Yesterday, I was reading a story in the Strib about Target Corp. donating $150,000 to an organization called MN Forward. It's a "pro-business group" that happens to be run by former Pawlenty administration staffers and is supporting Tom Emmer, the Republican candidate for governor in our lovely state of Minnesota.
Everything I've read about Emmer makes him seem like a real piece of work. There was the tip credit debacle, he apparently really likes to sue people, he wants to nullify all federal laws in Minnesota and of course, he's anti-gay marriage.
So, reading that Target gave a considerable chunk of corporate money (corporations are people, too, dontcha know!) to an organization that is only supporting Emmer puts a very bad taste in my mouth. Especially when Target is allegedly such a progressive company, especially when it comes to GLBT issues.
Look, I'm not naïve. I know corporations give money to politicians. And Target's practice on the federal level of giving to both sides is what I expect. Getting involved in the state gubernatorial race and backing a candidate who, quite frankly, seems like a bit of a wingnut, is a bit much.
Now I'm contemplating not shopping at Target. This is difficult for me, because I love the fuck out of Target. I use a TON of Target private label products. I do feel shitty sometimes about buying grocery-type things at Super Target, because their workers aren't unionized as workers are at other grocery stores.
This is where I get into feeling inadequate. I like shopping at Super Target because they do have really low prices on lots of things. Their private label products are excellent and quite frankly, I like that I can do the one-stop shopping.
I also like shopping at Rainbow. Their private label products are good, as well. It's what I would consider to be my neighborhood grocery store. They're regional (headquartered in Milwaukee), but not local. They have good prices and do double coupons a couple of times a week. And yet, I kind of feel like an asshole about it when I talk to other people.
Why do I feel like an asshole? I don't shop at the co-op. I don't always buy organic. I don't even really make it any sort of priority to buy organic. I eat processed food. Not all the time, but I don't make every damn thing from scratch. Why not? It's not like I have kids or really any other responsibilities outside work. Why am I not trying harder to be this organic-buying, co-op shopping, locavore?
But I do try. I have my CSA membership. I get my meat from my family farm, for the most part. I go to the Uptown Market. I cook a lot of my own food. I bake. And when I do go to the grocery store, I go to stores whose corporate headquarters is either in Minnesota or Wisconsin, save for Trader Joe's. I'm not perfect and I never will be. I need to stop beating myself up for thinking I'd rather save money on some things by shopping at Rainbow or Super Target so I can spend money at the Uptown Market or be able to afford my CSA membership.
Writing all of this didn't make me feel any better. I wasn't sure it would, but I guess I just have to keep trying to come to terms with my shopping habits. I suck. I wear makeup and perfume. I like makeup and perfume. I use a lot of hair products and spend time working on my hair. I like purses. I don't shop at the co-op or farmers market every week. I am who I am. What can you do about it?