Scary Retail Stores

     Black Friday is a scary name for a scary day.  Black Friday or not the scariest place for me to be is inside of a Target Store surrounded by shiny new things.  I hear voices of dead gadgets saying things like, "Pick me! Buy me! You need a new one of me!"  The clothing on hangers reaches out to me forcing me to caress their fine fabric.  Even cosmetics and jewelery call me to their aisles tempting me with words like, "I would make you look so much better."  As if posessed I walk around filling a cart with things I don’t even need and trance like I pull out my credit card to purchase a conveyer belt of items that I barely recognize.  In the store I gaze at these items approvingly and when I’m back home on the Gunflint Trail I think, "What the heck did I buy this for?"

     The magic of marketing that makes a person believe "I need a new one of these to be a better person or to feel better" is what is so scary.  When I’m at home on the Gunflint Trail the .50 cent hand mixer I bought at a garage sale without a handle is fine for me to use.  When I’m in a store and see a new mixer complete with a storage case with beaters that look super simple to clean I suddenly think I need it.  A snazzy shower curtain with matching accessories would sure spice up my bathroom but who really cares what my bathroom looks like?  A bigger television, a faster computer, a better camera, more clothes to wear, the list goes on and on as feelings of inadequacy wash over me.  A store is a scary place for me to be and I feel much safer on a wilderness hiking trail with wolves and bears nearby than in a store with a big red target as the logo.

     I don’t want to pick on Target because I like to shop there and they are Minnesota Made but  I wonder how Target came up with their name and logo?  I sometimes feel as if I am their target with the big red dot on my back marked "Sucker!"  They can target market millions of different people with their advertising and aisles of items.  When I look at the red logo I can picture little horns on totp of the circle.  Scary thoughts indeed.  

     I imagine it is just a personal issue for me.  I feel my humble abode on the Gunflint Trail and my closet of fleece is "enough" when I’m on the Gunflint Trail.  But out in the real world where people wear fashionable clothing and have nice things in their houses I question myself.  Staying at my brother-in-law’s house in Idaho I look around and see all of their fine, new things.  He and his wife are newlyweds and have shiny clean things everywhere(or they were before my kids got here).  Looking in their cupboards I wonder if 25th Wedding Anniversary parties were intended so people could get much needed new appliances after 25 years of use? Or perhaps that’s why people get divorced and re-married?  Just kidding.

     There are websites that allow you to purchase essential items and have them shipped to your home. is one of them.  You can buy some great gifts online, even at our Voyageur Store  Is it as fun and exciting as shopping in a retail store? I don’t know but I do know it is less scary than a retail store.  And on Black Friday especially I’ll be staying away from those scary retail stores.