It's official. I've become too cheap for Target.
It was a startling revelation that I came face-to-face with today, and it's devastating because I *heart* Target. I really really do. And I refuse (absolutely REFUSE) to sell my soul to the soulless unethical devil that is Wal-Mart.* So what does that leave me? Dollar Store? Is this what my life has become?
It happened so gradually that I didn't even notice. While I've always had a debilitating fear of debt, I've not always been miserly. It began when IUPUI made their monthly tuition payment plan into four monthly payments instead of five. I realize that it all evens out in the end, but during?? Ugh. It's like two and a half car payments a month. (Four if you own a Kia.) December can't come soon enough. Maybe I'll eat something other than Ramen Noodles to celebrate.
How bad is it? For your consideration:
Exhibit A: When we were facing weeks with high temperatures in the 40's and 50's, I refused to turn on the heat in my house. I rationalized that I was only there approximately 9 hours per day - 7 of which are spent sleeping in flannel pjs with flannel sheets with the other 2 spent on the couch underneath two or three furry mammals. (I will point out that during that time, the dogs had a space heater that the cat would sleep next to. I guess we all know who's more important in this story.)
Exhibit B: I was ecstatic to find $1 hand soap at CVS the other day. That ecstacy has subsided since I found out that $1 hand soap is more like a 70/30 water to soap ratio. Apparently that's why it comes in such a big bottle. Still, I can't say I wouldn't buy it again.
Exhibit C: The boy told me that he ran out of shampoo two weeks ago, and has been too lazy to go to the store. So he's been using regular soap to wash his hair, "which actually works pretty well." I briefly considered it. I wish I were kidding.**
Exhibit D: I always said that the two things that I would not penny-pinch on were paper towels and toilet paper (none of this 1-ply tissue paper, thankyouverymuch.) I've since given in on the paper towels, and after seeing the dramatic price difference between "my" toilet paper and the sandpaper that I would normally never consider, my resolve is wavering.
Exhibit E: I currently have two AAA batteries that work in my house. They are being rotated between whatever remote controls I need to work the electronic equipment I feel necessary to complete my life at the time. The batteries also travel from room to room if I decide I want to watch a DVD in bed. If a remote requires AA batteries, I just don't use it. I throw stuffed animals at the buttons on the electronic equipment instead.
Exhibit F: Three weeks ago when cleaning my toilet, I was suddenly appalled by the state of my toilet scrub brush and threw it away. (Translation, the wire part rusted through and broke off in the toilet.) The following week when I went to clean, I was, of course, surprised by my lack of toilet scrub brush. Since then, my toilet has been disinfected three times but not scrubbed... and I'm starting to think that's okay.
CLEARLY something has to be done.
Now, I won't lie. This miserliness is a combination of not having money and being too lazy to use my free time to go places where I would spend the money that the nice people at Visa lend me. I think it was the unscrubbed toilet that pushed me over the edge, but last week I decided that the next free time I had would be spent being un-miserly. I had a huge b*tch of an organic chem test yesterday, but I promised myself that once that test passed, I would run to Target and purchase everything that I was missing in my life, including good paper towels.***
Last Thursday, my cousin sent me a delightful surprise that deserves its own blog post. As soon as I can get the boy to snap my picture with the delightful surprise, you'll hear all about it. As a result, I began searching Indianapolis for more of this delightful surprise that I had previously not known existed. I wanted some more so that I could share with the boy and not get into fist fights when he tried to take some without asking. Unfortunately, they were nowhere to be found in all my usual haunts.****
Today? Today I fulfilled my promise to myself and purchased batteries, good paper towels, a toilet scrub brush and various other necessities at Target. (I kept myself away from the dog Halloween costumes - I'm not a complete idiot.) While wandering the aisles of my beloved Target, I FOUND MY DELIGHTFUL SURPRISE!!! Which made me wonder when the last time was that I was in Target....and I couldn't remember. This was immediately followed by the thought, "Well of course I haven't been to a Target in a while. Target is a NICE store."
And I was horrified because while I heart Target, the term "nice store" is generally reserved for a store that I can't afford. Which made me decide that penny pinching on this level is ridiculous, because I can afford Target.
And then I looked at my bank account again.
Sniff. It's not you, Target. It's me. It's just that I can't leave your premises without spending under $100.00 - it's physically not possible. It's just that CVS is closer and has Extra Care bucks that make things that I purchase cheaper. (Not to mention the money they gave me to transfer my prescription...and $1 hand soap.) It's just that crappy paper towels are also available at the grocery store with the cheaper dog food, and that saves me a trip, which saves gas. We've all got to make sacrifices. It's a tough economy. I just need a break. I promise I'll be back in December and then again in the summer when tuition payments aren't making my house as cold as a refrigerator.*****
But... I'm easy, you know. If you lower your costs on Purina One (Chicken and Rice flavor - this part is VERY important) we can probably work something out. Call me!
*Absolutely no judgement if you shop there. Promise.
**I ended up enabling his laziness buy buying shampoo FOR him because although his hair smelled really clean, I couldn't bear the thought of someone not using shampoo.
***This gave me something to look forward to while studying. Again, I wish I were kidding.
****Remember the use of the word "haunts" there. It's cracking me up. It will make much more sense to you when you find out what the delightful surprise was.
*****Of course, tuition payments are also responsible for the new game, "How many stuffed animals until the TV turns on" so it's not ALL bad. Blue LOVED this game, and sometimes his tail would turn the TV on for me.