Archive for target

A Short Story by Jay Isip, “THE TARGET TEST: The First Date Consultation”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 30, 2015 by Jay Isip

Welcome to Target!

20150630_174202-2

www.happychasinghappy.com

Target—the place where anyone and everyone can fulfill a basic necessity, get something they want for a reasonable price, and have fun while smart-shopping for their everyday likings. It arrays a smorgasbord of emotional connections between clothing items, scents, foods, entertainment, and even toys. But even better, the simple shopping day at Target will tell you much about someone’s characteristics.

The Target I religiously shop at is located in Clifton Commons of New Jersey. When I browse Target with another person, I can gain perspective on many things. I sometimes analyze people during our shopping spree and discover many distinctive underlying messages that an individual carries. In my perspective, Target is the best place to understand a person’s views, likes and dislikes, values, sense of humor, favorite colors, and clothing size. With this I-spy consultation, we can develop a great sense of a person’s foundation if we pay close attention to his or her natural reactions toward everyday life moments.

What better place than Target to do that?

We can learn a lot about a person with one easy one-hour trip to Target! Yes, I may look a little too deeply into the situation—or I may just be a nosy, judgmental asshole, which is most likely the case, but I do believe in my Target test.

If I want to get to know someone, that is what I do—take them to Target—plain and simple. Here’s an example of one of the many occasions I have taken a girl to Target as one of our “dates.”—My unsuspecting victims have no idea that I am taking them to Target for my own personal agenda. They believe it’s just a casual hangout, and it normally is—which makes it the safest, easiest, lowest pressure, and most casual-going date there is.

I’m a sneaky bastard, ain’t I?

The entire project is premeditated, for this ain’t my first walk in Target!

Let’s proceed, shall we….

image

Test 1 – Parking Lot Pressure: I had her pick me up (because I’m a boss) because I wanted her to drive, and so I could see how she deals with life behind the wheel. So, we entered the anxious parking lot of road-raging motor vehicleists, where everyone drives around the track like Dale Earnhardt Jr., furiously searching for parking spot closest to the entrance. People were honking at each other, followed by name-belching vulgarity, which usually ended up with a “yo-mama” insult to help clarify that they had zero respect for one another. She seemed okay with the overflowing nonsense of screaming cars trying to top each other for the closest parking spot besides the handicapped spot. All of a sudden, BEEEP. BEEEEP! Move out the way! the driver behind her had honked their horn like a hungry elephant. She began to flip-off her trucker mouth-of-the-south and gave the opposing driver obscene hand gestures that may indicate words that rhyme with “Two Smother Truckers.” I got a bit uncomfortable, only because I knew if the man driving wanted to presume the issue—then I would have had to fight him.

Conclusion: She is short-tempered and wouldn’t be able to handle real-life pressure if something got out of hand. But on the flip side, it also showed me that she stands up for herself, which also indicates a bit of feistiness. But when push comes to shove, and her back’s against the wall, can she find a way to move forward without getting emotional—or pissed off? I think not, but props for being bold…

image

Test 2 – Humorously Distracted: We finally parked, got out, and walked through the lot toward the entrance. We passed the gigantic red spheres of doom, and I hoped that they wouldn’t clank together and compress my body like a booby trap. Before I entered the automatic swinging doors, I pretended to push them open without touching the actual door, like Magneto. They swung open because of my super-human abilities (obviously not), and I glanced over to her face to see if I got a giggle—and she giggled. I stopped in my tracks and let her go first, so she could cool off under the overpowering central air system to offset the steam that was previously building up inside her from the parking lot experience. (Kudos for laughing at my child-like Marvel comic book act, though.) The air duct pushed vertical winds that had her hair flowing in the air like Marilyn Monroe as the sixty-five degree oxygen soaked into her blood cells, providing her with the much-needed breath of fresh air to recoup—for the second round of my observation.

