The Best and Worst Day of My Life

When I stopped working in January, we decided to keep our nanny, Amy, for one half-day a week. Wito loved her, we loved her, and I especially loved the thought of having four hours to myself every Thursday. Pedicures! Shopping! The Beach!

Well, it turns out that Amy Day usually consists of me visiting the Holy Trinity of Motherhood – Target, Costco and the grocery store. Fun. And y’all, I have a confession to make. I hate Target. To me, it’s just an huge room full of crap. I know! How could I think such a thing?! People LOVE Target! The knick knacks! And fake leather stuff! Cheaply-made frames! Cheesy greeting cards! I’m sorry. HATE.

Luckily, I park right next to the door where the toiletries and kitchen supply stuff are located and it’s a race against the clock from start to finish. Lotion, toothpaste, Q-tips, Ziploc bags, Daisy razors, shaving cream. Check, check and check. If there were a Supermarket Sweep – Target Toiletries Edition, I would be world champion.

Costco gives me mild-to-moderate claustrophobia. The crowds, the gigantic carts, 67-pound jars of jelly beans that I want to dive into, etc. Luckily, I only buy Wito’s formula and baby food and I’m gone.

Technically, these errands shouldn’t take too long, but considering we live in a beach community, I am forced to get on the 405 highway (the collective groan from my Southern California readers is deafening), and drive to 2 separate cities to visit these frightening places. It’s like driving to the DMV every Thursday – the journey is usually just as shitty as the destination.

A couple of days ago, I was traveling down a major street relatively close to my home (405 – not involved, yo), when I noticed tons of construction at an upcoming intersection. I craned my neck to get a look while passing by and saw the words COSTCO – NOW OPEN. Could it be?! A Costco within 15 minutes of my home?

I immediately called D, who was attending a swanky lunch with clients in Los Angeles.

“Honey! Guess what! There’s a new COSTCO! So much closer to us! I don’t have to deal with the shitty 405! YAY! YAY! YAY!”

“Wow. Good for you, hon. I’ve gotta go now. With clients, you know.”

“I know. I’m so sorry to bug, it’s just really exciting! Bye!”

Wito and I had an hour to kill, so we maneuvered a U-turn, and made our way back to the new COSTCO, NOW OPEN! And it was a beauty. No people, no lines, the newness of it all. I knew it wouldn’t last, so we took a collective inhale, browsed the 96-packs of granola bars, and enjoyed the leisurely pace.

As we left with our cardboard box of goodies, I noticed another new building in the same lot at the other end of the new construction. I backed up the cart, squinted my eyes and there it was in big red letters. SUPER TARGET. Is this a dream?! A Target! Next to the Costco! With no highways involved?

And guess what. It didn’t end there. A new Whole Foods was on the other side.

The Holy Trinity of Motherhood was complete. And I was Moses.

I called D again.




“Um. Are you listening to yourself? What has happened to you, love? ”


“Let me get this straight. You are about to pass out from sheer elation because you found a new suburban strip mall complete with stores you hate?”


Sweet Jebus, people. I need help.

UPDATE: In my mentally-frenzied state, I made a mistake. It is a new Target, not Super Target. My bad.

  • Laurel

    June 22, 2007 at 9:45 am

    That is awesome! I too have a strange addiction to Super Target, Costco, and Whole Foods. It is both fortunate and unfortunate that we only have a Super Target in Lafayette. But we are getting a Fresh Market, which I hear is comparable to Whole Foods. I stalk its construction progress every day.

  • amy

    June 22, 2007 at 9:52 am

    i totally agree with your target-get in-get out. although i would love to have time to browse this lovely big box…i can’t stand lines and poorly merchandised crap. funny to hear someone with the same targey feelings. and costco…who in socal has room in their tiny abodes for mass quantities of food? not me.
    and i need to know where this new shopping strip is with whole foods. NEED to know!

  • Karly

    June 22, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Sounds like heaven to me! I would kill for a Target, Costco, or Whole Foods to go up in my town!

  • EmmaNadine

    June 22, 2007 at 9:38 am

    This is classic. While I must admit that I love Target, Costco induces the same claustrophobia in me as it does in you. But I would much rather deal with Costco than Sam’s Club, which is all we have around here.

