“We have to cut back.” M says quietly, knowing how much money talk makes me anxious. “We spend on average $600 at Target each month. That’s just insane.”
I start to argue, “It’s meds! It’s essentials!”, but deep in my gut I know that the three different kinds of shower cleaners aren’t all essential, nor the cute shoes for C, or the fifteenth ball we picked up last month. So I agree; no more Target, at least for a little while.
All month long I catch myself thinking that I should just pop in for something or other: new face cream, night time diapers for Little L, maybe check out the new purses, but I resist the urge of the big red bull’s eye and I force myself to get my essentials at the grocery store. By the end of the month I find myself not even really missing the wide clean aisles filled with a million things I never even knew I needed urgently.
Yesterday M went through our monthly expenses and reported excitedly that we’d saved more than he’d dared hope. Money saved right and left, easing a bit the financial stress my lack of work has imposed on us. I heaved a sigh of relief; all my skimping paid off.
And yet, today, as I headed to the Forbidden Land for the first time in over a month, on an important mission to chose a birthday gift for one of C’s classmates, I felt a bit of trepidation. Would I be able to walk past the overflowing dollar bins? Would I have the strength to head straight for the toy department without detouring through hair care? I pulled into a parking spot near the sliding glass entrance and sat in my car for a while watching people go in and out. Then I headed into Target and braved all the temptation.
I’m proud to report that I walked out a half an hour later holding just one bag. It contained exactly one present for a little girl celebrating her 3rd birthday tomorrow, no more, no less. Maybe I finally won the right to no longer consider Target as a forbidden zone, but I’m not holding my breath. I think M has a very clear idea of just how quickly I might let my guard down in the face of a great sale.
This post was inspired by the Sunday Scribblings prompt “Forbidden.” Click here to read other great entries.