start to hyperventilate or something. Shopping and I are not friends at all. 🙂

  • ugh! i can NEVER get out of there spending less than $100 – and i live paycheck to paycheck. i can't help it that i *have to have* a(nother) new frame for a(nother) picture of my niece and those sheets and a summertime table runner and a hammer and a bathing suit for my dog – i don't have them and what if they're not here next time or not on sale!? plus, where else can i find a supercute dress that i can wear on a date, to work and on the beach for only $21.99!?…


    inevitably, i always end up returning something. makes me feel better and proud of myself that i *was* able to resist a(nother) set of thank you cards and got a refund back of $3.99.

    thank you, lindsay. thank you for providing a safe place for the rest of us.

    my name is mary kathryn. and i'm a compulsive shopper at target. thanks for letting me share.


  • DVD set of Fraggle Rock… because I KNEW my three kids would love it as much as I did.
    Much to my chagrin… they didn't get it. They just didn't get it. Sigh. They didn't even salivate when the Fraggles ate the Doozers hard contruction work for dinner… and my kids were scared of the Trash Heap…. oy vey.

  • Couple of things that make Super Target awesome.

    1. Did you know the Target deli has salads? My favorite is the California Grilled Chicken Salad. It has a lots of lettuce and is topped with grilled chicken breast, goat cheese, dried cranberry's & walnuts. Not bad for $3.95 (and occasionally on sale for $3.50).

    2. My local Target Starbucks only charges the refill price (.50) when you bring your clean refillable Starbucks cup from home.

    3. Where else can you buy groceries, electronics & car parts at the same place? Well, maybe Wal-Mart, but who wants to go there? 🙂

  • Annie

    I love this! It’s confession time with Lindsey!
    I personally fall prey to the jewelry/shoes/home accessories.
    Can’t pass up a cute strappy sandal for $14.95. Haha

  • 1) Rain boots by Liberty of London…because I need those…in Dallas. (??)
    2) 20 Target recycle bags to bring home all the stuff I (eh-um) need

    I tried shopping at Wal-Mart… Once.

    Thanks for the fun post! Good to know none of us are alone;)

    • they were so smart to bring in the designer labels at affordable prices. i might have to go checkout the liberty rainboots. not because i need them.

      • There is also the Liberty of London piggy bank and beachcomber bike (online exclusive). Just in case.

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  • 3 bags of overpriced coffee, at least 5 pounds of discounted valentines candy, candles, teriyaki beef jerky, a quad venti marble machiato and carmex.

  • They say wherever you spend your time & your money, THAT'S what you really love.
    My wife is leaving me for Target…

    And nothing ridiculous, please. EVerything at Target is essential.

  • I can name a few ridiculous things I *almost* bought today (i.e a toolbox, wrist weights I didn’t need. Luckily, I had self restraint.

    However, I could get pretty ridiculous in the homeware/storage section from time to time.

  • hahaha! Anne of Green Gables, eh? Silly.

    I have NO self-control in Target. Especially in the candles and home furnishings. I have many sets of bed sheets for the sheer fact they were on the Target end-cap calling out to me. And the candles. Don't get me started…I bee line for those 2 departments regardless of what i'm there for and typically forget to buy said required item. *facepalm*

    I'm an addict.
    My recent post Bare Walls & Baptisms…

  • Karyn

    This is so sad to admit, but sometimes I just walk around the store. Or, I'll just pick up all the things I want, put them in my cart, and then go and put them back. But that's only because of finances, when I could, I would buy almost everything at Target.

  • Amy

    Most ridiculous thing I've ever bought at Target? Hmmm… Tough choice: It was either the oh-so-cute notebooks (yes, plural, and no, I haven't written anything in them yet) or the hot dogs that call my name every time I go past the snack shop… On the other hand, my living room and bedroom lamps, the end tables in my living room and my TV stand are all from Target. It's like my Ikea 🙂

    My recent post The hardest thing to do

  • I am SO GLAD the nearest Target is forty minutes away since I moved to this mountain town… as is Walmart. I can't even tell you how much money we're saving. My husband is, obviously, quite thrilled and thinks we should live here forever.

    • i might need to move next door. to keep a safe distance between me and my nemesis 😉 plus we could have a blast.

  • I'm trying to think of the most ridiculous thing I've bought there. Because at the time the purchase always seems like a good idea. I usually end up buying chocolate. I always check the dollar spot usually to see if I can find stuff to send our Compassion girl. Always check the clearance racks in the clothing, accessories, home furnishings, makeup & house hold items.

    My recent post Things Aren’t Always As They Seem

  • Haha, I would've purchased that too! Now I'm curious, I want to know what happened to Anne of Green Gables! *Somebody stop me from ordering it on Amazon*

  • Maybe it is because I am a male, but I have no problem walking into target and walking out. There are definitely some cool stuff in there, but I think it is way more appealing to females. Now there is a lot of furniture stuff that is pretty cool that I would want to buy. But because i do not have a house or an apartment, I don't need it.

    My sister, she is addicted and always buys way more then what she needed.
    My recent post Why Mediocrity is Addicting

  • OH LINDSEY. I hear ya! Target and me have a love hate relationship.

    Target LOVES me because I buy stupid stuff. I end up hating myself for the stupidity.

    There little red CLEARANCE tags get me almost every time. I'm getting better.. kind of, okay not really.

    Here is my latest dumb purchase. I mean at least they served as comic relief for our WOFfice party… They were 51 cents and I couldn't resist putting googly eyes on Robert Pattinson.
    My recent post Google Font Directory

  • do you want the whole list of stupid items, or just the top ten?

    Bianca is my hero. I can't believe she got out w/only what she needed 🙂
    My recent post The Partnership of Healing

  • Believe it or not I actually have to go to Target today for my boss and now I'm thinking about all the stuff they have that I would love to buy! lol
    Its also hard for me not to resist Target when its two minutes from my office! So many lunch breaks are spent there shopping! 🙂
    My recent post Falling

  • We just bought a 3 lb. bag of Haribo Gold Bears because the 1 lb. bag was sold out. And we NEEDED the gummy bears.

  • Ok, I'm going to reveal my white trash hickness here. I don't shop at Target…because it's usually more expensive than WalMart.

    You may begin the heaping of your condemnation now.

    My recent post First blogiversary contest!

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