By Lisa Sugarman
Now it’s possible that what I’m about to say may sound weird to you. Then again, it might remind you of your own childhood and the dumb things we used to fantasize about as kids. Either way, at the very least, I’m hoping you’ll be entertained.
So when I was a little girl, I used to dream about what it would be like to live in a department store. Full time; 365. And while I know it’s kind of an odd concept, I have a feeling more people have imagined the same thing than are willing to admit.
In my case, it probably stemmed from reading Don Freeman’s children’s book Corduroy so many times when I was a kid. You know, the story about the little toy bear named Corduroy who lived on the shelf at a department store who wandered the floors at night looking for his missing button. Always was one of my favorites.
The thing is, as I’m sure you’ve learned too, once we grow up, our adult brains start processing through all the stupid stuff we believed when we were kids; and we realize that most of the brilliant ideas we had as young people just aren’t feasible. In other words, we realize that we really were a bunch of idiots. And in my case, it didn’t take me long to realize that living out my days in Jordan Marsh was a fundamentally flawed idea from inception.
Sure, they had bathrooms, so that took care of one critical human need, and water bubblers so you could stay hydrated, but after that, my plan fell short. Very short. Like once the vending machines in the staff lounge were tapped, I’d be dead in less than a week. Terrible plan.
It’s funny, though, how history tends to repeat itself so organically generation after generation. Just the other day, during a quick trip to Target, my fourteen-year-old daughter blurted out how Target would be the perfect home. Never knowing, mind you, that I had already pioneered the concept of department-store living back in the early 70s.
So of course I was like, “Oh my God! I totally used to wish I could do that!” To which Libby rolled her eyes and said it wouldn’t’ve been possible back then because superstores like Target, with every department imaginable, didn’t exist. (Hate when my kid out thinks me. It’s irritating.)
But in her case, her master plan showed far more advanced intelligence than mine. She accounted for things that, at the age of fourteen, would never have crossed my mind. Everything from home furnishings and electronics to food and clothes and every nuance in between. The kid’s got game.
Granted, you probably couldn’t make this theory work in a traditional Target store because they lack some of the key elements for survival like a pharmacy, a health clinic, a Starbucks, and a full grocery line.
But she had accounted for all that. Just walk into any one of the 239 SuperTarget stores, she said, and you could probably live a very fulfilling life if you never left the store again.
And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that she may, in fact, have actually figured out a way to make my dream a reality. Because as long as you took enough vitamin D supplements to avoid getting rickets, you could probably manage just fine.
According to Libby, you’ve got a totally secure, climate controlled environment, complete with everything a person would theoretically need to live. Theoretically.
You’d have food, clothing, and jewelry (for those special occasions when upper management came to do audits). You’d have a full electronics department, free Wi-Fi and unlimited mocha lattes, so you’d be fully caffeinated and hardwired with the outside world. And, assuming you opened the doors every day and allowed people to either visit, or shop, depending on your preference, you’d never be lonely.
You’d also have a full health clinic on hand just in case you hooked up with one of the electronics department guys and got pregnant. At which point he’d probably do the right thing and hit the jewelry department and pick you up an engagement ring. Then you could have the wedding in the lawn & garden department, after which you’d get the photos developed in their one-hour photo processing lab, and then, once the little bundle of joy came, you could have carte blanche in the baby section.
And to work off your baby weight, you could spend your mornings in the sports & fitness department, hitting the health and beauty aisle to clean up after your kettlebell workout.
Then, after you put the baby down for his nap, you could spend your nights reading all the classics and binge watching all five seasons of Breaking Bad.
And should your little one start projectile vomiting during season three, you could quickly and easily scoot over to the health clinic, see a doctor, get a prescription, then get it filled in the pharmacy. After which, you could swing over to the toy department and grab the little fella a treat for being such a trooper with the doctor. See, happily ever after. A flawless plan.
So unless I’m missing something, and I don’t think I am, SuperTarget may well be the perfect home. Now I just have to figure out how to break it to Dave and the girls that we’re moving…
Lisa Sugarman lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Read and discuss all her columns at facebook.com/ItIsWhatItIsColumn. She is also the author of LIFE: It Is What It Is available on Amazon.com, at Whole Foods, and at select booksellers.