Target is a magical place

There is a boycott circulating currently to encourage people to boycott Target because they're letting people choose which gendered bathroom they want in order to relieve themselves. (I'm not linking to it because they don't deserve the traffic, but feel free to Google it.) Here's why this is super stupid.

First, Target is a magical place. Target is the place where you go in to pick up toilet paper and end up rolling out with a cart of groceries, home decor, beauty products and birthday cards and, if you're really lucky, the toilet paper you needed in the first place. 

The stores have an intuitive layout that makes things easy to find if you're really committed to making that surgical strike. They're also good at creating cute displays in case you're in the mood to be swayed by their new selection of ornaments. They also keep the beauty products right by the pharmacy and I have picked up a new color of nail polish with my prescription more times than I can count. (Let's just say I'm healthy and can paint my nails any color of the rainbow any time I want.)

Also, they usually have surprisingly friendly cashiers. I find myself chatting with them more often than not, and easily half of them know that I once stood at Target register in my own red shirt and khakis, back in the day. And, yes, one of them finally talked me into the Target Card because, hi, five percent off!

So, I love Target. I do not, however, love their bathrooms. They are disgusting.

The last time I was in a Target bathroom, I was with Duncan, who realized that he needed to go RIGHT NOW while we were on the polar opposite end of the store. I rushed him to the bathroom, encouraging him to hold it and distracting him with the myriad of colors and displays we saw along the way. We burst through the doors of the ladies room and were immediately greeted with the stench of stale farts and serious concerns about the personal hygiene habits of the women in our community. I ushered him into a stall where he asked for "privacy please!" so I stood on the outside, holding the door closed. Turns out it was a Code Brown, so he pulls his pants down, sits in something wet, and hollers, "Eeeeewwwwww! Moooomm!" I wince and tell him it's only water (please, God), have him wipe himself off with some TP and continue his business.

When he's done, he starts asking for help wiping his little booty. (He's five and a half, he should be able to do this on his own by now, but he fights us on it. I know we're not alone in this struggle.) The smell in the bathroom, including Duncan's contributions, has brought me nearly to tears, so I'm inclined to just clean him up and get the heck out of there. 

But here's the thing: I didn't grab a cart or basket when we went into the store because we were just there to grab ONE THING: a birthday card for Mac. But then I thought it would be fun to put together a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "survival kit" for the big 4-2, so we started running around the store for supplies. Which means I've been standing in the World's Stinkiest Bathroom holding a door closed for a noisy five year old with one hand, all while holding a towel, a notebook, a giant bottle of beer and three (3!) birthday cards precariously in my other arm.

I gracefully push my way into his stall to check the situation and try to help him out with my one free hand and keep him from Touching! Everything! I fail. At one point he says, "Ew, Mom, what's this?" I see him touching--TOUCHING--a smear of dried, brown... something on the wall and die a little inside because it's almost certainly poo. It's poo. I holler at him to stop touching it, oh my God Dude, and get him all squared away, pants up, whole deal, so we can get out of this horror show as soon as possible and then shove our hands under streams of scalding water in the sink, sudsing them with ten gallons of soap like surgeons until the horror of germs and ebola we've almost certainly contracted is exorcised from our bodies.

I tell this story not to gross you out, but to make this very important point: as awesome as Target is, their bathrooms are not great. At times, they are downright nasty, as so many public bathrooms are. So if a person, regardless of their current gender, really needs to use one of these horror shows of human excrement, by all means, we should LET THEM. Why worry about whether or not the person peeing next to you was blessed with a vag or a wang at birth, when you really should be worrying about the last time that joint was scrubbed down? God knows they wouldn't be in there unless they really, really had to go.

In conclusion: support Target. Go there when you need one thing, go when you need all the things, do your holiday shopping there, or just enjoy the spacious parking lot. They're letting everyone use the crappy, filthy bathroom of their choice, and I for one am fine with this. I think we should all continue to shop here throughout the holidays and enjoy spending too much on their cute holiday decor (have you seen the Hanukkah display? Adorbs!) and seasonal oatmeal and beer offerings and great deals on stuff you need anyway and convenient in-store Starbucks locations. Just remember: get a cart, because you'll probably buy more than what's on your list.

And maybe make sure everyone uses the bathroom before you leave the house.


Jeffery Evans said…
Smart, rational, brilliantly told. I love this.

Dunfuckistan cannot and will not understand.