Brand Baby 3: If only Target did day camp.

This summer marked our first foray into day camp.  Coming from the UK, where the concept of camp doesn’t widely exist, I initially felt guilty about filling up my kids’ summer holiday with more routine.  But, then I remembered last summer.  June 2010 and freshly off the plane, I knew no one and had the kids solo 24/7 for three months.  By Labor Day I was ready to outsource them to a chimney sweep or rug weaver.  So this year the idea of camp was much more appealing. We spent lots of time researching different camps.  Analysis over, we settled on a camp in Armonk, NY.  It promised to be action-packed with tennis, swimming, water slides – a kid’s fantasy, especially for those coming from the UK where any summer activity involves an interval of huddling miserably under an umbrella.  But, to my  disappointment my 6-year-old found camp to be overwhelmingly tiring and didn’t enjoy being with relative strangers.  Drying his tears each morning and wrestling with my conscience I wondered how great it would be if Target offered camp. For my boys, despite endless complaints about going to any other shop, a trip to Target is always met with an enthusiastic response.  They love Target! The red Bull’s-eye logo, (my two-year-old can spot it on the side of a truck at 90 mph on I-684) and the big  red balls outside the store which they energetically climb every time we go.  They love that Target is that rare place that sells so much stuff for a dollar.  However, the overriding reason they love Target?  Lots and lots and...

Better than the Gap?

I went to see ‘Crazy, Stupid Love’ this weekend.  While I can’t say it offered me much more than a quick escape from the afternoon rain and depressing reminders of a  looming double dip and global economic woes, one scene left me wondering.  Is Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) really better than the Gap? Much of the film is dedicated to the transformation of Cal from boring, middle-aged, divorcee stripped of his manhood into a smooth, confident bachelor even his ex-wife would lust after.  During a shopping excursion to acquire the fashion items the slickly  dressed womanizing Jacob (Ryan Gosling) insists he needs to fit the part, Cal is  faced with embracing his new look, his new designer jeans, and…. dropping the  Gap.  In the middle of Century Plaza, in a Tony Robinson convention-esque way, Jacob coaches Cal into declaring aloud “I am better than the Gap.” Initially, I cringed – yikes I wonder how the Gap feels about that product mention.  But then all I could wonder was, hey… what happened to the Gap? I used to shop at the Gap regularly.  Didn’t we all?  For years, when I needed a quick reliable new addition to my wardrobe, I’d hit the Gap.  It was never just jeans to me,  although I’ve bought many a pair there. No, the Gap provided a solution for belts,  t-shirts definitely, a funky little top for that evening’s outing.  I counted on the Gap.  But somewhere along the way, and I couldn’t pinpoint when, that changed. The last time I bought anything for myself at the Gap was out of dire necessity.  Eighteen months ago,  the middle of winter...
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