As a corollary to my last blog, I am thrilled to provide a recent real world and personal example of a first class retail experience I had with the group that owns the “Cheap Chic” category. Of course, I am talking about Target. My husband, older son, and I were on my birthday trip to Truckee to visit my youngest son. We weren’t leaving until 9PM because of family scheduling nightmares. We decided to split the 10-hour trip from Ojai, in Southern California, to Truckee in Northern California into two legs. For the first leg, we would drive about three hours to stay in San Luis Obispo (SLO), made famous by a recent episode of “The Bachelor.” (Don’t lie; you watch it just to see how awful Vienna will be, what slutty and inappropriate thing she will say, and how much she will embarrass herself when Jake isn’t looking.)
We took off at 9PM on a Thursday evening. I had two bags packed – one with my essentials (make-up, shades and meds) and one with my clothes. I always count on my husband to pack the car. (That’s the man’s job, right?)
So we took off and spent a lovely first night in a SLO hotel where I only brought in my “essential” bag. The next morning, after a good night’s sleep and an early start, we went out to the car to begin the next day of our journey. We put all the bags in the back of the 4Runner and I noticed we were short one bag.
“Did you pack my red rolling bag?” I queried Charley, my husband.
“No, I thought you had everything in the ‘essentials bag’!”
“Are you kidding me!??” Has he met me? I am extremely high maintenance. When I travel, especially to a cold place, I bring along coordinated outfits including no fewer than three pairs of shoes, no matter how short the trip. And I am not one of those people who can do black, white (or tan), and one additional color. Oh no, I need the pink shirt, the red sweater, a couple of jackets, etc, etc.
There I was, on my birthday trip, with no clothes! And I was wearing ratty old sweats (for the drive), and a pink sweater and jacket from Sears! (Remember my last blog about Sears? This is what I bought along with a pair of red sandals that I, incidentally, didn’t bring to the snow. Oy vey!)
So I stressed for a few minutes and then decided what the hell – there was nothing to be done, another excuse for retail therapy!
Now realize – I had no clean underwear, no socks, no sweaters, and nothing dressy for my birthday dinner… nothing but what was in my essentials bag. And we were traveling on I-5 through the Central Valley of California, not really a stopping mecca. Not a Nordstrom to be found along the way – not in Stockton, not in Modesto, not in Sacramento, nowhere!
“Why don’t we look for a Wal-Mart?” suggested Charley. “We can have lunch and you can get what you need.”
Again – have we met?
But then I got the bright idea. “Let’s look for a Target!” They are my favorite when I go ‘cheap shopping,’ which is a bunch more often since the recession hit.
So we looked for the distinctive logo (which up until then I didn’t realize was a real target!). When we found one, I was thrilled. I was on a mission to get a whole trip wardrobe for under $150.
What would I need? Underwear, jeans, black tops, and a pair of black sweat pants. Remember, I had jackets and shoes, so I was good in those areas! While the boys went to get lunch at the Starbucks in the Target, I picked out two pairs of jeans, a black tank, a black paper-thin long sleeve tee, a black cotton V-neck sweater, three pairs of undies, and a new comfy pair of black sweats. All fashionable, all reasonably well fitting, and none of them cheap looking! I am thrilled to say, I wore all the pieces for five days on the trip, even to my fancy birthday dinner!
And so here’s to you Target, for saving my birthday trip, and being the best in class. Oh, and by the way, I had a ball with my husband and two boys, a trip to remember, uninterrupted by a forgotten suitcase.