Like any sane person, I love Target.
Throughout all life’s chapters, Target has provided. Target equipped us with shelving systems and shower baskets for college. In our 20s it is where we created nonsensical wedding registries, believing marriage would require a horseshoe game and 17 candle holders. After the wedding Target was where we returned with gift cards and purchased the laundry baskets we truly needed. Perhaps most importantly, after we had babies Target provided a safe space to be with other adult humans while clutching our infants, our coffee, and the last bits of our sanity. And when those sweet babies pooped up their backs straight to their necks, we conveniently bought Kleenex for our postpartum tears and wipes for the baby’s butt.
Sadly, when it comes to Target I struggle with the dark underbelly of self-sabotage. Twice now, I have nearly ruined Target for myself entirely. Today I will share the first humiliating story.
One morning in my early 20s, I woke up to the phone ringing. It was Target. Target was a male using an accusatory tone with me.
Is this Amanda?
We need you to come down to Target as soon as possible.
There is a problem with the check you wrote.
Now, while it was true that I had a terrifying social worker’s salary, I did not bounce checks.
I was able to head to the store immediately because instead of changing and looking like a person that did not bounce checks, I opted to wear my pajama pants. With my stomach churning, I drove to the store, obsessing over what might have happened.
After arriving, I offered up proof that I am a trustworthy rule follower with a rock solid checking account by promptly reporting to the customer service area as instructed over the phone. The customer service employee’s face perked up at my name, revealing that everyone had been talking about me. Confident this was their error, I grew irritated. I gathered my pride and glared back at them.
Then, I felt my pride melt away when they showed me how I had signed my check.
Which looked like this:
I so enjoy that I included my middle initial. Because I don’t always rip off major retail stores, but when I do I like to be an elegant lady.
My mind reeled back to the moment I wrote the check. I recalled being heavily distracted by unabashedly judging a mother whose young children were throwing fits (several years later I had my children, who not only threw tantrums in checkout lines, they also did things like announcing the color of my underwear to cashiers). In my distraction, I signed my last name “Target.” Which Target described as being “criminal” and “uncashable.”
I looked from my check back to the satisfied eye of the Target employee and whispered, “Yes. Well. That is certainly not correct.” And then it was unanimously agreed upon that I would pay with cash before leaving the store.
You could argue the employee who accepted my check should have noticed, and that’s fine. I am the type of person who signs personal checks Amanda A. Target, so I do not get to comment on the actions of others.
My next Target debacle involves an extremely questionable accidental theft that occurred during the last year. And I can not be entirely sure about the statute of limitations, so we will just let that tale simmer a bit longer. Because you can’t live this kind of suburban mom thug life and not fear the po po.