Seriously, this happened

Who can resist the charm of Sin City?

I give myself a little speech every time I visit, “Don’t spend too much. Don’t get crazy. Behave.” It never works out. I always spend more than I anticipated. Then, I feel guilty. Spend. Guilt. Spend. Guilt. Such a vicious cycle. Not enough to keep me away, but hey, I feel things, okay? I don’t have the restraint to behave in the midst of those bright lights. And their design is brilliant. You can never tell what time of night or day it is once you’re inside and the amazing assortment of distractions is too much for anyone to resist.

Yep, Target will get you every single time.

I haven’t been to Target since I started The Project. Why? Because my astute sensibility told me it would probably be a bad situation.

Then, I ran out of dental floss. I hate that I care about dental health so much. A need for dental floss + a dental wellness obsession + a predilection to buy all personal care items at Target: that’s really the perfect storm.

I took Harv and Cal for moral support. I got the brilliant idea to close my eyes to lessen temptation and avoid distractions in my favorite section (accessories). Can we just stop here for a minute so you can picture this? Seriously. Picture a man and a child, walking hand-in-hand, and a woman following closely behind with her eyes closed, one arm on the man’s shoulder and the other arm out as a “feeler guide.” Yeah, I know, how do they put up with me? They’re amazing.

Safely out of the “danger zone,” I opened my eyes right as we passed an office supply endcap.

Me: Whoa, whoa, hold on guys. I just need to take a closer look at this.

Harv: That’s not dental floss. Let’s just keep moving.

Me: WAIT! I need this. Everybody needs an accordion file folder.

During our little exchange, I’d managed to pick up the file folder and lovingly cradle it in the nook of my arm. Not unlike a mother carrying a child. As Harv protested further, I started to caress the folder. Not unlike a mother caressing her child.

I started to feel desperate. How could he be so dense? I needed this file folder. Surely, it didn’t count as shopping. How else was I going to organize my notes? I could keep coupons in some of the compartments. By spending money on this accordion file folder, I would actually be saving money by keeping my coupons accessible and organized. It was large enough to fit a stack of paper, yet small enough to throw into my purse, a veritable office on-the-go! In a pinch, I could even take out the paper and throw in a few party essentials and use it as an evening clutch!

Happiness was cradled in the crook of my arm. For a mere $12.99, it could be mine. All that was standing in my way was Harv. I had to get rid of him.
Sigh. I’m still thinking about that accordion file folder today. I made my choice- keep Harv, lose the file folder. It was a tough decision, but Harv is an excellent picture hanger. I need him around.

Have you ever lost you mind over something you thought you absolutely needed? Have your friends or family ever questioned your sanity after seeing the object of your affection? Tell me I’m right….everyone needs an accordion file folder, no?

p.s. Hello, I’m Elizabeth and I live in the Stone Age. I don’t have a Twitter account. Do you tweet? twit? twitterize? Is it addictive?

p.p.s. Drank the Kool-Aid. On Twitter as NoShoppingLiz. That’s not really a title, more like a command. 

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  • areyoukiddingme

    I am more likely to put things back, and then obsess over how I really should have bought it, how I really needed it, and how I should go back and get it, but it will likely be gone. And then I go back, and look at it again, and decide I still don’t need it and they cycle starts all over. Fortunately, to prevent my husband from committing me, I keep this as an internal dialogue.

  • TheBabyMammaChronicles

    First, absolutely, every girl must have one. There are soo many uses. I mean if it fits in your purse you could even put money in it instead of a wallet to fool potential thieves! And yes, I also convince myself I need/must have, the most random things. For this reason I must try and put off purchases for awhile and make sure I really do need them or I just might end up like one of those people on Hoarders.

  • Staci

    I took a male friend with me to Michaels and instructed him not to let me buy anything other than the 2 sheets of Asian themed paper that I needed for my layout. Of course I saw stickers that were perfect. He questioned why I was picking anything else up and I know that I gave him the world’s worst stinkeye. Got my 2 sheets of paper, the stickers and some Lifesavers just to make a point.
    PS: I’m still in the dark ages. I don’t twitter, my space or Facebook. My blog is enough.

  • Jennifer Clark

    In practically every interview I read with the current, hot interior designers, they always talk about the wonder that is Target. “Where do you get the good stuff?” asks the interviewer. “Oh, this fabulous boutique in Paris/New Orleans/Casablanca and Target!”

    I’m in there at least twice a week.

  • Rachel

    Oh Target…how do people get out of there under $100 – $150…I would go in for Dental Floss and leave with a paper shredder, a throw pillow, outdoor white lights, a DVD set of Arrested Development, and grapes….it is Sin City.

    I have a Twitter account to date I don’t believe I have said anything on it…I really don’t quite get it!

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    areyoukiddingme: this happens to me ALL the time. eight years ago (yes, really, eight) i agonized over a pair of sandals and waited and waited for them to go on sale. when it finally did, they sold out so fast that they were gone in just a few hours. i still think about them. and i hate myself just a little.

    babymamma- thank you for verifying that i am, indeed, not crazy. i don’t know a single self-respecting that doesn’t use an accordion file. that wallet thing was brilliant. you may be a genius.

    staci- first you teach me to walk the other way when i see crazy coming and now you show me how to make a point. obviously, that patience of a saint is coming in handy.

    jennifer- twice a week? whoa, ouch, jealousy in my heart.

    rachel- everything on that list looks extremely essential to me. well, except for the grapes. that was a little overboard.

