Thursday, June 25, 2009


My sophomore year in college, I took an anthropology class. When studying the Dobe Kung, I remember the professor making an assertion about their hunter-gatherer society: those are the roots of modern human behavior. Men hunt; women gather. In other words, we shop.

I was a little offended at the time. It upholds every "Why do women always got to be shopping?" trope trotted out by bad comedians and shallow husbands. I never really enjoyed shopping. I resented being a "gatherer."

But Tuesday night I got an itch. I was restless. Then, around 7:30, I remembered that Jason needed deodorant and contact solution, and I needed face soap, and those things were way too expensive to get at Kroger, so a run to a certain place was in order. A place I don't like to be when I have to be there, but that is my happy place when I want to be there and I have a little to spend:


Whoever is behind Target is a genius, really. It's for people like you and me who have Wal-Mart or K-Mart budgets but have bad memories of school shopping and getting off-brand plastic shoes and Tuffskin jeans that were on Blue Light Special. Or who spent their college years visiting Wal-Mart not to buy things but to gawk at the special breed of humanity on display there after midnight. Wal-Mart is evil; K-Mart is uncool. Target throws the same brand of cheap at you but in a way that feels chic. Hip. Trendy.

Sometimes, I love it.

Tuesday saw me filling my basket with our family's health and beauty needs that are cheaper at Target: shampoo, deodorant, paper towels, sunscreen. I also stocked up on the granola-crunchy Method cleaning supplies which are sort of expensive even at Target but that I swear do a better job and keep Ainsley's asthma from flaring up as often. I was staying, if you'll pardon the pun, on target.

But then I hit the swimsuits.

I circled the racks. I compared cuts, colors, and prices. And I jumped for joy when I found two cute one-piece swimsuits on clearance for $8.74 each in my size. Oh, joy! Oh, rapture!

And as I left, grinning, practically glowing even from my bargain-hunting successs, it hit me:

I am a gatherer.

Darn you, anthropology. Must you always be right?

1 comment:

Karen said...

I know exactly what you mean. I'm a Target-gatherer too. ;)