I hadn’t seen Bonnie, my best friend during grades four through twelve (with some difficult spots in grades six, seven and eleven—such is the nature of schoolgirl friendships), in almost a year. So naturally, when we met for lunch on Sunday, one of the first things we discussed was Target.
Bonnie pointed to her new, antique-looking TV cabinet and matching shelf thing. “Guess where?”
The furniture was classy, but still, Target was going to be my first guess. Bonnie and her other best friend, Angie (yes, this other-best-friend situation was the source of some of the aforementioned difficult spots), used to approach Target the way some people approach Disneyland: the attitude is ironic, but the pilgrimages and purchases are frequent.
“Target,” Bonnie confirmed.
“I just went there before coming here!” I said. “I got some vacuum cleaner bags and some shorts. I’m going to Singapore soon, and I think it’s near the equator. I thought it might be good to have shorts.”
“Isn’t that where they—”
“Cane people for chewing gum?” I finished for her. I’m sure there’s much more to Singapore, but until October (or at least until I crack open my Rough Guide), Western stereotypes are all I have to work with. My compulsive world traveler friend Ryan is teaching there because he “thought it would be interesting to live in a dictatorship for a while.” “Yep, that’s Singapore,” I told Bonnie.
Back to Target: “The store has just gotten so much better,” Bonnie said. “I used to be ashamed to buy clothes there because I thought someone might suspect they were from Target, but now everything is so nice.”
“It’s a dangerous place,” I agreed, “because everything is so affordable, too. You can do a lot of damage without even realizing it.”
In my head I shop almost exclusively at thrift stores and American Apparel, maybe splurging now and then for something handmade at a boutique or craft fair. In reality it’s all about Target, Robinson’s May and the sale bin at Express, ‘cuz if it’s in a bin, it feels like a find.
Today I’m giving the Target shorts a trial run. It’s not exactly equatorial here, but it’s quite warm. And let me tell you about the new, post-shame, Isaac Mizrahi-era Target: My shorts jingle. They have little metal loops at the bottom—like so many pants, they are a distant descendent of something intended for hard labor. The loops don’t do anything, as far as I can tell, except clink against adjacent metal loops.
Jingle, jingle. Jingle.
There were some jingly pants featured on an episode of Six Feet Under, which I recently watched on DVD. Claire made them for her mom while she was on ‘shrooms. Isaac, do you have a drug problem we need to talk about?