We then proceeded to the shopping cart selection, so I let her choose:

A: push-cart

B: hand basket

She grabbed the large (A) push cart—which meant she was comfortable enough with me to spend some time and do some personal shopping. But for me, it was time for me to paint a judgmental picture of facts-n-flaws on my brain canvas. She started lugging the push-cart so one of the wheels was off track and made a continuous annoying thud that sounded like the Fisher-Price popper push toy. She didn’t seem to be as annoyed as I was. So I grabbed the manual vehicle away from her hands and took control—she was okay with it. She then jumped on the front of the push-cart and said “Push me!” So we rolled down to the toy isle and pushed the cart fast and faster. She laughed in full excitement as I started jerking the cart around like bumper cars—I was enjoying myself as well. Our Titanic scene started to die down, so we moved on to the next.

Conclusion: When she cooled down from the previous parking lot incident, her sense of humor seemed to have sprouted from the cool soils of her ground. She understood my X-Men movie reference, which showed me a connection of personal style in the entertainment category. When the annoying lugging wheel sound didn’t faze her, it seems that she doesn’t get easily annoyed—or distracted. Her free-spirited soul flying through the winds of shopping cart velocity, was soothing, yet awakening to the child that hides inside of me.

So far so good…

image

Test 3 – Indecisively (Un)Healthy: We made our way into the produce and grocery section and strolled through the produce section where it puts off a bit of a cold breeze to keep the crops fresh. She instantly complained, “I’m cold.” I looked at her with zero response like a confused foreign exchange student sitting in English class. The “Are you kidding me?” ran through my head like a hamster on a wheel, as I couldn’t believe she was serious. She touched almost every piece of produce and was unsure which top-shelf part of the food pyramid she was willing to snack on. “AACHOO,” she sneezed like Minnie Mouse onto her left hand but then nonchalantly wiped the debris on her boot cut jeans.

With her right hand, she then grabbed a six-pack of bananas, a bag of spinach, and some fresh melon medley. She then sniffed the produce items with her snot-filled nose that made a slurping inhale noise—I was disgusted.

At that point, my mind was playing tug-of-war after being the witness of her being a human sneezeguard to save her personal produce from the germs that shot out of her nostrils.

Conclusion: From the looks of her, she is definitely physically in shape. The fact that she purchased healthy produce items to for her choice of food shows that she is definitely health-conscious and knows how to take care of her body. On the other hand (literally), she was filled with micro-worm crawling germs that she gave life to by placing the germs on her jeans so they could form a new habitat. So I assumed she takes care of her health, but maybe not?

I’m confused…

image

Test 4 – The Clothing Aisle: We strolled our way into the colorful heaven of consumer fashion. The variety of clothing options is one of the greatest ways to determine the individual’s interests, needs, and also how they like to be perceived. Do they like attention? Do they like to be conserved? With the smorgasbord of semi-designer yet affordable clothing lines, most minds look past the price value. With the clothing wheel ranging from flamboyant trademark graphic tees to three-piece-suit business woman attire, they have plenty of options to feed a person’s variety of attitudes.

First stop, women’s section—of course. She aimlessly walked around, grazing her hands over each article of clothing that came her way like a child in a cornfield. It seemed to me that her sense of touch would help her decide the material for her liking. She stopped and reached into the hanging rack of cotton mixed with polyester and pulled out an overcoat—or cardigan. The ornament of clothing resembled something my grandma would wear while she watched, The Price is Right.

She tried on the plain-Jane beige cardigan, looked into the mirror, and asked, “How do you think it looks?”

I responded, “It looks good…for Mr. Rodgers!”

(We both giggled.)

She replied, “I don’t care what it looks like, it keeps me warm.”

I responded, “Well, it is a beautiful day in the neighborhood…”

We both laughed, and I could see her sense of humor still had some life. She laughed out of embarrassment; I laughed because I’m an asshole.

We continued to fray through the cotton field and yielded by the color-wheel of plain tees and graphic tees. The arsenal of multicultural options had my brain running wild like dogs escaping their kennels. Hot pink, Star Wars, Minnie Mouse, Disney, beer pong queen, neon green, Ghostbusters, My Little Pony, Coca-Cola, Marvel Comics, and black and white tee shirts stacked the clothing racks like an accountant’s desk during tax season.

What was a girl to do!?