  • sophie

    Target is danger for me. When my sister and I go in together (time for tasking and catching up), she almost always “wins.” This means she gets out with more of her money than I do of mine. I did manage to put something back on the shelf yesterday that has been in my basket twice. Little victories. (Should I admit that I remembered that I must go back today?)

  • Patti

    I’m going to have to stop reading your blog! :) Now I want to go out and buy that accordian folder!! You had me laughing out loud at your narrative — I could see you there at Target as if I was with you. Great post . . . well, except for causing me to want to run out to Target right this very minute and buy that folder (which I seriously do not need).

  • Lindsay

    Love your blog! So glad you came across mine so I now know about yours. I totally sympathize with you and your shopabholic tendancies. I have done the rationalities like you did with the folder…i.e. “it will actually SAVE me money in the long run..”! But with my current situation I have noticed that having a two and one year old has kept my shopping habits a bit more under control. Toddlers (at least mine) don’t last very long in stores and one usually starts screaming before I can really get going so I have to leave before I drive everyone in the store nuts. So maybe you should just try having two babies insanely close together as another way to solidify your quest to lessen your shopping habits? ;) Seriously though, love the blog. Love the writing. Very fun. Can’t wait to read more.
    p.s. Have you read the Shopaholic books? If not you really MUST!

  • Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    Sophie: So glad you told me that because now I can save you from doing something illegal. It’s actually against the law to put anything back from your basket at Target. Can’t find it in the law books? Just trust me on this. Yes, your sis may leave with more money, but you get to leave with more stuff, which is kind of like winning.

    Patti: Of COURSE you need an accordion folder! What do you use as an evening clutch/ coupon holder/ paper organizer then?

    Lindsay: Here’s my brilliant idea. The next time I want to go to the store, please lend me your two babies. You will get a free afternoon and I will get a guarantee that I will only stay in the store a short time. Win-Win!

  • Wingnut

    Excellent post that I could so easily identify with! Until I have a real list of things to buy at once (toilet paper, paper towels, soap, laundry detergent), I do NOT go into Target. I also do not stray from those aisles where my intended purchases live. I do not browse!

    As to having bought something that I’m head over heels for and those around look at me as if I need psych evaluation? There are 4 things: ChaCha, Izzy, Baby and Missy. Our four miniature horses :)

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog today :)

  • Elly Lou

    I twat four times today already. Do it. It’ll keep your mind of exquisitely sexy, hot pink accordion files. Until someone tweets about their exquisitely sexy, hot pink accordion file. Then you’re screwed.

    I HAD to come visit after that epic comment over at Jenny’s place. You’re going to be addictive, aren’t you?

  • Lizz

    Hey! Thanks for stopping by my blog, and I can already see I’m gonna be hooked on yours!
    And to answer your question about where I got Max’s armchair… it’s from (ironically, considering this post! LOL) Target!

  • Mikeal

    I imagine people like you more at Walmart at 2am in the morning…

  • Harv

    You should change the subtitle of your blog to “Chronicling a year outside Target.”

  • ~Robin~

    My hubby calls Target “The $50 store” can’t go in without spending $50…yep-Target rocks.

    Thanks for stoppin’ by my lil’ blog!

  • bschooled

    After I read this post, I looked over and saw the three (three!) EMPTY accordion folders I so desperately needed, sitting in the very same spot that I’d left them after bringing them home last month.

    I heart this post.

  • JoNell

    Maybe Harv will buy it for you for Christmas. ;) :D And can I just add in a “You suck” that you get to go to Target??!!!!

    I was on today and found a rug that I *need* in my kitchen. Mind you, I have been searching for the perfect rugs for my kitchen and living room for months and when I finally found one for my kitchen and promptly put it in my shopping cart so excited that there will be another item crossed off of my “have to have” list, I find out that Target has deemed the runner too large to mail to me at my APO address. Talk about coming down from a high. :p

    So I am on the hunt again. Care to take a trip over to Germany to see me? You could use the rug as your carry-on. :D :D

  • Katie Bug

    I’m always finding scarves and hats at Target that I really can’t afford to keep buying and never wear once I DO buy them, so now I just wear them around the store and by the time I’m ready to check out the OMGotta-have-its have passed and I can put the thing back on the shelf and walk away not feeling deprived.

    If only that would happen with food, too…

  • dakota

    If it helps with your shopping–the owners of Target gave a lot of money to a homophobic nut’s campaign for governor in Minnesota. So I’m staying out of there.

  • Lara

    Too funny! We have been on a major spending freeze lately, so I can totally relate. Although, my little town doesn’t have a Target, so at least I don’t have that temptation!

    (Visiting from MMB>…love your blog!)

  • ailinh harris

    Totally. I once went gaga over a Naked juice. What can we say? We’re women and we mean business. F’realz.

  • Anonymous

    What dakota said. It has worked for me for months. You could go to the grocery store for dental floss and stay away from the Target temptation. They set the store up just to tempt you. The last three times I went there I walked out with only what I came for or nothing. It felt great. Hang in there. M o l l y

  • Lisa Kanarek

    Yes, everyone needs an accordion folder. You can’t eat it, wear it, or even give it as a gift because the recipient will think you’re inconsiderate. Go back and get the folder! It’s as important as floss, right?

  • Jacqueline Scott

    Yup, that’s me. Cause I keep hearing my mom in my ears warning me to be wiser with my money. So, I window shop, daydream, caress items, then leave them on the shelf with regret. Then unfortunately the same money dwindles down to nothing spent and I can’t see where it went. Should’ve bought the thing instead, then I’d have SOMETHING to show!!!