Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Basket Case: The Tale of the Absent-Minded Almost Thief

I need a chaperone when I go to Target.

Not because I am going to have my way with the first stockboy who gives me a second look, but because I enter intending to spend $20 and exit with my bank account at least $100 lighter. 

I need someone to make sure I don’t buy everything in the place.

On this particular visit to the Hundred-Dollar Store, I was somewhat disciplined.  I bought two gifts and the requisite cards.  I bought some make-up because my foundations and lipstick are cosmetic Petri dishes. 

And, of course, some groceries.

Also, because I was so famished I feared I might black out while driving and wrap my car around a lamppost, I decided to get myself a yogurt.  Ever the logician, my sleep-deprived, blog-obsessed little brain found it wise to put the majority of items in the child seat, and to stash my perishables -- fruit and yogurt -- in the bottom of the ocean-liner sized cart.  

I arrived at the checkout counter feeling pretty fricking proud of myself.  It had been a model trip.  My bill came to less than $100.  The only fail was leaving my tote bags in the car, necessitating plastic bags, i.e. vessels for poopy diapers.

Feeling almost drunkenly self-congratulatory, I pushed my cart to the parking lot and stowed my wares in the trunk.  Did I mention I had also scored a parking spot next to the cart return thingie?   

This trip had been an effing dream.

Purchases loaded and cart returned, I sat down in my seat and merrily prepared to take out my yogurt.  I had even remembered to get a spoon! 

But my Greek yogurt was nowhere to be found.  What the?  I became instantly incredulous and outraged. 

Oh hell no!  That b---h did not pack my yogurt!

Wait.  I unloaded the cart.  I put my berries and yogurt in the back.  Maybe they are

still there. 

Why did the sensor never beep?  Can I eat them anyway?  Can I just stick it to The Man?  I’m hungry and I spend 1000s of dollars here, can’t I just take them?


Because that’s called stealing. 

Should I go back and pay for them? 

No.  You are already late to pick up Lady A from your Mom’s and don’t have time to wait in line.  And do you really want to raise eyebrows with some true, yet cockamamie story? 

But I’m hungry!

C’est la vie.  Oh, I think I see Karma coming!  

So, famished enough to eat the errant playground wood chips littering the floor of my car, I left the berries and yogurt where they were and drove away, feeling simultaneously virtuous, as well as cursed and stupid.

What would you have done?  Please let me know.  And while you’re at it, please find me a chaperone.

Epilogue:  Let no good deed go unpunished. The lipstick I bought is MISSING.


  1. Eat, Eat, Eat...that's my motto.-Anna

    1. Could I have blamed it on Target if I'd suffered a hypoglycemic crash and something dreadful had happened?

  2. I did that once with pudding mix. I needed it that day, the kids were already strapped in their carseats, and I didn't discover it until I was finally packing the groceries into the car. There was no way I was going to get them out of the car and go back inside. That would be just insane! I kept it, felt guilty about it, but I had devised a plan. Simply purchase the same item next time and leave it in the store after I'd paid for it. Worked for me. I was only a temporary, unintentional, thief ;)

    1. YOU. ARE. BRILLIANT! Why didn't I think of that? And glad that I am not the only one who is superstitious about committing bad deeds!

  3. Target chaperons are long overdue. I can blow $200 in a trip, not even breaking a sweat. I think I would have done exactly as you did.

    1. Can we do that as a business? Pimp ourselves out to keep Target shoppers from blowing the bank? Maybe make it a win win for Target and the shopper - like keep people buying a minimum of 25% of stuff they don't need, but not a whole cartful?

  4. What a great post! You are not is impossible to leave that store under 100. It used to be that the bright orange corridors leading to the cash register would give me panic attacks, and make it even worse. That damn redesigning they did didn't save me any money! Glad to be a new follower of your blog!

  5. Hi Jennifer-
    Thanks for the follow. Such a love hate relationship we have with that place, huh? I really can only go once a month. Target - where your budget comes to die. Or Target - a black hole of financial discipline. Sigh.

  6. I had my first Target experience a few weeks ago while visiting upstate NY (we don't have them yet in Canada). Very fun!

    I would have gone back in and paid. But if I was super late I probably would have just felt bad about it but taken them anyway.

    1. Oh, boy! You don't have them in Canada? I didn't know that. I'm sure it's just a matter of time. Anyway, aren't they a wicked combination of divine and evil?!

      I wanted to go in and pay, but taking them sounded wrong. I think the best thing would have been the lady who said to buy them again next time and leave them there. Sigh.

      My autobiography, "Hey Universe, Can I See My Scorecard?"


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