She then grabbed a hot-pink My Little Pony graphic tee, topped with a Disney Mickey Mouse, three-quarter sleeved, baseball style shirt, sprinkled with neon green-yellow tank tops, with a side of soft black and white tees. This whirlwind of characteristics that I based my judgment of her clothing choice on, was like juggling an assortment of round fruits. Each article of clothing had a separate personal attachment, whether it was nostalgic for her childhood, drawing attention with the loudness of color, or the subtle everyday-wear piece of clothing—but they were all comfortable. So, throughout the madness of slim-pickings, it always came down to one thing:—comfort for her and not others. Like juggling the assortment of fruits, it didn’t matter what the fruit was—apples, oranges, grapefruits, green apples, kiwis—they were all one shape, which made the choices easy to juggle.

Conclusion: She lives her life in simplicity, knows what she wants, and isn’t afraid of what she looks like to the outside world. She is comfortable inside her own skin, which is a huge plus—but how much does she not care? Will this affect her feminine side? Is she a tom-boy? Does she have a wiener?!

I hope not…

The odd choices of clothing showed me that she is in touch with her own emotions. In touch with her past, as well as her present. She understands how her own life works and, most importantly, what makes her comfortable.

She enjoys a vanilla ice cream inside of a plain sugar cone, but sometimes throws a few sprinkles on top…

image

Test 5 – Clean up in Aisle Seven!: The array of aromatic Yankee Candles gracefully sucked us in like a perfume attendant inside of Macy’s, “Hi there, welcome to Macy’s would you like to smell the new Dior? It would go fabulous with the dress you’re carrying, or how about some coffee beans to clear your nasal passages?”

The elegant scent of hypnosis brought our fourth sense into a frenzy. As we floated across to the candle section, the rainbow collection of flamboyant attraction would be hard to choose from: Tropical Paradise, Fresh Cotton, Lavender, Chocolate Cake, Cucumber Melon, Pina Coloda, Salt Water Taffy, Cotton Candy, Mountain Lodge, Vanilla Cupcake, Peach Cobbler, Jelly Beans. The abundant selection of scented nostalgia left us excitedly frazzled like a dog breathing in the winds through a car window. So we did what any animal trying to claim territory would do—we smelled them all. As we sniffed around like K-9s inside a Mexican airport, we finally filtered the confusion down to three candles. She was juggling between Tropical Paradise, Lavender, and Mountain Lodge. After the indecisive three-card Monte game, she decided to throw all three candles into the shopping cart.

I could tell she was still frazzled, as she was unsure about her decision(s), because she was still sniffing around even though the candles were already inside the cart. Couldn’t blame her though, you give anyone too many options, and they will tend to believe there is always something better out there than what they already have.—It’s called not being happy with your present being, you spoiled brats.

My mental sand-clock begins to dwindle into dust. I decided to create a diversion to break the time-wasting confusion of indecisiveness. I leaned onto the rack of candles and positioned my right hand behind my back. With my sneaky flicka-da-wrist, I knocked a candle off the rack and “SMASH, CRACKLE, POP,” broken glass everywhere. The Yankee Candle shattered on the ground like peanut brittle, and I started to laugh instantly. She looked down on the ground and then looked up at my face as if she had just witnessed a homicide. She disappeared faster than a ninja dropping a smoke bomb. I decided to flee the scene as well, as I noticed she was already light-years away from the scene of the crime. We were then far, far away from any excursion through Tropical Paradise…

Mission accomplished…

Conclusion: Though she’s comfortable with herself, she’s apparently indecisive of her atmosphere, and for more than one reason. We first entered the candle aisle with a wide variety of scents that could confuse the scent receipting gills of a shark—so I understood the initial anxiety. There was no reason to smell all of them; if you know what you like—you know what you like, period. Her choices of candle scents definitely gave me some insight. Tropical Paradise meant she definitely enjoys the beach life, but obviously not the beaches of New Jersey. Mountain Lodge meant she definitely likes the wilderness of nature, but alone, and obviously not in New Jersey as well. I began to understand that her future is not in place, but she definitely knows she doesn’t want to live in the States. And finally, Lavender, which always comes down to one thing—comfort.

