30 July 2010
We have all been asked a million times that age old question -- if we could bring one thing with us to a desert island, what would it be.
For me, I’d bring a Super Target.
They have everything I would ever need.
For those of you living in area with just “Target” and not “Super Target”, you must be wondering what in the world I am talking about.
Well, I would’ve thought the same thing until we moved to this area about five years ago.
If you enter into our Super Target through the doors to the far right, you probably won’t notice anything different.
In front of you are the clothes, the music section, the discontinued electronics, the clearance area.
But if you enter through the doors on the far left, as Green Day once said, “Welcome to Paradise.”
Now when I speak of the far right and the far left, I am not making any type of political statement.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy politics.
I think it can be very entertaining and election years can make for some great TV, but I’ve got a wooden nickle for the next person who can tell me what channel C-Span is on.
So getting back to paradise -- the far left at Super Target.
That’s where you will see a fully loaded tricked out supermarket, with a full-service bakery, deli, produce area...
All that plus a Starbucks and Pharmacy, two completely different ways to get your drugs.
A few days ago, I took my two older kids with me to Super Target to pick up some meat for a family bbq.
By the time we got there it was the late afternoon and there were some t-bones calling our name.
Not only were they big and beautiful, but they were on sale AND they had been marked down again due to the upcoming expiration date.
As I reached for the prize, my daughter got a little nervous.
She’s the worrier in the family.
She’s the one who becomes physically ill when the light indicator comes on that you are running low on gas.
She’s the one who makes sure that you are aware when your car is somehow traveling more than 10 mph above the speed limit.
And she is definitely the one who hates the concept of buying meat that has a nearby expiration date.
My son on the other hand is all me.
Put it on the plate, let’s eat.
Well to help put her mind at ease, I brought the meat over to the high school student working in the meat department and asked if this meat would be ok for us to barbeque today.
“Sure,” he said.
I think he said “sure.”
Actually I’m not sure what he said, but I think it was his nod of conviction that made my daughter feel comfortable.
So with her blessing and the blessing of the guy who still doesn't shave, we bought the meat and headed home.
On the way, I thought this would be a great opportunity for another fatherly life lesson.
Ozzie Nelson, I am not.
Nor Mike Brady or Cliff Huxtable or even Frank Costanza.
I’d say I’m more of a Peter Griffin, Al Bundy type.
But I’ll surprise you from time-to-time.
And this time, I was ready to teach the kids a little bit about trust.
So in the car, I turned down Lady Gaga and asked...
...“who do you think cares more about you, me or the guy working at the Super Target meat market?”
Right away the kids smelled something funny.
My daughter probably thought it was the old meat, but my son jumped right in.
“You,” he silently mumbled, not sure where this was headed.
“Do you think I would ever hurt you, on purpose?”, I asked.
Now they were getting scared and I wasn’t even running low on gas.
To complete the natural hat trick of perplexing queries, I said “who would you trust more, me or him?”
Fortunately, I won that one too.
So I went on to explain...
...there was nothing I would ever do to hurt them... and there was no way I’d ever buy any food that would make them sick... and just because the teenager with the white robe said the meat was good didn’t mean that the meat was good.
I explained that with every decision in life, trust yourself and trust the people who care the most about you.
In this case, me.
If I ever thought the meat was bad or that it would harm them, I would never buy it, I don’t care what Butcher Bobby says.
I’m glad I'm still here to report that the steaks were fantastic and no one got sick.
I’m also glad to report that I think the kids got my message, even if I did take the long way home to get there.
My wife and I have told them MANY times that we will always be there for them.
But at some point they will be making decisions for themselves and that’s the time to trust yourself and your gut and use your best judgment.
I just hope they always remember that trip to Super Target.