the target lady teaches a valuable lesson

"What is this?" asks the cashier, holding the strange fruit gingerly, as if it might eat her.

"A kiwi," I reply, wondering how a person gets through 20+ years of life never seeing a kiwi.

She looks at me angrily. Not only am I stumping her with a strange produce item, she now has to find said produce item on her list and match it to a number. I am making the woman working as a Target cashier do actual work and I am going to get a death glare.

The above describes a typical encounter at a Target in Shreveport, Louisiana. The below describes a typical encounter at a Target in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"Paper or plastic?" The cashier's smile is so wide I worry her face might split in half. Her pigtails bob up and down as she begins to scan items.

"Paper is fine, thank you," the man replies.

"Okie dokie smokie!" she yells, so loudly I can hear her from four aisles over where I am having a conversation about why some people don't like cilantro with my own cashier. (Sidenote: MY CASHIER KNOWS WHAT CILANTRO IS! What is this magical place?)

The man four aisles over laughs politely. "I say okie dokie smokie too sometimes," he admits. The cashier stops what she is doing. She pumps her fist in the air.

"Okie dokie smokies unite! We should start a club!" She leaves one hand lingering in the air so her customer can give her a high five. Which he does.


Before I moved to the midwest, I appreciated Kristen Wiig's Target Lady sketch abstractly. I thought I got the joke -- I've watched every single one multiple times and cried silent tears of laughter -- but I'm now realizing that I didn't get the joke. Target ladies are a real thing.  Contrary to popular Southern belief, retail employees are not required to shoot laser beams of hatred out of their eyes.

Life is a little different here, and even though these differences manifest themselves randomly and seemingly insignificantly, you can tell.

It's nice to live somewhere different for a little while.

PS. something to give a little PERRRP to my floor length western dress.