Her being comfortable was already a staple in this Target journey, but it seemed to me that she was not comfortable where she is presently in life. Not her job, not her marital status (which is why we went out), and not where she is presently living—but she is still up in the air about her environmental placement.

So, for now, lavender will help her relax temporarily…

Until I caused the crime scene of candle homicide! When the diversion happened, she ran. Ran faster than a child stealing candy from the corner store (which used to be me). Even though she was already confused, indecisive, and flustered in her present atmosphere—I obviously added fuel to the fire by elaborately changing the scene with extreme intention. I purposely broke the glass to see how she would handle change when she was already pressured. When things weren’t in her comfort zone, how would she react if something dramatic took place? She would run away, just as she did with the breaking candle. She ran and left me dry to clean up the mess and take the heat.

You see, I’m from Belleville, New Jersey, and we don’t run scared when things don’t go our way or become disastrous; we embrace it.

So, with my interchangeable lifestyle, I would need a Bonnie to my Clyde—but in this case, it seemed Bonnie didn’t exist—no bueno…

image

Test 6 – What are cosmetics?: The wonderful aisle of female dependency where physical enhancements were categorically placed to aid self-conscious disorder and to allow women to one-up each other at formal event’s and live up to the mirage of status-quo that was formulated by the pollution of Hollywood, America, or Jersey Shore.

We cruise on by the no-frills Rodeo Drive and make a pit stop for her to grab some Burt’s Bees hand lotion and lip balm—and nothing else. She walked right past the foundation, eye shadow, and lipsticks, and she paid no attention to the animal-tested purees like a rich women inside an orphanage. “ACHOO!” she sneezed again and grabbed a couple public makeup removing tissues to blow her nose. In super-slow motion, she placed the snot-filled tissue inside of her Wrangler jeans. I was appalled…

Me: “What, are you saving that for later?”

Her: “Hehe, no! I don’t want to litter, so I’m going to throw it out when we pass a garbage can.”

Me: “So you stuff it in your pocket??”

Her: “Well, do you want to hold it?”

Me: “…………………………”

Her: “I thought so.”

I was impressed. Impressed with her not wearing makeup and her logical stand of not littering—she’s a better person than I would be. I would have thrown that booger napkin inside the produce section and laughed about it like a weasel in the night.

But the question hovered again, “Is this chick a dude?” But I began to realize that was only my fear knocking on the walls of my frontal lobe, trying to break in.

No makeup, no boogers, no problem—but appearance matters in this world, doesn’t it? I guess not in hers—much respect to you.

Conclusion: She didn’t care for makeup. She was already comfortable with her natural appearance, or maybe she was allergic? It’s great that I finally met a women that wasn’t addicted to makeup, kind of a relief. There are definitely pros for this situation, but what were the cons? I’m not sure, but this was definitely a selfish plus—only because that meant I wouldn’t have to lie about dinner reservations. Telling her reservations are at 7 p.m., when they’re really at 8 p.m.—but only to get there ten minutes late—god forbid we’re on time! But that wouldn’t be an issue.

The only issue, was the tissue…

image

Test 7 – Movie Books: We made our way into the aisle of the public eye—Hollywood! Where Disney cartoon movies, exclusive hot new releases, and old hit classics surface the headline of recommended entertainment. We had gotten that far, and that was our final showdown; not to dig up more analyzing information about her, but to see what we had in common—at least for entertainment purposes. That time, I was not going to sit back and analyze what her movies of choice were. I was going to hop out of shotgun and grab the steering wheel to show her what I enjoy to watch in my downtime. Hopefully, she would agree with my taste of genre. I went straight to the comedy section, and the first thing I saw was the Adam Sandler classics, Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison—it was a two-for-one special! Nine dollars and ninety-nine cents for both of those life-changing memorabilias of non-stop laughter. That movie deal was a steal, and I couldn’t help but to throw it in the shopping cart of potential romance. I looked over to her and saw her twirling her hair like a fourth grader as she aimlessly stared into the ceiling. She was paying no attention to my movie choice actions, or maybe I wasn’t paying attention to her because I was sucked into the Happy Madison Productions cult trap. So I tried to snap her out of the daydream.

