Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Stranger in a Strange Land

My name is Green Bean and I'm a shopaholic.

I never owned a "Born to Shop" bumper sticker but the slogan would have been an apt description of my former self. I've always been a passionate advocate for animals and the environment but it wasn't until this year that I made the connection between my consumption habits and my ecological footprint. Duh! Once the connection was made, I stopped cold in my tracks. I've made a 180 degree turn around such that my family probably thinks I've joined a cult. Have I? Is Global Warming really a cult? I guess if you ask some of the right wingers, but I digress.

Today, necessity forced me into a Target store. Wow! Have you folks been recently? I literally felt like an alien wandering some foreign planet.

I used to frequent Target weekly and, yes, shop recreationally. Having pulled away from that for the last six months and immersed myself in the land of second hand shops, green blogs and global warming books, I really thought the world had changed. Nope. If Target is anything to judge, the world is filled with middle aged women dolled up with heels, skinny jeans, chunky sunglasses and striped hair talking on their cell phones and loading up their shiny red carts with holiday clothes, nicknacks, fake Christmas trees, boxes and boxes of Christmas ornaments, sheets, and, oh, the bag of cat litter they came in for.

Attempting to remain strong and not be sucked back into the buy-buy-buy lifestyle, I stuck to my very short list: sweatpants for my oldest who just finished a major growth spurt, thermos bottle, gum for husband. In the interests of full disclosure, a Christmas CD did some how sneak into my cart and into the green Whole Foods reusable tote the checkout gal reluctantly packed for me but, all in all, my brief visit into the land of temptation left me mostly unscathed - just feeling like a stranger in a strange land.

5 comments:

Burbanmom said...

I know what you mean. I feel oddly out-of-sorts in Target now too. It's overwhelming, the amount of STUFF that's in just one store. You feel like you're the only one there who's not in some zombie-like, hypnotic state - just winging items into their carts.

Good for you for getting out relatively un-consumed. So to speak.

Green Bean said...

Zombie! That is exactly how everyone looked and I felt like someone in on of those zombie movies who woke up and suddenly didn't fit in any more and was shocked how we were living. Matrix isn't far behind.

Wendy said...

Isn't it funny how people act so put-out when you want them to pack your stuff in a bag that you brought?

The only positive comments I ever get are from Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage. I guess the other stores just don't train their employees how to put items in different types of bags.

Cindy said...

You made me spill my morning coffee from reading "If Target is anything to judge, the world is filled with middle aged women dolled up with heels, skinny jeans, chunky sunglasses and striped hair talking on their cell phones..."! Cracking myself up uncontrollably thinking about that image. Wow. That was fantastic.

I used to (i.e., over a year ago) frequent target once a week and unknowingly spent north of $150 every time even though all I needed was a tube of tooth paste. My husband used to call me a Target junkie and I simply brushed it off. But once I crossed over to the stop-the-mindless-shopping side, going to Target has become somewhat painful, partly because what I see now and partly because it reminds me of my not so distant self. Even though I think the aha moment arrives at different times for different people, now I wish some magical event could expedite the process. Maybe it makes me a big hypocrite, but who cares...

psuklinkie said...

I totally understand your Target-induced horror. Though I haven't totally eschewed buying new, I am appalled every time I step into the Target closest to home: West Hollywood. Here, we have the most artificial of all the wannebe starlets and soccer moms, alongside the most atrocious disposable goods. And the cashiers are very unwilling to pack up my reusable bag. ::sigh:: At least they give a portion of their profit to the community.

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