Life In A Post-Target World

The Next Family

By: Ann Brown

Okay, so we are boycotting Target, right? I’m down with that.

I come from a long line of picketers and political activitists, and nothing says “summer” to me like a good boycott. I spent most of my childhood summers sitting with my mom in front of Hughes’ Market in Van Nuys, asking people not to buy iceberg lettuce or grapes. We were so involved in the boycott, in fact, that when I was young I used to actually think we were the farmworkers in Delano. It was a little confusing, telling people about the horrible conditions of the migrant workers (us?) and then going home to our nice house to watch TV and eat popsicles. I mean, were these conditions really worthy of a strike? Yeah, we didn’t have air conditioning and it was a black and white TV, but all in all, it seemed as if the life of a migrant farmworker wasn’t all that newsworthy.

I have to confess to being a tad disappointed a few years later when I figured out that we weren’t the farmworkers; we were the comfortable, middle-class Jews in LA.

Man, it sucks to not be authentically oppressed. There’s no appropriate destination for upper middle class rage so we get all whipped up over shit like non-toxic toys at Gymboree and Yoplait with fiber the fact that our Toyota Highlanders accelerate at red lights. Wayh, wayh fucking wayh. God, we are a bunch of weenies.

Oh, and we’re boycotting the Anthropologie stores, too, did you hear? That’s an easy one for me since nothing fits me there and I couldn’t afford anything in there even if it did. So fuck ’em. They make me feel bad about myself. Their largest size is 4. Prepare a special place in Hell for them.

I am going to miss Target, however. I will miss going there despite the fact that my bajillions of Target dollars have rarely bought me anything of lasting value. All that uber desirable shit, the shit you can’t resist – raffia-framed cork bulletin boards, Morrocan motif salad bowls, Todd English pots and pans, Isaac Mizrahi cargo capri pants (note to Todd and Isaac: where are you at with all this? Is it better to continue to supply Target with your goods, thus TAKING their money, and use it to support human and civil rights causes? Or is it better to leave in a hissy fit, kick over the checkstand lights and steal the gum on your way out?) – eventually falls into disrepair or disenchantment or falls behind the bookcase and needs to be replaced.

How much money have I spent at Target in the past, say, 15 years? Let’s do the math….

Okay, well, I cannot do the math, having been an Ethnomusicology of The Balkans major in college. No math requirements. But I know I’ve given a shitload of my hard-earned cash to them. And what do they do with MY money? They give it to gay-bashing gubernatorial candidates, that’s what.

So, presuming I am going to have, oh, about an extra ten thousand dollars a month now that I am not going to Target, I am faced with a happy dilemma: what to do with the newfound scratch?

First of all, I am going to end the war in Afghanistan.

And then, I am going to bring peace to the Middle East and to the rest of the world. And end hunger. And I don’t just mean mine.

Then, I am going to get my legs waxed. I’ve never done that and I’ve always wondered if a professional wax job can really keep my swarthy, Mediterranean, Missing Link leg fur smooth and shiny for six weeks. I’m going to New York in a few weeks and I worry that with the heat and humidity there, every extra leg hair on me is gonna take me one step closer to heatstroke and death.

Then, I will send the BP execusuits to their rooms for a good, long time-out while they think about what they’ve done. And I will give their salaries to the Tree People, Teachers Without Borders, and the Sheldrick Elephant Rescue. Yeah, you heard me. It’s my fucking money.

Oh, and I will buy Robin some decent underwear. I mean, yikes. Talk about your oil spills.

It’s settle then, right? Now, who wants to buy a raffia-framed cork bulletin board from me?

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