“Hey, do you like Adam Sandler?” I asked.

“Ummm, he’s okay…” she vaguely replied.

It’s instantly obvious that she dislikes the colossus of comedy. I’m not sure how I feel about people who don’t like Adam Sandler movies, solely for the fact that half of my life is based around referencing his movie quotes. My brain had already been programmed around these scripts like a kindergartener memorizing the ABCs.

“So, you don’t like Adam Sandler movies?” I asked again in a different form.

“I didn’t say that. I said he was okay,” she replied.

“Sooo, you’re saying you don’t like him?” I asked again.

“Haha, I guess…” she replied.

“You guess what? Adam Sandler can’t be okay. He produces the kind of movies where either you love them or you hate them,” I sternly said.

“What are you getting mad about? Do you have a boner for him or something?” she asked.

I said, “Get outta here! On top of him being a genius, I think he’s hilarious.”

(What I really wanted to say is, “I would have a boner for you, if you liked Adam Sandler.”)

“Haha! He’s so your man crush. All you boys are the same,” she said.

“So, do you like him or not?” I asked.

“No, I think he’s stupid…” she replied.

My heart was broken like a fragile glass cup in the microwave. I couldn’t believe the words that spewed out of her mouth. But, it’s not the end of the world. I was sure there were movies we could agree on; the list of Hollywood entertainment is too long to be unshared. So I asked a broad question—which I despise—but by this point, there was no other option.

“What movies do you like? Like, what actors?” I asked.

I might as well have asked her what her favorite color and horoscope sign was—I never felt so uncomfortable waiting for a response.

“Ummmmmm, I don’t know,” she replied.

The awkward silence echoed through the sapped conversation. She twirled her hair even more; if something wasn’t said to stop her from twirling, she would be walking around looking like Tina Turner with a teased up-do.

“You definitely watch Twilight like every other girl,” I sarcastically said.

“Haha, yeah, but I actually read the books, too, and they’re so much better.”

“What?” I rhetorically asked.

“I said the books are better. I only watched the movie to compare it to the book, and let me tell you—the movie gives it no justice,” she replied.

At that time in my life, I had only read two books in their entirety: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 1990 and The Power of Focus in 2007. I wasn’t a book junkie (yet), so I didn’t comprehend what she was trying to say.

“Oh, well I didn’t know they had a book for Twilight. To be honest, I don’t really read books. I mean, I’ve read books before, but it’s not really my thing,” I said.

“Oh, well, I really don’t watch movies or television. To be honest, I don’t even own a television.”

My jaw dropped to the floor like a Looney Tune cartoon character’s. I was appalled. How could this girl not own a TV? Where was this person from? Was she human? The confusion tangled up my brain like overcooked fusilli. It was the beginning of the end. I didn’t even know what to think or even ask.

My overanalyzed channeling was shut down—figuratively speaking…

The silence dragged us to the book section as I slithered on the floor like a slug. Each book she grabbed felt like she was pouring salt on my back to slow me down from engaging. I didn’t mind that she was hooked-on-books, but the fact that she didn’t own a television completely deflated my first-date analysis.

She stacked books-on-books as if she was preparing for a mid-term. I peeled myself off the ground to get back into play, shook the salt off of my back, and regrouped to keep the date in motion. I side-glanced at the books she threw inside the basket: Feeling Good, Dream Talk, The Secret of Letting Go, Why Mars and Venus Collide. The list of self-help books piled up like Tupac’s police file. I mean, how much help does this girl need? Does she have major daddy issues? Is she not comfortable in her own skin as I perceived her to be? What’s her problem?

The questions swarmed my brain like killer bees, and then I thought to myself, maybe it’s me who needs help. Maybe I could possibly learn something from this person, or from the books she is reading. Maybe the problem is me.

So, I grabbed some books myself…

Conclusion: She didn’t like Adam Sandler (bummer), but maybe that was a sign that I needed to open my world a bit more. Maybe, that was a sign that I needed to break out of my underground shell and communicate with others besides the everyday monotony.

