I went to Target last week because I needed to stock up on shower liners and S.O.S. pads…Ok, fine, I went because I just like wandering around Target. It’s disturbing that I relax inside Target, but so very true. There’s a hushed sense of awe, cathedral ceilings, a screaming kid and halo around that shoe organizer or shower rod…it feels holy.
Yes, I hate that the employees don’t get health insurance or, as one Target cashier told me once, are forced to work when sick. But I still find something universal about going to a store because we all need to wash our dishes or shampoo our hair. We go because we’re we’re messy humans and have to take care of our shit.
So I was wandering through the cleaning products aisle with My List when I saw a woman standing and studying the ingredients in a bottle of detergent. For some reason I thought to myself, “she’s avoiding the pain of loss she feels about (INSERT UNIVERSAL HUMAN STORY HERE).” I never used to look at people and think something empathetic or compassionate. I was a normal self-obsessed narcissist living in LA. In fact, I thought everyone had
better lives, happier? lives…more REAL lives than mine. And not only was everyone on some trajectory of fulfillment but they were shoving it in my face. Even the woman at Target with her scientific study of laundry detergent chemicals. “Oh, so Ms. Fancy Health Lady wants to know what chemicals she’s bringing to her house…” I might have thought.
But on that day I thought about how she might have a divorce under her belt or maybe she was sick and couldn’t tolerate our toxic environment… and then I realized that pretty much every human alive has sad stuff to live with. Everyone has problems. WHAT A CONCEPT.
And THEN I realized that this activity of wandering around Target was just a cover-up for my OWN feelings of fear and anxiety about the fragility of life. I wanted to get on the intercom and announce, “Existential breakdown in Detergent aisle!”
And that’s when remembered that I needed some plant-based body oil and a paring knife. So, I wandered off into the kitchen area and everything was fine after that.