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Soy Candle in the Wind

Cathy_1Don’t even go there. It’s a tired phrase that I try to suppress when it pops into my head, but is it possible that there is an original there and it’s the Atlantic Center Target?

Perhaps the saying should be literal rather than sassy. Really, don’t even go there, you’ll be sorry. Last Friday James turned around and left after getting scared shitless by the mayhem. I didn’t see what he saw, but attributed it to pre-Christmas madness. But that doesn’t explain the sickening chaos I experienced yesterday on a post-holiday Thursday (clearly, I never learn–it turns out that I had this exact same problem at exactly the same time last year). We usually go to New Jersey or Q ueens for our Target fix, so maybe this is standard practice in Brooklyn.

Do these people (yes, those people) not know what a Target is meant to be like? There’s supposed to merchandise on the shelves, not empty rows and so much crap on the floor or abandoned, filled shopping carts blocking paths that you can barely walk. There are supposed to be express lanes so folks like me with four items don’t have to wait behind families buying what looks like a month’s worth (I hope it’s a month) of cereal, soda, cookies and potato chips. There are supposed to be enough cashiers open so that lines aren’t twenty deep and winding all the way back to the refrigerated section.

I was watching Signe Chanel on Sundance channel the other night (I’ve been very, very bored this week. Apparently, so bored that I’ve only watched things on channel 101. I also watched the hilariously non-American, Da Kath & Kim Code, both episodes of not-that-entertaining One Punk Under God and so-so but wonderfully bleak, Jude, which is the type of thing I’d normally flip past. I will never be bored enough to watch Iconoclasts, however) and Oprah was at a Chanel show in Paris and some middle-aged socialite sitting next to her was talking to about her new country home in Pennsylvania and how horrible New York City had become. Oprah agreed and said something along the lines of “people don’t realize that it’s not normal to live like that,” implying that there are squalor-free places full of peace, quiet and natural beauty. I’m no fan of Oprah, despite being a fellow INFJ, but this Brooklyn Target is a shining example of not living normally.

I only went because I needed one item that I know they carry, and it’s the most accessible Target (it’s about a thirty-minute walk home). I had to find a replacement shaving cream for my Whish mishap. They have Sharps brand, which is not only considerably cheaper but had specifically been asked for. The Target in Las Vegas (yes, I go to Targets on vacation) had a well-stocked display of toiletries and beauty products for both genders. Brooklyn had one small section that was 75% empty, none of the signage matched where the items were placed and there wasn’t a single price tag to be seen. I was so irritated that I almost turned around and left but that would only be thwarting myself.

8bloodpressureI don’t understand people who say beta-blockers work for anxiety (or migraines, for that matter). I have them for high blood pressure and half the time I feel like I’m going to bust a gasket, I’m perpetually un-calm. I’ve been taking halves for some time but the past few weeks I’ve upped my dosage to wholes because I’m convinced that swarms of humanity are going to give me a heart attack in my thirties. I wonder if I didn’t take high blood pressure medication at all if I’d simply keel over from life’s little annoyances.

James likes smelly shit and cleaning products so I thought I’d peek at the dreaded air freshener aisle. I gave in to a new lavender and lemongrass Method soy candle, but I had to draw the line at the Method plug-ins. They have that eco-chic thing happening but I’m fairly certain the scents are still cloying and artificial (how do you make a natural scented candle, anyway? I don’t imagine these $50 numbers are much less artificial. Hmm, these scents are actually intriguing—I’m not sure what “english black tea and cedar, tangled with blackish seaweed absolute” or “scents of wood stock, 19th century lacquer and smoky gunpowder” smell like but I am curious)

I resigned myself to the snaking checkout line and when I finally go to the register my candle wouldn’t scan properly. “Do you know how much this was?” asked the fairly efficient, not ill-tempered cashier.

You never know how a store will handle price checks. Often it’s so ridiculously busy that they take your word if your quote sounds reasonable but Western Beef, no matter how long the line, will always send a human to check even it takes all afternoon. I feel guilty about trying to cheat, so I’m usually honest.

“I think it was $5.99.” I didn’t just think, I knew with 99% certainty. She scrunched up her face like that didn’t seem right. I got unnecessarily nervous (all I could think was please don’t get a price check because I don’t have the patience and as usual I’ll end up saying forget it and leaving the item behind) and was all, “do you think it’s higher or lower?” “That’s seems like too much for a candle” was the answer. I thought it was actually cheap for a candle, but whatever, and then I started worrying if $5.99 was actually wrong and I was now going to be overcharged. I checked my receipt on the way out the door and was surprised to note that I’d only been charged $2.99 for the candle. I felt very good about saving $3 and softened a mite (just a mite) about the horribleness of Atlantic Center Target. But you still might have to reward me with more than three bucks to return.

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