Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Off Target

I continue to spend money on the improvement of my home. One thing that had been annoying me was that I found myself frequently running late in the morning because when I'm in my bathroom, I have no way of knowing what time it is. In my old studio, I had one clock and it was visible from pretty much everywhere except in the shower: yet another good reason to live small. But now that I actually have more than one room, I have to walk into the kitchen to look at the stove, or back into the bedroom to find out what time it is. Call me lazy, but I decided I wanted a clock for my bathroom.
I went to Target on Saturday. When Target opened in Brooklyn it was a big deal, and I thought I might be able to get some good home stuff there. I'd ripped out a couple of pages from magazines where there were cool floor lamps that came from Target. But, not to put too fine a point on it, the Target in Brooklyn SUCKS. At least the housewares section does. Every time I've been there, it's messy, understocked, and none of the stuff you see in magazines is anywhere to be found. I've talked to other people who have the same complaint about this particular Target store. Given its proximity to Park Slope and Fort Greene and their gazillions of style-conscious but bargain-loving residents, they could be selling a boatload of stuff that just seems to be missing from that store. I will go back, however, to the "Global Bazaar" as they had some fun vases that would look nice whenever I get some plants. But even there, and in the nearby garden section, there are some bewildering items: an $80 gigantic faux-antique Buddha? How often do they sell one of those?
Anyway, back to my search for a clock. They had a shelf of digital clocks priced at about $5-14. I knew I just wanted something small and battery-powered, so after rooting around on the shelf a bit, I picked the smallest one. Meanwhile, I had also picked up one of those metal things that you can shove your plastic grocery bags into and then pluck them out again like a Kleenex, which I thought might neaten up one of my closets a bit. As I made my way towards the checkout counter with these two items, I started wondering if I really wanted this $5 clock I was buying. I also started to wonder if it was really $5, as none of the price labels on the shelf seemed to correspond to this exact clock, but it seemed like such a junky little clock that I figured it must be one of the cheapest. And then I thought, if I think this little clock is so junky, why am I buying it? Do I want to bring any more junk into my life? If I buy this clock, I'll always think it's ugly, and I'll want to replace it as soon as I see a nicer one. Even if the nicer one is a bit more expensive, I should just wait and spend the money on something I actually like.
So I put the clock back and left with nothing but my bag holder. When I got home, I decided I probably should have left the bag holder behind as well, as it didn't really hold all that many bags and for $10, didn't seem like all that much of an improvement over just storing all my extra plastic bags in ... an extra plastic bag.
Oh well, too late to return it, as I stuck it to the wall with its adhesive strips.
But at least the clock part of the story has a happy ending-- on Sunday, I went for a walk, a very long, freezing cold walk, and went to some little gift shops in Park Slope where sure enough, I found the perfect little clock. It was $23 and well worth it.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG The Target in NJ is way better and much cleaner! The Target is behind a modells and Staples. I start to think about everything I buy now. I'm glad u found your clock.

Anonymous said...

That's an overpriced clock. BTW, a normal clock won't last long in an extremely wet bathroom...

Anonymous said...

Everyone else seems to love that Target, but I agree with you -- it sucks. For me, the entire point of Target is the housewares section (or at least it is in the city), and even when they have anything in stock, it's mostly crap.

DivineMsN said...

Overpriced to you but not to the individual who wanted it and needed it. I cant stand these anonymous trolls. Anyway, what I wanted to say was that I have noticed a trend where these types of stores (Target, Kmart etc) have these "policies" where their big city stores are in horrible conditions compared to their suburban stores. You know if some surburbanite walked into their local Target, and found it in the condition that you described it, they would walk out and go to the next big chain store taking their money with them. But those who can't (for whatever reason) shop elsewhere are left with messy, mismanaged stores.

Bitty said...

...it seemed like such a junky little clock that I figured it must be one of the cheapest. And then I thought, if I think this little clock is so junky, why am I buying it? Do I want to bring any more junk into my life? If I buy this clock, I'll always think it's ugly, and I'll want to replace it as soon as I see a nicer one.

Madame X, this is one of the ways in which you've helped change my life. I now think thoughts like this before I buy stuff. And then buy less junk stuff, but more quality stuff.

I think I saw a Target ad that said the Global Bazaar was for a limited time. You might want to think about that.

udandi said...

yeah, for the last two years, Global Bazaar has been a 6-week run to fill in between Christmas and Spring. If you are interested in something, get it in the next week or so because once it is clearanced it sells out in hours (at least around me where I have about 5 Targets to shop at)!

hazygrey said...

I love your clock!

As I'm now in my 30s and not even a grad student anymore, I'm also trying to think about long term value for money. But old habits die hard. I have a cheap, ugly clock from Ikea on my living room wall, it's been there for 3 years and everytime I see it, I think I should replace it. At the time I got it, there was another clock that was about $15 more and looked much better. I really wish I got that one instead!

And I agree with you, the Brooklyn target sucks. I also tried the one in Queens, and it's not that much better either.

Madame X said...

I did think about whether I needed some kind of waterproof clock, but luckily my bathroom is very well ventilated and doesn't get steamy, and I probably won't keep it in the toothbrush holder forever... though it does fit so perfectly there!

wendy said...

Target makes a fortune selling poor quality merchadise. The part that I don't like about them is even if they sell defective merchandise, they won't take it back after 90 days.

I bought an end-table there to be used in a corner in our office. The top split after I had it for 5 months. I paid $79.99 for it. Even though all the reviewers of the product on target.com had the same problem with the table, Target won't refund the money.

It makes me sick when I hear about all the praise they get from the community service they do. They rip people off and then try to reap publicity by giving away money. Why don't they try paying a living wage and stop selling people junk?