I want to know whose bright idea it was it to completely turn my neighborhood Target upside down! What was once my sanctuary, my “happy place,” is now my nightmare in hell! It began with a subtle warning outside Target announcing that “big changes” were coming. Yeah, big changes and a big headache! I used to be able to shop at Target blindfolded. I knew where everything was and could complete my shopping trip in 20 minutes, although I would often stay longer just because. Like I said, Target was my happy place. I don’t know if it was the lighting, or the color red, but a simple trip to Target could always cure my blues. Now Target gives me the blues. I dread going there. The first day I walked into the remodel-in-progress, I literally got vertigo. It was like walking into a fun house at the carnival! Nothing was where it used to be! Familiar aisles were now unrecognizable! Large pieces of the flooring were missing. Yellow “caution“ tape was everywhere.  I wasn’t the only discombobulated customer. Everyone was wandering around in a daze as if they had just been dropped off in a foreign country. For some reason, many people were looking at their phones, as if their Google Maps could help them find the dishwasher pods! Nobody looked happy! Babies were crying. Parents were swearing under their breath. “Where the hell is the cat food?” I saw a few cart collisions as befuddled customers tried to steer while searching for trail mix. Oh yeah, that was me.

I must be getting old, because I have started talking to strangers. I was eager to get other people’s opinions about the chaos. The consensus? An overwhelming majority absolutely hate it. Tell me why the main focus of the store now appears to be toys. They moved the entire toy department into the center of the store. This is bad for any parent hoping to complete their shopping before finally wrapping up the trip with a reward for the patient child who has been sitting in the cart for 40 minutes. The toys used to be located in the very last aisle of the store. Now, no matter which aisle you go down, you will end up at the “hub of toys,” sending your child into a frenzy, complicating your shopping trip and maybe even terminating it. No wonder all I heard was crying. Oh yeah, that was me.

The whole setup of the store is weird, too. Everything is on the diagonal for some strange reason, as if they are trying to create some type of relaxing “feng shui.” It is far from relaxing and actually reminds me of the old Batman TV series where the villains’ hideout was always on a slant and in disarray. Everything was off balance, and that’s a perfect way to describe how I feel in Target now. Off balance!

The new lighting in the store makes everyone look like they have jaundice. I’m pretty sure it’s that new LED lighting. I hate LED lighting.  So what if the bulbs last for 200 years? That’s 200 years of ugly. Give me the warm glow of an incandescent bulb any day.

The electronics are now located where the home section used to be. Large flat screen TVs hang on the walls, blaring loudly. I found out from my friend who works at Target that the reason they moved the TVs to the very back of the store was to deter thieves from grabbing flat screens and running out. Wow! Really? Thieves are the reason for turning Target, and my life upside down? That figures!

Of course, the one improvement they should have made but didn’t was the aisle where they keep ice cream and beer. One of my favorite aisles. There is no way you can fit two shopping carts down that aisle, and so you have that awkward moment when two shoppers hit an impasse. One of you has to take the high ground and take a detour down the bread aisle and come back around to grab your ice cream. Yeah, that is always me! I avoid conflict at any cost! You mean the geniuses that devised all these “improvements” couldn’t widen that aisle a foot?

OK. I’ll get over it. I will relearn the layout of the “new and improved” Target and maybe resume helping other customers find those elusive dishwasher pods, but for now I have a new “happy place.”

Have you been to Hobby Lobby? That place is amazing!