Have you seen the hashtag? Moms Demand Action has been encouraging its members to stay away from Target, and to demonstrate that fact by photographing ourselves at competitors while displaying a #OffTarget sign.
Little Cuter has been bemoaning the fact that FlapJilly has no 0-3 month size outfits. Everyone is buying big stuff ... because everyone knows that babies grow much too quickly for 0-3 month clothes to get much use. I've tried to share this learned wisdom with her, but she is insistent. She needs plain white onesies for my granddaughter and she is not to be dissuaded.
This errand conflated nicely with my desire to participate in the Moms Demand Action project, so, this morning, after Pilates and a shower, I drove to Buy Buy Baby to make my mark.
Usually, I do not allow myself to move off the carpet at the front of the store. There are too many temptations within. But I was on a specific mission, one that would require concentration and price comparisons. I had to enter the danger zone.
The store manager sat behind the Help Desk, greeting all passersby. No, I didn't need any help; the clothes were right behind him and I was certain I could find what I desired. I drooled over the small frilly dresses and the teeny tiny hats and the sleeping sacks and the footie-pajamas but I was looking for plain, white, very small clothes. Not premie clothes; this baby has baked long enough. She's five pounds of love inside my daughter right now; were she to try to arrive tomorrow they would do nothing to retard her progress.
I could look at the 0-3 month sizes with impunity. There was nothing on a sale rack, but there was a round display containing the simple things I was seeking. On an interesting hangar, clearly labeled with sizes not covered by garments, I had a choice of long sleeves and short sleeves and sleeveless onesies. I chose the tank tops. This kid is coming in August. It will be hot.
I found shirts with side snap closures on similar hangars, and there were plenty in the size I needed. I grabbed the only sleeveless onesies on the rod, put them in my cart, and tried to leave.
I was stopped by the $7 striped leggings. One set in pinks and reds, another in blues and greens, and, with my 5-for-$5 white things combined with my 20% off one item coupon, I was out of the store for under $20. I counted it a successful shopping trip, but I had more than that in mind.
I asked Mark, the salesclerk reorganizing the toy aisles, if he would mind/get in trouble if he participated in my political action statement. I explained the scenario to him in great detail; he was seriously interested. Turns out that his father is military and then was a cop (the changing tenses caught me up short for a moment... I guess you never get over being a serviceman) and Mark was raised with discipline and respect and I have a CCP (closed carry permit). He didn't understand why anyone would need an AK-47 to buy diapers. When he heard my back story, he wondered what I would do if I saw someone carrying an assault rifle in Target.
I told him he probably wouldn't want to be around me.
How can I determine who's a good guy with a gun? Unless you are in uniform or showing your badge, your intentions are murky, at best, I think.
Mark wasn't selfish. He went to get Rosa to pose with him. I insisted that we ask the manager if they were allowed to participate in their uniforms with their name tags. We walked over to his desk, Rosa and I chatting about weapons and safety, where he informed us that in-store photos were prohibited. Without missing a beat, he suggested that we take the clothes outside and use the big sign above the door to announce my location. He didn't care that I had not checked out. He wanted me to do what I'd come to do. He, too, thought weaponry and children's supplies were antithetical to one another.
I posed, but the sign was too high. Mark suggested a shopping basket, I agreed, he ran in and brought it back, and the picture at the top of this post was the result. Can you see the decal above my #OffTarget sign? It's a gun with a big black line through it; Buy Buy Baby is not interested in being a venue for an open carry demonstration.... nor for anyone who feels that strollers cannot be purchased without carrying protection on his hip.
We took four shots, two after using a Buy Buy Baby marker to enhance my hashtag, and I sent the best one off to Moms Demand Action. I went in to the cashier, and talked about Christina ("You're the one who brought the little girl?") and student council and Gabby and guns and the sidewalk in front of Safeway. The young woman was appropriately moved. She'd never heard of Moms Demand Action before today. She's interested.
All in all, it was a very successful morning. Now, with the goodies in a flat-rate envelope ready to be dropped at the post office this afternoon, sensible gun legislation information shared with people new to the issue, and this post written, I can officially say that I've worked today.