Maybe it’s just me.
Maybe I am the only person in America who chooses to use a credit card other than a Target Red Card when I am shopping at my local Target store.
I have embraced my place as a credit card outlier in a sea of red plastic. But today, I can no longer remain silent if I want to live with less crimson-colored shame.
(Side story: Did you know that my Target happens to be the ORIGINAL Target store, referred to as Store. No. 1? The original, the Numero Uno, the TARGENESIS? It’s true. They have a mini-museum wall when you walk in the doors that tells the story of how it all came to be.)
But I’m not here to wax sentimental on the fact that I get to buy my Pantene, Q-Tips and Preparation H at Target Store No. 1.
Today I’m here to make a plea to Target and that plea is this: please stop shaming me because I don’t have a Red Card.
Every time I’m in the checkout line they ask me this: Will you be using your Target Red Card today?
Every time I steel myself, make direct eye contact with the cashier and serve up a cheery and confident, “Not today!”
And every single time they return with: You don’t want to save 5%?
Every. F#@king. Time.
Here are some of the replies I have given to that question in the past month alone.
No, thank you! I’m gonna use my Citibank Thank You Rewards Card because I buy everything on this card and at the end of the year my family gets Christmas for free!
No, that’s okay! I use a card that gets me the same if not more in points so I can shop at Amazon and buy things me and my family need!
No, thanks. I’m good.
[ silence, and act like I didn’t hear the question ]
I realize I am overreacting. I know they are just doing their jobs by asking the question but when you go to Target three times weekly, eventually you’re going to start questioning your choices.
Is my Citi Card REALLY getting me the same kind of deals? Can I back that up or is it just flimsy idea I’ve embraced as fact?
Am I stupid for not just saving the 5% right this minute?
Am I stupid?
Am I pretty?
But here’s the part that kills me. When I give one of my pat responses they invariably come back with this:
YOU REALLY DON’T WANT TO SAVE 5%?
It’s like the old EF Hutton commercials, remember those? A hush falls over the entirety of Store No. 1, as people lean away from their red carts, toward the line at checkout 13, awaiting the answer from a woman who CLEARLY is about to make the worst decision in her life as she replies again, this time questioning her conviction from before with a much less decisive, “No???”
Then it comes. The cashier’s visible disappointment. And in that moment, I can’t help it. I see red.
That, and I feel like a complete idiot for not wanting to save that 5%.
And I have had it. I really have. I’m done.
But because I am not actually done with Target—I mean, I’m not going to live without my Archer Farms fruit leather—I’ve worked out a few new responses designed to nip the second pity response in the bud, before it EVER even crosses the Target cashier’s mind. Today, I’d like to share those responses with you.
1. Immediately ask them the SAME question and wait for THEIR response.
2. Make uncomfortably loud Trumpeter Swan-like noises for a continuous 60 seconds. Followed by no sounds whatsoever.
4. Produce a deck of cards, ask them to pick one but not show it to me, and then throw the whole deck at them David Blaine-style and shout, IS THIS YOUR CARD?
5. Place my hands on my temple, begin a full-body vibration and stare as hard as I can into their eyes, ending by shouting, “RELEASE!”
6. Respond only in clicks and whistles.
7. Present two chalices of wine on the cash and wrap area and say in my best Dread Pirate Roberts accent, “Alright… where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun!”
8. Recreate Sally’s pie eating scene from When Harry Met Sally.
9. If all else fails, I’ll just do this:
I know Target is a sensitive corporation that wants to do the right thing to make its customers both comfortable and happy. At the very least, could they do what they do in a Catholic church when you’re not officially cleared for Communion? You just hold your hands across your chest while walking up to the altar to receive the blessing, but not the body and the blood.
I guess what I’m saying is that I want my blessing [ read: Applegate Oven Roasted Turkey and Up and Up Cotton Balls ]. But for the love of all things holy and red, I really don’t want the card.