  • Heath

    June 22, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Isn’t it weird that such a cavernous store makes you feel so closed in? (Costco, I mean.) ESPECIALLY around the damn free samples. I wager it’s worse than the traffic on the 405!

    Congrats on the reduction of your commute. Maybe now you’ll have time for that pedicure…

  • bishOp stu tu

    June 22, 2007 at 9:45 am

    whOOrl gOOrl,

    My Buy For Less store just stocked Paul Newman salad dressings…I pissed my pants…so exciting!

    Since mois has been doing 100% of our grocery shopping for twenty some odd years…I do understand.

    “Honey, you need to stop hunting for oil in the Ordivician and run by the store and snag some strawberries (which I hate..I only like frozen strawberries soaked in sugar water)…bye” (click)

    Underappreciated we are.

    yo dad

    Dad! Let’s stage a coup!

  • cocodrie

    June 22, 2007 at 10:51 am

    Whole Foods is pricey, but the organic beauty products! The natural, herbal remedies! The vitamin section! I go to that section often to marvel and not even buy.

    Costco and their gigantic vats of ketchup scare me. I only have the square footage in my tiny SoCal studio for travel-sized anything.

  • Janssen

    June 22, 2007 at 9:53 am

    I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only person who doesn’t just think Target is a dream come true. It just seems so. . .not awesome to me. Also, expensive for how not awesome it is. Thirty dollars for an ugly, unoriginal frame? If it’s going to be cheaply made and cheap looking, I want it to be CHEAP!

    Janssen! Thank you!

  • rebecca

    June 22, 2007 at 9:57 am

    What? Where is this new Holy Trinity of retail located? I must know…

    Irvine, mama!

  • Heather B.

    June 22, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Yeah, I would have had the same reaction. Or possibly wouldn’t have been able to call anyone at all, because I would have died at that point.

  • RA

    June 22, 2007 at 10:18 am

    Every time I see a complex go up in the 10-15-minute range of our house, I think, “Could it be a Target this time?” So far, disappointment reigneth.

  • Beth

    June 22, 2007 at 10:31 am

    Yup, I’m a Target-for-basic-crap kind of gal. Though I have bought a couple simple ceramic soap dispensers there of late, for $1.58 each, which, incredibly, is the everyday price.

    After seeing the movie about how evil Wal-Mart is, I convinced my parents to drop their Sam’s Club membership and switch to Costco. As did my brother and his family. No more support for the Evil Empire.

    As for Whole Foods, I wrote to corporate recently to lobby for a store in my area. It’s more than a little insane that I want to make it easy to spend $5.99 on a pound of grapes. But WF carries Karite-Lips lip balm, the best lip balm in the history of lip balm!

    Intrigued by the lip balm…surprise, surprise.

  • sizzle

    June 22, 2007 at 10:42 am

    what HAS happened to you!? ;)

    costco hurts my head.

  • Paisley

    June 22, 2007 at 11:13 am

    I’m just jealous that your Costco sells baby food and not just formula.


    Well, the new one doesn’t sell the baby food. *sniff, sniff* BUT, I figure I only have a month or two left before bye-bye to baby food.

  • Jen

    June 22, 2007 at 11:13 am

    haha, a mother’s paradise! Although I cannot relate to you, as I live in a small town with every store within a 5 minute drive, I am happy about your new close non-405 strip mall – horay!

  • Sadie

    June 22, 2007 at 11:26 am

    Oh, Whoorl, this is pathetic. I’m going to insist – INSIST! – that next Amy Day, you do NOT frequent this strip-mall shrine of Boring Housefrau. Instead, you will use your four hours for solely Whoorl-focused pleasures i.e. pedicure, lip-balm shopping spree, or heading to a nearby bar to drink vodka tonics and watch ESPN. I MEAN IT!

    Sadie, Sadie. You know me TOO well, ESPN and all!

  • nabbalicious

    June 22, 2007 at 11:58 am

    You said “405” and I was all, “Girrrrrl…sheeeeit!” I know what you’re talking about! Look at me, all assimilated and stuff.

