The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Target and the Escalator


I noticed that several of my friends clicked “Like Page” for Target.

The first time I entered a Target store: it was about 1986-87 in Tucson. I hated it. Their check-outs were sooo…. slow; the design of the store was nothing special. I don’t remember any bull’s-eye red logos. We shopped there for the crib for our soon-to-arrive son with money my brother-in-law gifted us on his visit. He was staying not with us, but in a swanky hotel in the foothills.

Yes. We already knew our baby’s sex, not from a little penis seen on a sonogram, but from an age-recommended amniocentesis. We knew the sex before birth for both of our children. I never felt I had surrendered some part of the experience by knowing the surprise early. It was just as much a surprise opening the letter delivering the preemie results, “It’s a boy” as it would have been with the doctor pulling out the full-term boy that Memorial Day. It was just less mess with the early announcement. And of course, we could avoid buying anything in those girl colors.

I do love surprises. Well, I love the good ones meant to delight, but not the ones meant to hurt. And it’s only a fool who doesn’t know the difference.

I was the classic Christmas snooper. I knew all my mother’s hiding places and even how to lift the tape on that already-wrapped package. One year, my mother bought Chinese Checkers to be the one gift I didn’t already know. But then I snooped, and she was mad. What I finally learned as an adult was that the joy of a surprise is not just one-sided. But then the sudden realization that sometimes the joy is slyly one-sided came to mind. Have you ever known a person who seems to delight in delivering bad news?

Thirty years later, Target or as I like to say in what I think is a French accent, Targét, is my favorite general merchandise store. I have used undue influence to make it my grandson’s favorite too. We buy his favorite saltine Goldfish crackers there. Well, actually, they’re my favorites. Somehow those little shapes taste better than my square saltines. The shape of things changes the taste in some perverted way. It’s probably all in the head, but cookies in the shape of trees and snowmen just taste better.

Now I live within walking distance of a Target; some dispute the ‘walking distance’ description. I push the empty stroller so that when my grandson’s two steps to my one tire him out, he can ride and sleep while I look around without fear he will run into traffic.

The East Liberty Target in my neighborhood is designed differently than any others I’ve shopped. It has covered parking on the first floor and the actual shopping is on the 2nd. We ride the escalator if we don’t have the stroller. I was afraid of the escalator as a child. Gliding off effortlessly on that last step was a challenge. Was I just uncoordinated? Or afraid of ridiculous things? Now I am passing on my knowledge of important things like riding escalators to my grandson.


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