Her not watching television is still a mystery to me, and maybe it could be healthy for me not to absorb the poisons of television. I came to the conclusion that I should be reading more books and enhancing my mind. It could be the key for a better lifestyle.

She got five points for helping me see the bigger picture…

But she didn’t like Adam Sandler, so minus three points for that…

image

Test 8 – Dollar Spot Up-sells: As we skipped down the yellow brick road, it seemed the “date” had gone longer than usual. I enjoyed her company, but at the same time, there were many things that had bothered me. So there was almost an even balance through my consultation—thus far. A lot of simple things bothered me at the time, so who knows what I was actually feeling. Speaking of simple, we hit the infamous, “Dollar Mania” section. This small department has more items than the entire store. The randomness of consumer bait could make your brain cyclone with a magnetic force to draw in every item in the aisle—I mean, it’s only a dollar, right? You don’t necessarily need these items; you just want them because of the super low price. She sprinted over, slid into home base, and crashed right into the frosted animal crackers, basically breaking open the cage of locked-in sugar zoo pets. All of the animal snacks broke loose and fell directly into our shopping cart.

“Jay, these are gluten-free!” she screamed.

“What the fuck is a gluten?” I said.

“I can’t eat gluten. I’m allergic, remember?” she asked.

I obviously had zero memory of our discussion about this newly discovered poison inside children’s snacks.

“Ooohh yeeaah—but what’s a gluten?”

“You know! It’s in pasta, bread, cookies, wheat, and all types of foods that are manmade,” she said.

“So, it’s a carbohydrate?” I asked.

“No, you dummy, it’s an ingredient they use to preserve food longer. It’s not good for you,” she said.

“So, it’s a preservative?” I asked.

“Oh my god, are you serious?” she asked.

“Well, obviously I am. So, it’s in pasta, bread, yadda-yadda-yadda, but it’s not a carbohydrate or a preservative?” I asked.

“You’re kidding, right?” she asked.

“For the hundredth time, no. And are we just going to answer each other’s questions—with questions? Or are you going to give me an answer about the mystery poison?” I asked.

“So I guess you weren’t listening when I described gluten to you the other day?” she asked.

She dodged, giving me an answer by giving me another question. I was completely lost.

“………………………………………………….” as I give her a blank stare.

“UGH! You boys never listen; I’m not explaining it again. Go read a book or something!” she said.

“Well maybe I’ll read one of the seven self-help books you have in that cart. Are those gluten-free?” I sarcastically replied.

“You’re an idiot…” she said.

The tension seemed to rise between the two of us, so I had to come up with something quickly. I grabbed one of the books and bit a chuck of pages on the inside and began to chew down on the recyclable unit like a turkey po’boy.

“It definitely tastes gluten-free!” I screamed in mid-chew while other spectators stared at me as if I was an escaped gorilla in search for prey.

She started cracking up laughing and giggling away like a school girl, as everyone in the ten-by-ten square foot of Dollar Mania was terrified of the loose animals. The tension sank faster than the Titanic. My quick thinking act put everything back in its place—except for the animal crackers.

We continued on with our walk through the bangin’ bargains—she couldn’t contain herself and grabbed every item she walked by. The first thing she grabbed was a beach thermos, followed by a colorful slinky—which I had no idea they even made anymore. She snatched three boxes of Dubble Bubble, a few plastic placemats, notebooks, pens, and a pack of pastel-colored straws. It was obvious she didn’t need those items and was only buying them because they were a dollar—what a steal! This girl’s a sucker for a save.

Conclusion: She’s obviously allergic to gluten, which I was completely confused about. I’d been eating pasta, bread, cookies, and other manmade carbohydrates my entire life—and I felt like a million bucks each day when I woke up. My entire eating food career, I had never heard of such nonsense. So, out of nowhere, this mystery poison was the cause of many sicknesses?

Yeah, okay…

But, hey, who am I to judge? Haaaa!

