You’ve seen video of The Beatles making their American debut on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, right? Those four guys from Liverpool bopping along on stage to “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” is entertaining, sure, but it’s the shots and sounds of the mostly female crowd going absolutely bonkers that tells the story for me. Screaming, crying, shaking with overwhelming adoration—those poor girls were absolutely verklempt. 

Funnily enough, that’s exactly how I picture a large swath of American women some half a century later reacting to the news that home renovation and decor supergiants Chip and Joanna Gaines are partnering with Target (side note: what took them so long?!). If my Facebook feed is to be believed, I have a feeling some of their legions of fans might even remember for the rest of their lives where they were when they heard the news. 

But—brace yourselves now—I’m not one of them. 

I’ll wait while you pick your jaw up off the handsome synthetic wool rug underfoot.

It’s not that I have anything against Chip and Joanna; quite the contrary, in fact. I think they’re incredibly savvy entrepreneurs. I love the fact that they very publicly value their marriage and faith. I admire their ability to breathe new life into run down homes and create homey, welcoming spaces with their modern farmhouse style. 

I’m just not jumping up and down on Target’s weird new display couches about the Hearth & Hand wIth Magnolia invasion.

I realize that to many of you, that makes it very likely I’m some sort of alien from Dimension X. You’re probably wondering if I need to see a doctor, maybe considering staging an intervention, stat. 

Here’s the thing: my home is adorned with sticky fingerprints from a three-year-old who can’t keep her hands off windows and appliances. There are no fewer than three loads of laundry in varying states of doneness in the living room at any given moment. I have some picture frames hanging on the walls (please clap) but the photos inside are lagging one, sometimes two kids behind. The kitchen needs repainting. Our bedroom carpet is tired and faded, kind of like me. The baby drops Cheerios and peaches onto the kitchen floor like it’s her job. I had a rug once the dog thought was his personal puppy pad. My house is decorated in what I’d call modern manic motherhood. 

Watching Chip and Joanna create those beautiful spaces, imagining what their brand new product line will look like? Let’s just say I’d be a lot more excited if the announcement was more along the lines of Rosie Jetson-style robots free to every home by Christmas. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there aren’t you moms out there who have the enviable ability to take throw pillows, vases, rugs, and rustic wall hangings and make your homes lovely and welcoming and places I love spending time in. I applaud you. I sometimes wish I could be more like you. But in my heart of hearts, I know that in this stage of my life, it’s simply not my calling.

I know I’ll browse all the fresh, new things when they hit Target shelves in a few weeks. Heck, I’ll probably even buy something with grand illusions of redecorating my foyer in rustic chic. But today, I’m not one of the girls screaming in Ed Sullivan’s audience. I’m the dad in the background: happy to be along for the ride, but decidedly amused and a little confused by Magnoliamania.


Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom