This afternoon, over a giant burrito bowl from Qdoba, I told my husband that I needed to go to Target "just to touch things."
I know that sounds really weird. But this week has been stressful. And sometimes, I like to wander the aisles of Target and browse. I don't actually buy anything. I just look, pick something interesting up, and put it back. It's oddly soothing.
I think Scott ultimately agreed to let me go Target Touching because he saw my eye twitching as I shoved forkfuls of chicken and black beans into my mouth. He knew it was in his best interests.
So we went to The Land of the Red Bullseye (pretty sure that, according to their business model, the bullseye is my credit card). We started in the Dollar Spot (or, as I like to call it, the Steal Your Dollar Spot). I picked up a pair of socks with a cross-eyed bunny on it. Scott handed me a fuzzy headband with bunny ears, which I immediately donned. As we laughed, I felt a thread loosen in the snarled yarn ball of stress that I was carrying in between my shoulder blades.
We moved on to the clothing section. I touched some very soft pajama pants. Scott found some swim trunks that were covered, inexplicably, with cats. We debated the pros and cons of him wearing them in public (there weren't many pros), and just the thought of him showing off his cat-clad legs at the swimming pool was enough to unravel a little more of my balled-up anxiety.
We strolled over to the Easter section, hand in hand, and engaged in a rousing debate about which Easter basket best suited each of us. Scott picked a fuzzy bunny basket for me, and I handed him a basket in the shape of a Despicable Me minion. We analyzed the different types of Cadbury eggs and the relative merits of each (original is perfection, in my opinion, but he feels that caramel has its place). Scott plied me with many fuzzy stuffed bunnies, chicks and lambs because he knows I adore stuffed animals and soft things. I hugged each in turn. He was starting to see the power of Target Touching.
As we made a left to head back towards the front of the store, I leaned into my husband and rested my head on his shoulder. This movement was much easier than it would have been a mere hour ago, because the Target Touching had worked. The ball of stress that had been wedged between my shoulders had been reduced to an inconsequential pile of untangled strands.
But it wasn't just the act of window shopping that had helped me feel a little more balanced. Target Touching is way better when you have a partner. And lucky for me, I happen to be married to a guy who is totally okay with indulging my weird yet fun attempts at relieving stress.