What Could Go Wrong At Target?
What could go wrong shopping at Target? Well, aside from spending way past your budget, nothing really. Or so our pal, “Martin” thought. Unforunately, there is something. It exists basically everywhere—a Karen. And we know what a buzzkill they can be.
What seemed to be a normal Target trip at first became an experience he’d never forget when he encountered this Target Karen. But he wasn’t going to let her ruin his day, he was going to be the bigger person. Or was he?
“Can You Buy One For My Son Then?”
It was the day Martin promised to take his nephew, “Trey,” and the neighbor’s kids, “Hope” and “Jeremy” to Target to buy a few of those Mario Kart RC (remote control) cars. So once Martin grabbed four in total from the shelf, one for himself, and the rest for the children, they headed to the check-out line. While in line, Hope realized the little girl in front of them was one of her classmates, “Jasmine.”
Within seconds, both girls were chatting away. This of course sparked up a conversation between Martin and Jasmine’s dad, “Chris,” who was also standing in line. After a quick greeting, they quickly fell into a discussion about football until the girls interrupted.
Hope asked, “Uncle Martin, can Jasmine come play with us today?” And just as Hope said that Jasmine then asked her dad, “Can I?! Please!”
Chris shook his head, saying, “We already have plans today, remember?” Then glanced at Martin, “It’s just that there’s a game going on later today, so we have plans on watching it at Buffalo Wild Wings.”
Seeing how disappointed the girls looked, Martin replied, “We’re actually watching that game later too. I plan on grilling some food, if you both wanna stop by? Hope will be there, so the girls can have a playdate then.”
Chris said, “I don’t want to impose.”
Martin quickly reassured him, “Not at all. It’ll be a good time.”
Hope then chimed in, “Yes! We can play Mario Karts! We are getting these. Do you have one?” As she lifted up her Mario Kart RC car box.
Jasmine shook her head and asked, “Dad, can I get one?”
Chris said, “Not today, sweetie. Daddy doesn’t have the money for it.”
Martin said, “No worries! I can buy it. They’re just $40. Hey Trey! Jeremy! Run back and get two more of them.”
The boys nodded and headed back to the toy section.
Chris said, “No, no you don’t have to do —“
Martin cut him off and said, “No, it’ll be fun— “
But before he could finish, he too was cut off.
The unpleasant voice came behind him, saying, “Well if you are just giving away toys, can you buy one for my son then?”
“She Now Had Everyone’s Attention”
At first, Martin thought someone was just making a witty remark, just to be playful. But once he turned around to reply, it was clear they weren’t. Standing there, was a lady, who appeared irritated. Her teenage son stood next to her, having earbuds in, and also looking bothered, but not at Martin, but at his mom. Martin didn’t think too much of it since what teenager isn’t annoyed by their mother at that age?
Martin politely said, “Sorry ma’am, I’m all tapped out. This was my charitable contribution to my gremlin’s happiness.” As he was gesturing towards Hope. Then he turned back around to Chris, who was just as confused as he was. Who in their right mind would blatantly ask such a question to a total stranger?
Thinking the conversation was over, Martin continued his previous one with Chris but was interrupted yet again by the lady.
She scoffed, “Oh, so you’re just gonna get them something free, but when I ask, it’s a no? Didn’t they tell you it isn’t right if you don’t have enough for the whole class?”
Martin understood what she was trying to point out, but the thing was, they weren’t in a classroom, and they weren’t kids. He was a grown adult with his grown adult money that he worked hard for, so he could spend it however way he wanted to. It was his money. So if he wanted to pay an additional $80 just to make Hope happy and have a fun playdate with her friend, then he would. And he planned to.
Turning back around, Martin said, “Hey, I don’t want any problems. The kids know each other and they’re going to hang out, so—”
The lady interrupted again.
She said loudly, “Oh, I know what this is! It’s because I’m a woman!”
At that moment, she now had everyone’s attention. Everyone was confused by the unexpected outburst, but not nearly as confused as Martin was. His not wanting to spend his money on her son had nothing to do with her being a woman. Especially the fact her son had zero interest in the toy. So just when he was about to defend himself, Hope spoke up instead. Unfortunately, it didn’t help the situation.
“Was He Really Going To Give In To This Lady’s Temper Tantrum?”
Knowing what kind of person Martin was, and how he treated her, Hope knew he had nothing against women. So she said, “Are you serious, lady?!”