Anywho, it seemed like a major issue within her body, and I respected her beliefs because she didn’t come off as a liar. During our gluten-free battle, it seemed that she got over our argument with a little humor. That day, her humor had saved many of our miscommunications—but that had been only the first week of us dating, and we were already arguing? It was probably mainly my fault, but who likes to admit that?

The way she grabbed almost every single thing for a dollar was horrifying. This told me that she is a duck, and she would buy anything as long as it was for a small price. That showed me she didn’t truly recognize the value of certain things in life—her value was based on a price—no dice in my book.

The fight was 135 percent my fault—but I guess, if the price was right, the fight would have had more value. And that’s one prize-fight she wasn’t willing to bargain with…

image

Test 9 – Checking Out: The date was coming to an end as we aimlessly circled the vicinity. It was time to check out. We dragged our feet toward the front area to pay for our items and saw lines of people longer than the government cheese first of the month line. I don’t mind long lines, especially if I’m not in a rush. I’ll wait, but she seemed to get flustered with all of the commotion.

She walked past every single line looking for the shortest one possible and couldn’t seem to choose which one was shorter. Because she is not only counting the people in line, but she is also rounding up on the items per cart, the analyzing is making her very indecisive. It seemed as if she had come up with a formula that would indicate how much time would be spent at the checkout lane. With the elements of people, items, and carts, the components would somehow equate to that self-made variable. I could see her over-thinking the process by obsessing over each checkout aisle and sticking her head in the air like a submarine telescope. I have patience, but I’m not patient for impatience.

Now her anxiety is giving me anxiety as her spastic energy flashes through my nerves like a sound wave from police sirens. We’re hopping from line to line, and she still can’t seem to choose a line.

Finally, I speak up, “Let’s just stay in this line. Who cares?”

She replied, “I care.”

“Why do you care?” I asked.

“Because I care. Let’s move to aisle four,” she responded.

Before she started stomping her feet like a four-year-old child, I decided to go with her flow as she drug my dog collar in every direction. I could tell how dismantled her mind was becoming from trying to make a decision—so I let her be, hoping she would get settled.

“I could take you on this line!” a random cashier yelled.

Everyone in the place hurdled over each other to get to the newly opened aisle as if the lady was giving out free hand-jobs. She aggressively grabbed the shopping cart and barreled her way over to the line, hoping she would get the first spot. With everyone in the place smashing into each other like bumper cars, I nonchalantly whistled while I sped walked into the new aisle, being the first one in line.

“Quick thinking, Jay!” she said.

She raised her hand for a high-five. I looked at her with the same stare a DMV employee would give an immigrant trying to receive his license. There is no way in hell I am being a part of a “high-five” with a her after winning her shopping cart battle—for many reasons: I have too much pride; there is absolutely no way I’m selling out; I’m not going to lose man points, and she had yet to wash her hands from the snot sneezed germicidal culture growing on her palms. I could still picture the slow-motion snot wipe on her jeans. I would rather drink blood from a rabid possum than slap her high-five in the middle of Target.

“Uummm, hellooo? My hand’s still in the air…” she said.

“Put your hand down. I’m not slapping you high-five,” I stated.

“Oh yeah you are, and you’re going to like it!” she replied.

She knew how uncomfortable I was with proceeding with the request. Her new goal was to make me high-five her. Now, I’m no germaphobe but I know for a fact that the boogers were still there. She knew—and didn’t care—about the reason I didn’t want a high-five. She wanted me to be as uncomfortable as possible.

At that point, my mind pictured me faking the high-five and in mid-movement picking her up and body slamming her through the shopping cart and having every spectator inside Target chant “ECW! ECW! ECW!” but I knew that domestic violence wasn’t an option and only a pipe dream.

“I’m waaaaaiting,” she eagerly said.

“Yo, get outta here,” I replied.

“Heyoo, I can’t wait all day here…” the cashier said.

“See, put your items on the conveyer belt, pal!” I sarcastically said.

“I hate you…” she replied.

I LOLed until I reached the level of stomach cramps. But I could see she was super pissed at me for raising my voice—but this was the only way to handle this hand touching situation, my hand escape was victorious.

