Some people (and those people aren’t my friends—let’s make that clear) say that I’m at HomeGoods too often.
Which, really, is incredibly subjective. And judgy. And I’m gonna say rude, too. Who are they to know what HomeGoods does for me?
I’m at HomeGoods exactly the right amount for me.
Admittedly, it’s a niche place. A certain kind of person goes there. And that certain kind of person is me and almost every female friend I know.
Anytime I walk into someone’s house and say “hey I love that FILL IN THE BLANK!” (vase, photo, mug, plant stand—you name it), invariably the response is, “Thanks! I got it at HomeGoods!”
Of course you did. It’s the MOTHERSHIP. It’s a stable presence in your life and you can count on it for pretty things. Pretty things make people happy.
So, let’s unpack this. Why AM I there so much? What draws me to it? Why can’t I stay away?
First, it’s the thrill of the hunt: you never know what you’re going to find. With the whoosh of the doors comes a rush of adrenaline and hope. And hope, friends, is the anchor of the soul. You could have gone yesterday and found nothing, and walk in the door today and find the meaning of life itself, in the form of a llama-shaped coffee mug.
Wherever you are in your life, the mothership meets you there.
Unmotivated in your job? You could find a sign for your desk that says “I literally don’t even care.” Feel as though your house is lonely and barren? Walk in the door and be greeted by a life-size labrador statue whose new home is your front porch. Have a weird cow obsession like me? Bingo. Massive canvas print of a Scottish Highland cow. You know those fluffy creatures of awesomeness? I now have a huge picture of one, and HomeGoods made it happen.
You could not even KNOW you need something until you see it. I bet you didn’t know that you needed four-foot tall stuffed alpaca wearing a scarf, but you know it now and heck yes, you bought it.
And you named him Chuck.
HomeGoods also lovingly and unwaveringly supports my coffee mug “problem” and does so without any judgement whatsoever.
Diana behind the checkout counter might be thinking “this woman does NOT need another coffee mug—I’ve probably sold her twenty myself” but does Diana say that? No, she joyfully validates my purchase (“This is cute!! I need one!”) and makes me happy. It’s a simple, surprisingly fulfilling relationship.
It’s also a place of emotional support: more than once, I’ve grabbed some drinks at Starbucks and met up with a friend at the mothership. We wander the aisles together, getting caught up on each other’s lives and offering support, sometimes in the form of ceramic birdhouses. It’s a safe place where worries and dreams are shared, and amazing things are found. Sometimes a friend just needs a birdhouse and HomeGoods delivers.
There’s also the camaraderie. Almost every time I go, I have a soul-connecting moment with another shopper, usually in the pillow aisle. Each of these interactions amazes me, but it shouldn’t: I’m surrounded by my people.
I fondly recall a shopping trip a few months ago. It was cold and snowy outside, but warm and welcoming in the mothership.
As I wandered the aisles, I realized I was in a reverse pattern of a woman I kept crossing in the aisles. With each aisle, we’d meet—going opposite directions. And in each aisle, the loot in her cart grew. Finally, in the towel section, she looked up at me with wide eyes and said with a desperate tone to her voice “I have to get OUT OF HERE.” I was all like “girl, you are KILLING IT today. Look at that throw pillow! You need that in your life,” and then I affirmed all of her choices and she left happy.
Tell me that’s not worth something.
Perhaps the most important thing about HomeGoods is that it makes me believe I’m better than I am.
Basically, it gives me delusions of grandeur, and I’m okay with that. When I walk in and see those gorgeous lamps over in the corner, I tell myself that I am a sophisticate whose home DEMANDS these lamps. I am indeed the type of person who has lamps such as these in her home. If I buy these lamps, my home will be a serene, beautiful oasis of color and design, form and function, peace and joy.
And the baking aisle? I step into that aisle and I’m no longer the person who messes up cake mix from a box: I am a cake decorating DIVA and clearly I need all.of.the.things to fulfill my destiny as such. I shall bake these things and then post them to Insta and become famous for my fabulous baked goods. Simply a matter of time.
In summary, the complicated yet simple joy of being in a relationship with HomeGoods is one easily understood by those under its power. And for those who don’t understand your obsession with this place: don’t worry. They’re not your people.
So, today, as I once again headed to checkout, I’m greeted by the following sign:
I was feeling a bit guilty about my lack of gym time, but once again, HomeGoods has my back. Shopping IS the only sport I need.
Is it a stretch to say that HomeGoods completes me? Perhaps, if you’re a judger. But if you’re a believer such as myself, it’s simply a life truth full of promise, hope and inspiration.
Happy shopping, my friends.