    Also, a Super Target? Um, WHERE? I must know now.

    Girrrrrrrrl, it be in Irvine. I’ll send you the address…

  • LizzyP

    June 22, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    I know which suburban strip mall you are talking about. For you girls in the OC, it is on the corner of Jamboree and Barranca in the Tustin/Irvine area.

    I really could never get the Target obsession either. I mostly buy the same stuff that you do there, but as far as home decor, etc., I find it to be rather blah and cheapy, kind of like dorm room chic.

    Couldn’t agree more…

  • lei

    June 22, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    i live further up that major street (i think we’re talking about the same one) in Soulless-But-Damn-Clean Land, but have yet to visit that shopping center. i’m kind of turned off by it, but it does sound convenient. does it have a trader joe’s, too?

    I don’t think it has a TJ’s. It’s definitely a turn-off, but hey, isn’t that what the soulless suburbs are made for?

  • LVGurl

    June 22, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    I remember this one time when Makenna was 13 days old. I went into Target a normal person, and walked out as someone else. I called Elisabeth immediately with the news.

    “Liz, I just turned into THAT Target shopper.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “The one who buys the jumbo 24-pack of toilet paper, 5000 diapers, maxi pads (13 days postpartum, mind you)… all with a baby in an infant seat. WHO AM I???”

    Anyway, I’m happy you have a faster route to the stores you hate ;) They are necessary, but you don’t have to love ’em.

  • Keri

    June 22, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    I find Target’s clothes run on the small side (even the baby clothes). I love Costco – diapers and milk are super cheap.

  • andrea

    June 22, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    Oh my, all I would need is a Trader Joe’s and I would be set. I can’t complain too much though, none of the major shopping I need is more than 15 minutes (without highways) from home.

    I hope for you that it is a good sized Whole Foods with full sized aisles, the one closest to me can’t accommodate two carts passing in an aisle which diminishes some of the joy I find in spending $30 for a pound of salmon….

    Enjoy shopping in the hated stores!

  • Jora

    June 22, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    I hate Target and Costco too! I avoid them like crazy. I rarely will admit to it, however, because people get angry when I tell them.

  • mcgee

    June 22, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    while target and costco are necessary evils, i’ve got to say i love whole foods. yes, it’s got the whole grocery-store-where-lines-are-long-and-you-want-to-punch-people-in-the-face thing going against it, but the food! all natural! organic! drop-a-whole-paycheck-on-a-gallon-of-milk! got to love it.

    happy friday!

  • Jessica

    June 22, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    I drive from Brooklyn to Long Island to get to Target. I do it once weeklyn. Once there, I get Target brain. This is where the list I wrote out appears to be in Cyrillic, and I have to strain to remember what I originally wanted versus what I find myself putting in the cart. It is definitely worth the 25 mile drive.

  • Luisa

    June 22, 2007 at 4:12 pm


    I don’t know what kind of Target you Americans have over there, but rest assured it doesn’t come close to Australian Target, which makes me break out in hives. Even my ten year old sister had to have a lie-down after the last time we went into Target together. The racks here are overstuffed with horrible, nasty clothes, while small children wearing Batman suits and no shoes run around screaming.

    Even the cheap Q-Tips don’t come close to justifying a trip into Target over here.


    Sounds exactly like the American Targets to me!

  • metalia

    June 22, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    Ha! I know that feeling all too well. I knew I’d made a complete break with reality when I found myself elated beyond all reason by a sale on Pampers. Like, when did I become That Woman?

    Have fun at the new stores; ESPECIALLY Whole Foods…I can’t get enough of that place.

  • jonniker

    June 22, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    The problem with Target is that it’s like eating candy–yes, it feels good while it’s going down (A tank top! For five dollars!)– it just leaves you with that dejected, bloated feeling afterwards. An empty, broke feeling when you realize that you’ve just spent $300 on picture frames, strange decorative items that go with nothing you actually own, tank tops that stretch out after one washing, and a variety of toiletries that you didn’t need. Empty calories, I tell you.