The cashier was not handling her items with care; she was furiously slamming the items into the bags. She was purposely not showing us any sort of customer service, not even a smile or any eye contact. The cashier’s name tag read Iesha—and so did her neck tattoo. This lady was a mean mugging brollic, and her extensions waved around like snakes on the head of Medusa. Slam all the items you want because I was not getting involved with Iesha’s body language—her vicious vibes would protrude me back to aisle four.

We both gave each other a look that screamed, are you kidding me? Once the situation was addressed with each other, my date slowly kung-fu gripped the conveyer belt and politely asked, “Excuse me, could you please not handle my items in such a manner? I would really like everything in one piece.” She followed that with a gentle smile.

My testicles shot inside and up into my small intestines; I was mortified of what might have happened next. Iesha stared at her (like Medusa) as if she was going to turn her into stone. She snapped her Strawberry Mint Trident as if she was chewing down on bubble wrap as each pop shot sparks out of her teeth. She closed her eyes and exhaled like a beached whale.

“Uugggghhh, I’m sorry ma’am. It has just been a long day. You know these peeps up in here be getting crazy sometimes,” Iesha said.

“Haha, it’s okay. I understand how things could get stressful sometimes,” she replied.

My Target date slowly looked over at me and winked, and her wink ignited a flash that illuminated the entire shopping center with elegance.

My jaw dropped like Roger Rabbit, and I couldn’t believe what had just happened. She killed the tension with kindness—I never knew such a thing was possible. Especially with her short temper.

“One hundred seven dollars and ninety-four cents is yo total,” Iesha said.

“Wait, I have coupons!” she excitedly replied.

She pulled out a wad of coupons that were bigger than the Wall Street Journal. Once again, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Coupon after coupon, after coupon—and then, there it was. The tissue! She separated the cloth of sticky sickness from the coupons, rolled it into a ball, and stuffed it back in her pocket.

Yuck….

Conclusion: It seemed to me that she was consistently in a rush, but to go where? I believed her rushed ambition was laying way underneath her cerebellum, where the goal of leaving this state was simmering. She didn’t deal with crowds and overpopulated areas well, which is the number one characteristic of The Garden State. But when Iesha made things even more frustrating, she kept her cool and reacted like a respectable woman. So, when push came to shove, she handled the situation very well. I guess I was wrong about her in that sense in my initial evaluation in the parking lot, or she knew that Iesha would have smacked her around like a pimp smacking his hoes. From the look of all the premeditated coupons, she was either (A) really cheap or (B) really cheap.

Her indecisiveness still made me cringe (as well as the tissue), and it bothered me that she couldn’t make simple decisions. But I guess my entire consultation would contradict my statement. Maybe it’s me who couldn’t make a simple decision…
image

We started heading over toward the exit. As my Target date consultation came to a close, I wasn’t sure how I felt about everything. There was way too much information—I needed a day or so to soak it all in.

I gradually slid my way over to the automatic anti-bacterial Purell machine and stuck my hand under to receive some freshness—she followed. She took a squirt of foam herself and swished the solvent around on her hands to kill 99.9 percent of the germs that had been cultivating on her palms.

I smiled.

There is a God out there, so I held her hand as we exited the doors, but for one reason only—they were finally clean.

Final Conclusion: I was an overanalyzing, egotistical, judgmental asshole. This is probably the main reason I had been single for all these years, I never gave anyone a chance. My personal guard was so strong and I never let anyone in, nor did I let anything out. I acted as-if I had some valuable treasure to protect—well I have self-value, but at that time I took things way too far, and obviously we didn’t make it too far either.

I mean, we could find many things about people during the time spent together inside of Target. Whether it is meeting new friends, a potential business deal, or even a potential significant other—Target is the Greatland where everyone acts themselves, forgets about real-life issues, and over-shops. Target will tell you so many things about another person—you just have to be aware. So the next time you want to know more about a person bring them to this Greatland

Target—is pretty literal—and it will target a person’s characteristics…

You’re welcome…

Jay Isip www.happychasinghappy.com

%d bloggers like this: