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.

  1. 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!

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. 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.