Not Just Another Target (Back) Story

Life’s curious moments don’t always come with a back story. Unfortunately that does not quench my thirst for one. There are just some things in life that need supplemental narrative, and I frequently–and without effort–produce this when it doesn’t avail itself. Such was the case last week in Target. Yes, the same location at which the event in a previous post called, “Pretty Girl? Depends.” took place.

Maybe Target’s next tag-line will be, “Affordable. Adorable. Bloggable.” I know, totally beside the point. But the best stuff I get from Target is free. It’s the stories.

I’m going to save a thousand words here and just show you the picture that is crying–and I mean ugly, snorting, wailing kind of crying–for a back story. It’s so absurd and curious that my head started bursting with possible scenarios as soon as I saw it.

          Curious, right?         The Up&Up Pregnancy Test nestled in with the cell phone wrist strap-purse thingies at Target.

Curious, right?
The Up&Up Pregnancy Test nestled in with the cell phone wrist strap-purse thingies at Target.

WTF, right? In the midst of the cell phone wrist strap purse-thingies was a discarded “Up & Up” (store brand) Pregnancy Test.

First, I do realize there could be serious (or sad) stories behind this, but I’m going to explore the not serious ones since this is all made up and inconsequential to the real circumstance. Believe me, if I could fulfill someone’s desire to be pregnant, or desire NOT to be pregnant, by writing the right scenario, then I’d sacrifice storyline to be their hero. Alas, I do not have that power. I will write with abandon, knowing not one uterus is any more full or empty because of it.

Don’t you wonder what happened? What prompted the person who picked up the test earlier in the store to opt out of buying it? As I said, the possibilities are endless, but I’m just going to share a few. I don’t want to hog all the good story lines before you get a chance to imagine one or two of your own. Feel free to share the stories that write themselves in your head. I’d love to know the company I’m in.

  • Perhaps she mildly believed she may be pregnant, but has a hard time tracking her period precisely. So she grabbed a test while she was in the store–in case her level of suspicion raised in the next week or so. Then she bought some mascara and throw pillows that don’t really match her couch. She walked by the pickles and it sort of made her heart race. She made herself think of something else, and in that intentional diversion she remembered to grab coffee filters. This prompted a craving for a latte. On her way to the Starbucks corner she suddenly got her period. Oh, and you just know she was wearing white pants, poor thing. With that, she ditched the pregnancy test and proceeded to Starbucks where she was thrilled not to order a decaf.
  • Same woman: Maybe she just got cramps rather than her period, but figured she’d let it play out before investing $14.99. She ditched the Up&Up and bought Advil and a new wrist strap purse-thingy for her cell phone.
  • Or, she only brought $20 cash and came to Target for a pregnancy test only. For once she was only gonna buy one item at Target. But those wrist-purses were so convincing. Oh, she still left with only one item. Just not the one she came for.
  • Now, think outside the box of pregnancy (test). What if this is unrelated to pregnancy? Is there a chance that the discarded pregnancy test is the work of a clever Target employee who treats herself once per shift to moving one random item from the store to an unrelated section? Does she thrill in leaving curios combinations for curious minds to ponder? If so, well played. Your work has been noted, appreciated and blogged.
  • Admittedly that one is a bit of an after school special. I’m going to end this one in prime time, with a more mature cast and plot. Maybe the Up&Up box back story is a complex tale of waning marriage, elicit affair and a nosy neighbor. Maybe she (let’s call her Gwen) and her husband (obviously, Greg) are done with children. Maybe Greg has had a vasectomy for years. As happens with friends in middle age, I bet Greg got his vasectomy around the time the neighbor guy did, both men building off of each other’s bravado. They’re the sort of men who swapped “frozen peas on my crotch” stories over beers one night and made trite jokes about shooting blanks. At the end of the night both couples toasted a cheers to the end of needing birth control. Yadda, yadda, yadda and now Gwen is having a torrid affair with Martin from Accounts Payable. Martin has never had a vasectomy. Gwen is, ahem, late and more than a tad nervous. Today’s the day she’s going to find out, so she stops in at Target and is going to buy the test. She’s almost made it to check-out when chatty neighbor Marie–you know, Marie, with whom Gwen and Greg had toasted about no more pregnancy worries–shows up in the store calling out, “What’re you here for neighbor?” As Marie walks to her, Gwen realizes with horror that she cannot be seen with a pregnancy test in her cart. So there goes the “Up & Up.” It was up, up and away…and right into the strap-purse thingies where it would remain until the moment it was seen and photographed by me. (It was later re-shelved where it belongs by a red-shirted Target employee too tired to even consider the back story.) Having ditched the pregnancy test just in time, Gwen thinks she’s playing it cool and casual as Marie approaches. She discovers otherwise when she hears herself answer Marie’s nosy question with a honking voice and just a bit too loudly.”TAMPONS! I’M HERE FOR TAMPONS!

About Meredith M. Temple

I'm a full-grown child of the 1970's and 80's now making good on the detail that consistently appeared in my childhood vision of my adult life. I'm writing for pleasure, but now am doing it by blog rather than (or in addition to) the emails, notes and essays I have written for years just because it feels like breathing to me. I'm a full-time worker outside the home, and an all-the-time wife and mom of two boys, 9 and 14 years old. As such I throw a lot of footballs, shoot a lot of hoops, deliver a lot of lectures, swear more than I ought to, thank a lot of teachers and coach a few teams. If I'm your friend, neighbor, coworker or the person you met at the park, I am probably the one whose story was a bit too long, though hopefully entertaining. Remember, I'm happy to return the favor. I do love a good story, and I don't just mean my own.
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2 Responses to Not Just Another Target (Back) Story

  1. Cheri says:

    I’m not sure what it says about me, but my brain went immediately to something more like the last version. Except it was a teenager with a hidden Target habit she learned (inheirited? I truly believe there must be a Target gene) from her mother who then ran into said parent while on her way to check out. I can only imagine the panic as she scrambled to come up with a valid reason for being there – to hide both the need for the pregnancy test and the fact that she and her mother might be more alike than she wants to admit. Obviously the need for a new wrist strap thingy was the only option. If only she’d been closer to the shoe aisle.


    • Love! And I had a similar first thought (minus the spot on Target gene subplot) that some teen girl was there with moral support friend. Moral support friend spotted the girl’s mom with a, “Lisa, your MOM…!” and the wrist purse was bought. Oh, so funny that it would’ve been luckier if she were by the shoes. Thanks for playing!


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