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.

2 comments:

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.]