Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Time to Talk About Target

So it seems like it’s time to talk about Target.

Target is my therapist. Out of network, of course, like many good therapists are, but it has a sliding scale. Some visits tug hard at my wallet, going well above $100, and some are a bargain at $22.95. Yet each visit yields results, tough discoveries, and occasional surprising revelations which always alter the outcome of my day.

Sometimes I go into a session knowing exactly what I want. I am focused, look carefully at my options, and make clear decisions about how to move forward based on common sense, gut reaction and ultimate value. These occasions usually result in a practical sense of accomplishment as well as an affordable yet effective Aveeno facial moisturizer.

Sometimes I go into a session thinking I know what I want and, unexpectedly, leaving with what I didn’t know I needed. So often these discoveries can only be made when your therapist reveals what’s right in front of you, yet you spend life too busy or too much in a rush to notice. These sessions always leave me with a newfound sense of clarity and wonder as well as a Millennium Falcon t-shirt.

Sometimes I go into a session not knowing why I am there. I try to discover my purpose. I explore everything in detail. There are moments when I glimpse what I think I need or want only to have it fade away seeming superfluous or insignificant. I linger too long, in hopes of an epiphany, and leave unsatisfied, unenlightened and usually with a Diet Coke and a bag of Lays potato chips, which only leave me feeling guilty and unsatisfied.

No matter what the outcome I know I can always count on Target to be there in a way that my friends and family cannot be. Target does not judge. Target does not need me to be in a good mood. Target does not ask anything of me, except a benign request to open a charge account every now and then. Target is open, bright, respects my privacy, and yet offers help and advice when it thinks I need it.

This is not to say that Target should ever replace actual human therapists, but it should be used in conjunction with conventional therapy. Just as there is room for homeopathic and spiritual forms of therapy, there should always be room for retail therapy. Because nothing demonstrates a healthy balanced psyche more than leaving Target with sensibly priced dog food, a Bazinga t-shirt and finding the Bourne Identity for only $5.


  1. Agreed! One of these days I'm going to find a reason to buy an item in those bargain bins near the front entrance...

  2. Agreed. And I second that comment about Target never replacing human therapists but being used in conjunction with actual psychotherapy. After all, being a human therapist is what funds my own Target therapy.