Now having her attention fixated on Hope, she said in a stern voice, “Look here, little missy, don’t use that tone with me! I’m the adult.”
Hope replied, “Well, you’re not acting like one.”
It seemed the lady didn’t like hearing the truth, especially coming from a little girl. The lady started throwing a hissy fit in the middle of the line about Martin and his disrespectful little girl. She even tried to get the other customers in line involved, hoping they would agree with her. However, no one did. Not even her own son. He looked more irritated than before. Just by the look on his face, it was clear this wasn’t her first rodeo. And now it all made sense why he looked annoyed in the first place. He knew what was coming.
Thankfully, there was a light at the end of this tunnel— it was now Chris’s turn to check out. This meant Martin only had to endure just a few more minutes of this lady’s rant until they leave. However, there was another person in line who couldn’t hold back any longer.
They yelled out, “Why don’t you act your age!”
From that point, she then started arguing with that person in line. In the meantime, the boys finally returned with the two other boxes, saying, “We’re lucky! There were only three more left.”
That was when an idea popped into his head. Martin asked, “Oh, was there another one on the shelf?
Martin said, “Go get it real quick.“
Overhearing the conversation, Chris shook his head towards Martin. He thought, Was he really going to give in to this lady’s temper tantrum?
But it was quite the opposite of what Martin’s true intentions were. Just when Martin was going to explain himself, yet another argument broke out.
The Son’s Breaking Point
It seemed yet another person had reached their breaking point with the lady. And this time, it was her son. He shouted, “Come on, mom! You always do this! Can you not be a Karen! This is the Christmas Party all over again! That’s why Janet doesn’t like going shopping with you no more!”
There was a moment of silence. First, she was stunned by how her son spoke to her. After a few seconds of taking in what had just happened, she then became extremely offended. She demanded, “Don’t talk to me like that, I’m your mother.”
As her tirade continued, the son simply put his earbuds back on and walked away from her, heading towards the exit of the store. Everyone’s eyes followed him out the sliding doors. And just when they couldn’t see him anymore, they looked back at the lady.
Standing there with a red face, she yelled at Martin, “Are you happy now?!”
Still having his plan in mind, Martin replied, “Not yet.”
With nothing else to say, the lady continued to glare at him as he kept a grin on his face. When the boys came back with the third and last Mario Kart RC car, it was then their turn to check out.
Martin asked the cashier, “Hey! Can you put one of those in a separate bag?”
The cashier nodded.
Once everything was bagged and paid for, Martin turned around, but not towards the exit, but towards the direction of the lady. He had the extra toy in his hand.
Chris whispered, “Don’t do it, man.”
However, Martin continued walking toward the lady.
Unbelievable, thought Chris. After all she put Martin through, she didn’t deserve to be rewarded with a toy that her son had no interest in the first place.
And Chris was exactly right, she didn’t deserve the $40 toy, she deserved something else. Something more priceless— maybe like petty payback?
“Bless You, Sir”
Just like Chris, the lady also assumed Martin finally caved in and was going to give her the toy. But he walked past the lady and up to another lady and son behind her.
Martin said, “I’m sorry you and your child had to experience that. I hope your son enjoys this.” He then gave her the extra toy, and continued, “I hope the rest of your day is great.”
Earlier when the lady went off on him, Martin noticed how the mom and son who stood behind the lady, were stuck in the middle of this lady’s freak out. Seeing the little boy wearing a Mario Kart shirt was when his idea came into mind. To get back at this lady’s misbehavior and tick her off more, he knew exactly what to do— give the toy to someone else, someone who actually deserved it.
The mother, who was also fed up with the lady’s shenanigans, realized exactly what Martin was pulling off. So to aggravate the lady, even more, the mother excitedly said, “Thank you, you’re too kind! Bless you, sir.”
Her exaggerated performance really got everyone laughing, even the cashier. However, the lady on the other hand, her face turned even redder. Filled with anger and embarrassment, she surprisingly kept quiet.
When Martin finally walked out of Target, Chris said, “Oh, I see what ya were up to.”
Martin grinned, and said, “Now let’s enjoy the rest of the day.”
And like planned, they watched the game together later that day as the kids had their playmate. And from that point on, every time they see each other, they always tell the story about that one crazy lady at Target. Now they laugh about it. Who knew such a horrible experience could lead to the start of a great friendship?