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Archive for November, 2009

overheard in Target #1

vintage-retailWhen things are stressful, I sometimes find myself in retail therapy. Not shopping, necessarily, just wandering in places like Target. Nothing beats finding a totally cheap clearance deal at Target. And retail environments are made to distract. In one of my favorite cancer movies, My Life Without Me, the main character muses, “No one ever thinks about death in a supermarket.” Me? I never think about my problems in Target.

So I’m browsing the men’s clothing section on my lunch break, and overhear a conversation between two men. I’m not paying attention, and can’t see who’s talking. I’m just looking for a pair of pants in my size that come in at the magic clearance price of seven bucks or less. I’ll wear almost any pants if they cost me less than seven bucks. Just ask my kids.

“…so then, he tells me I’ve gotta come over and see the property, cause he keeps trying to get me to invest. But I told him, My time is too valuable.”

OK, I’ve heard that phrase before. Usually on TV. I keep sorting through the racks of clothing, but the guy won’t shut up.

“…my time is too valuable. I’m not gonna bother with that.”

After about five repetitions, it cracks through my distraction and I think to myself, What is this important executive type man doing with his friend in Target at lunch time? But by this point they are on the other side of the display wall.

“No. I tell you, my time is just too valuable.”

I can hear him over the wall. At this point I’m done with clothes. It’s time to move on to the grocery clearance shelves. Mmmm, dark chocolate.

And then I see the guy. He’s wearing a torn parka, dirty jeans, has a three day stubble, and barely looks employable. But he walks with a confident, self-important aura, the poor schmuck.

I spend the next twenty minutes trying to picture him investing in anything, but I can’t do it. This is the power of the big box retail experience. Anyone can be anything under those fluorescent lights.

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