Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote of the feeling we get when viewing natural beauty on a large scale (oceans, mountains, and the like), the profound sense that we are in some way connected to something greater and more powerful than our pitiful little selves. Something eerily similar can be said of a stroll down the wide, well-scrubbed aisles of Shoreview Greatland, tended to by a bevy of Target's bushy-tailed, red-vested "associates" and teeming with dizzying quantities of reasonably priced merchandise. Housewares. Sporting goods. Lingerie. Office supplies. Groceries, by golly! Getting your Xanax prescription filled at the oversize; stopping at the food court (hot dogs, popcorn, an Icee? Or perhaps you'll be opting for the mini-Taco Bell or Pizza Hut?), standing in line at one of the 26 check-out registers--stop for a moment and take stock of the feeling that swells in your heart and slowly moves into the back of your throat: pride. Pride in the fact that here, nestled in the bosom of Shoreview, you're experiencing a living, functioning monument to the Midwestern Dream. Goshdarnit, friend, there's no shame in having to wipe a tear from your eye as you wheel your cart through the gargantuan parking lot to your car. When your kids ask why you're crying as you buckle them safely into their seats, tell them that the first Target store was opened in Roseville in 1962, and from that humble beginning the Target empire has grown to 921 outlets in 45 states. And as you drive off with your purchases, recall that while Emerson also wrote that most men lead lives of quiet desperation, he'd never visited Shoreview Greatland.


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