The last few times I’ve been in the toys section, it has been with kids. My experience generally goes like this:
Me: Oh, the kids will enjoy going through the toy aisle. It’ll be something fun during this boring errand.
Turns into aisle.
Kids: Wow! Can we get this!? Stop stop, I want to play with this toy-in-a-box for five solid minutes. Dad, can you ask Grandma to get this for me? I’ve never seen this toy in my life and now it is all I can talk about.
Twins: Yelling at me until I give them a ball larger than they are.
Kids: Continuing. Isn’t this what we bought for John for his birthday? This toy makes really really loud annoying noises! I’m going to press all of the buttons. Let me run away from you to around the corner while my sister runs the opposite way. How about we yell too!
Me: … We have to leave right now.
Turns out of aisle.
I have well-behaved kids, I thought. I thought they were well-behaved kids. Something about the toy aisle makes them go savage.
This night was different. I was alone. My primary objective was to find this Password Journal—the latest in kid cartoon advertising fodder, a journal that only unlocks to your voice! Keep your pesky brother out of your journal! We already had one, but Target had it cheaper and, in theory, in stock. (Spoiler Alert: Look at the picture. They did not).
But alas, I can’t return empty-handed, so down each aisle I went in case one was hidden in the wrong place.1 As I went down each aisle, an internal monologue started:
Huh, that’s pretty cool. Let me check it out.
I wouldn’t expect that to make that sound. Let me try it again.
The kids would probably like this, but I don’t want to buy it for them. I wonder if Grandma would find it interesting.
Ya know, that kid in Teresa’s class would probably like this. Oh, oh, Olivia’s classmate got that for his birthday!
I was reverting back! After all these years, I could kill more time than I care to admit in the toy section of Target—as long as there were no kids in sight.
- I used to hide toys that I wished I could have on random shelves in the toy section. I was sure my parents would change their minds and I would prove to myself how clever I am. I don’t think it ever worked. ↩
I mind you turning on the Christmas lights.
I mind you doing it in my neighborhood.
Now, imagine this being said in the character of Charlie Young: