I only got four hours of sleep Monday night. Emily has been on my mind so much lately, and I can’t help but feel like she (and everyone really) is annoyed and disappointed with me. By the time the work day ended on Tuesday, I was in a headspace where I just really needed out of the house. I texted a few folks, but no one answered. So, I closed my eyes and thought, “Where would Emily go right now?”
And that’s how I ended up at Target.
I needed some pens and highlighters, so it seemed like the perfect option. Yet, as soon as I walked in the door and heard two people chatting in the One Spot, I felt the tears. I spent a while just wandering the aisles and reliving memories because, as the title says, we loved going to Target.
Target Is A Magical Place
I don’t know what it is about Target, but I swear just walking around in the store cures everyone. You don’t even have to buy anything, either. You can just walk through the aisles, point out interesting items, then leave hours later.
Over the years, Emily and I spent a lot of time in Target. Sometimes we’d go into the store with a specific mission in mind, while other times we’d just go for the serotonin boost only that red bullseye can provide.
Inevitably, we’d always leave with items we didn’t even know we needed. According to Emily, though, we did need the items. She’d always say, “Target always tells you what you need.” Which, in Emily speak, that meant we had to walk through every single section of the store every single time we went to Target, even if we only went in for something towards the front of the store, like a gift bag or pens.
A Target Date Night
Although I have many fond memories of Target, I think my absolute favorite experience was the time Emily and I planned a Target Date Night. We’d just started dating, and we were looking for something fun to do on a weeknight that wouldn’t require us to be out late. So, we went to the Super Target in Smyrna with this list, and told each other we’d meet back at the front of the store at a specific time.
Of course, we ran into each other several times during the shopping experience. We’d wave, blow each other a kiss, or say, “How many more do you need?” then part ways again. It was fairly hilarious, and felt like a game in many ways. Once we finished, we each checked out, then went to Emily’s apartment to share what we picked out for each other.
Among the most hilarious items were the mascara Emily bought for me as the thing she’d like me to try (I pretty much never wear any makeup), and the fact that I got both coffee and alcohol for her favorite drink. We also each picked out something pride-themed for each other, which was both comical and cute.
As I’ve mentioned before, Emily had a knack for planning trips. The trip we took to Chicago for my birthday in 2021 was no exception. But, of course, she found a way to work both Starbucks and Target into the trip.
If you haven’t heard about Goth Target, you should definitely look it up. Basically, it’s a Target in Downtown Chicago that has goth architecture. Inside, it’s a mostly normal Target (albeit multi-story). However, the exterior alone is enough reason to visit, because it’s really cool.
Anyway, we went into that Target just because, and still left with a ton of random things. Emily was excited about the abundance of winter weather gear, so she got a hat and some gloves. I’d realized when we arrived the night before that I’d forgotten to pack pajamas, so I grabbed those. We got snacks, a few other items, and wandered a bit before heading to the checkout.
Needless to say, I’m glad that was our last stop for the afternoon.
I’ll Listen to Target
Because of Emily, I’ve somewhat adopted the notion that Target tells you what you need. For example, I saw a snow globe in the store shortly after she died, and I just had to buy it. Sure, I didn’t need to spend money. And sure, it could have waited. But it was staring me in the face and I could just feel something inside of me saying, “Buy it!”
I’ll admit, it’s not easy to go into places that hold so many memories. However, I also know that I’ve remembered things related to Emily about pretty much every single store or restaurant I’ve thought about walking into since October 19, so I can’t let that stop me from enjoying Target.
But, because of Emily, I might start leaving the store with at least one impulsive buy every time I visit. I know she won’t mind.