    Costco is much the same way for me. I don’t NEED much in bulk, is the thing. Garbage bags and razor blades–oh, oh, and toilet paper. But that’s it. Do I need an 11-gallon drum of green olives? Of course not. Am I getting my $50 worth of savings per year? I doubt it. And yet I wade through fifteen million elderly people in motorized wheelchairs, week after week.

    I marvel at the green olive jars every single week. Why? How?

  • janet

    June 22, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    haha…I totally understand. Costco brings me so much pain and yet so much joy. Their rotisserie chicken…omg.

    What is this rotisserie chicken you speak of? Do tell.

  • little miss mel

    June 22, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    I don’t love shopping period, but if I have to shop, I do enjoy a fabulous deal. Therefore, I love places like Target and Costco.

    Where else can you buy a generic brand (Target) of baby bath wash and lotion for 99 cents? (compared to the J&J’s for $3 a pop)

    Makes the 1/4 mile drive so worth it.

  • 180/360

    June 22, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    When faced with the choice of Target, Walmart or K-Mart- I would choose Target any day of the week! The store I go to is fairly new and really nice compared to some of the older ones I’ve seen in different parts of the country.

    I feel the same way about Costco as I do about eating at buffets. Who needs that much food? It’s ridiculous, unless you have 12 kids.

    And well… I’m a Whole Foods junkie. I love that store!

  • Cricket

    June 23, 2007 at 12:58 am

    Oh sweet jesus, they are building a Super Target?? Are you kidding?? Being I am a poor student with no money, I live off of the 50 dollar gift certificates to Target from my Mother that I get once a month, so a Super Target is like heaven! I must search for this…

    Uh oh, what if I made up the “super” part? I think it’s a super target…

  • BeachMama

    June 24, 2007 at 4:33 am

    Welcome to the dark side. Truth be told, I can’t stand Walmart (we don’t have Target here in Canada, yet.) and only go when I need to stock up on name brand supplies for cheap. As for Costco, I love it! Yep, I am one of the few that can leave there with exactly what was on my list and not spend a fortune. I go at opening in the morning and am gone before the samplers are out and the peeps that just stand in the middle of the aisle reading a book arrive. It is great.

    I will say though that if I had a nanny for a half day, there is no way I would be at a store ;).

  • erin rae

    June 24, 2007 at 7:13 am

    I must say, I love me some Target and Costco action. However, I can’t stand the crowds, so strategically time my visits.

    I second the rotisserie chicken – it is my favorite. They are always pulling them fresh out of the oven, and it’s like $5. I also love the lettuce – the giant thing of organic mixed greens for almost no money. Nice. I’m also a sucker for their big bags of frozen fruit, great for smoothies.

    For some reason, I get a perverse thrill buying huge jars of food, as though I’m a 6 year old playing “restaurant”, but when entertaining, they tend to come in handy – I’ve got a gallon of artichoke hearts in my fridge that are almost gone… and a pantry stocked with yummy kalamata olives and jarred bruschetta mix.

    Seek out the goodness Whoorl!

  • Darren McLikeshimself

    June 25, 2007 at 10:04 am

    Well, you’re dumb-dumb and I hate you!

    I’m sorry. I take it all back. I just get really emotional when someone talks shit about Target.

    Do you promise not to be too hard on our Target stuff when you come to visit (We ARE going to be BFFs in a couple of weeks, right?), because that’s seriously all we can afford right now.

  • Emily Ann

    June 25, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    I think if you would have added H&M to that Holy Trinity (is that possible?), I would have passed out from sheer joy. Also a Nordstroms too. eeeeeeek!

  • erin rae

    June 25, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Ahhh – I totally forgot to mention the delectable chunky tapenade and hummus by the gallon ;-)

  • Daisy

    June 27, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    Oh, the simple pleasures of motherhood! now that the stores you need but hate are closer to you, it leaves more “Me Time” for you to use. For. You. And only you.

  • Mrs. Flinger

    June 27, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Oh, now just wait until you call him up drooling over the new minivan. Oh, good god, help me….

  • justJENN

    July 6, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    Hey! My crappy cheesy cards are sold at Target! ~weepy~