Sunday, April 29, 2007

Comin' to America

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Don't be so quick to walk away!

In 1999, I went to London for the first time. It was my first taste of freedom since summer camp in second grade, and I relished the trip. Before we left, my friend S told me about a great place called Boots.

"Like, they sell shoes?" I asked.

"No," she replied, "they sell really great cosmetics and toothpaste."

I laughed at my friend who was running off to England of all places on the planet to buy toothpaste, but once I saw Boots, I was in love. It's England's version of CVS, but with their own renowned line of cosmetics. In 1999 I didn't know eyeshadow from lipliner, but I bought some face wash that I ended up loving. When I went back a few years later, I loaded up on stuff again, and used all of it. I have the propensity to buy a product that promises me eternal wrinkeless beauty, to eliminate all odors from me and replace them with a nice scent, to keep my hair shiny and red, to moisturize, to dry out, to solve all my problems. After a few weeks of my life remaining largely the same, I get bored of said product and buy another. So when I use all of something, it's true love.

I'd heard rumors about Boots coming to America at various times, but I never saw anything come of it. Until I went to Target the last time I was in Rhode Island, and while wandering through the cosmetics aisle, I found my beloved. A whole display of Boots products on my native soil. Body butter! Face wash! Hand cream! Organic! Made with oils and plants! Oh my God, it's Boots! When I got home and emailed my friend S to tell her the glorious news, but she'd already known and assumed I'd known. Dang.

Since it was nearly Easter, I bought my mom a trial-sized kit of citrusy-basil-scented stuff and I bought myself a clay mask for about $9 that was similar to one I'd bought at Origins for $20. My Mom is more of a flowery-scent woman, but I tried the body butter and loved it. The face mask was great. I vowed I would return for more of the wonderful products once I moved.

However, this weekend found me in the Ocean State to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of my brother's arrival on planet Earth by gambling (he won $30, I lost $30), and as is my usual practice when at home, I ran outside to get the Sunday paper. I threw the actual news sections on my Mom's chair, then dove into the circulars. Some weekends, the paper Gods are cruel and do not supply a Target ad. However, this weekend they delivered. On page four, I found the best news I've heard for a while. Boots was on sale.

"Moooooommm!" I yelled out. "We're goin' to Taaarget!"

When I go to Target by myself, I've taken to not getting a wagon to put my things in. I don't even grab a hand-basket. I know that I'm powerless to resist packaged crap, and if I have to actually juggle what I'm holding it makes it much easier to not buy things. When I go to Target with my Mom, she uses the cart to steady herself when she gets tired from hiking the store, so I end up tossing things into the wagon and end up with sticker shock once I get to the cashier. I started out in rare form. I tossed a pair of huge Jackie-O sunglasses into the cart, but after that I didn't even walk through the clothing section. The toy section didn't have any good gifts for the kids' birthdays, so I didn't get into trouble there. Once I got to the cosmetics section, my restraint was gone. I crouched low, surveying the Boots display. I immediately picked up a full-size body butter since my skin's been dry all week. I sniffed a minty body scrub and put it in the cart. I debated hand cream versus foot cream. I smeared a dab of face cream on. I grabbed tubes of lipstick, then put them back. I grabbed a stick of concealer similar to one I've been debating from Sephora, but for a third of the price. My mother looked on in horror.

"It's Target," I said, dazed, "with Boots. I am so happy."

I grabbed a couple more cosmetics things I'd needed or wanted, tossed a can of spray-on sunscreen in SPF 45 into the cart (fuck you, sunburn) and lined up my finds on the belt. For a bag and a half of stuff, I spent $83. At least it won't bog down my movers too much.

"What did you buy?" My Mom asked incredulously. Her total came to $92, but she had three bags.

So, really, I have no point here. Boots is awesome and I'm not sorry I spent a third of my moving budget on their products. At least I had a mini-financial freak-out on my way to Marshalls and didn't buy anything there.


Marcy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marcy said...

It's so funny you mention your Target issues, because I was just there yesterday (the one in Woburn). As I was walking out the door, a girl behind me said to her friends, "How come I can't ever go to Target and spend less than $50?"

She's SO right. On average, I spend between $50 and $100 on a Target trip. It's just such a good place. I miss it when I'm too busy to go.

[Edited to remove an unfortunate typo. Because I don't typo.]