hope you all have admitted to yourselves that if you love Costco, you might be a hoarder. Personally, I am guilty. As a member of the More-Is-More camp, Costco is a sacred place. The items available for purchase are practically endless! Let’s say you need a new TV. You drive to Costco, find the TV of your dreams, and are happy. As you walk out, you notice a gorgeous sectional sofa. You sit on it, and it is the most comfortable sofa ever! You buy that too. You notice an arrangement of coffee tables… you need something to match the new sofa, right? Suddenly, you realize how hungry you are! In the snack aisle, you select some popcorn (five pounds in the container) to eat while you watch your new TV on your new sofa with your feet up on your new coffee table (caramel coated, chocolate drizzled, kettle korn, spicy, and traditional). As good as the popcorn will be, you need something Right Now… Costco’s full service snack bar to the rescue! A piece of pizza, a Diet Coke, and some frozen yogurt will provide you the sustenance to get home to set up your new toys. (BTW, I just looked on Costco’s website and you can even plan your FUNERAL with Costco!)
We have a running joke at our house that you cannot escape Costco for anything less than $65- even if you just run in for eggs. Honestly, it’s not Costco’s fault… as a firm believer in capitalism and free markets, I cannot hold Costco accountable for my total lack of control over my purse strings. (Grumbling is allowed though.) I think it is a lethal combination of great quality, good merchandising, superb pricing, and limitless possibilities.
The only downside to Costco is that everyone else acquires the same superhero abilities as I do. Everyone has temporary amnesia (or else everyone else lives in a gigantic house with unlimited closet space). The siren song of
Endless Possibilities seduces all who enter the parking lot. Three ring circus does not begin to describe the parking lot outside. It is every minivan for themselves! Now, parking lot karma is a bitch, but when your brain floods with Costco endorphins, karma is forgotten faster than my husband’s promise to pick up the bathmat. (Every day the man lays it down without replacing it on the towel bar. EVERYDAY.) Everyone adopts the mentality that they will miss ‘it’ (‘it’ doesn’t have a set definition- it could be the last package of crew socks size small, or the supply of organic tomatoes) if they don’t hurry. Cars swoop down aisles at speeds more appropriate for Interstate 75. Everyone also loses their religion as common courtesies are thrown out the window- parking spaces are stolen, honks are honked if someone dares to take too long to exit said spot (c’mon lady! Don’t worry about strapping your infant into a car seat! I’ve got shopping to do!)
Once inside, the chaos would be intimidating to a mere mortal, but remember who we are dealing with-super human
Costco Members! There is serious stimulus overload. The scent of freshly baked cakes mingles with the smell of the free sample pizza and gently breezes over you, while dancing lights from the fifty five giant TVs commands visual attention. There is a loud hum- the hum of hundreds of people exclaiming in joy, huge shopping carts rolling over concrete floors, and the ever present cellphone rings, text message alerts, and too loud (ever noticed the more inappropriate the conversation the louder it is?) conversations. The absolute worst part of shopping at Costco is the StopShort. The StopShort could also be called Cart Abandonment. Costco always has a plethora of free samples. (In college, when we were out of money for the month we would go to the local Sam’s and eat lunch on the free samples… I know, so, so ghetto. What are you gonna do?) The free samples cause folks to act like newly freed prisoners from a communist country. They swarm the stations, usually taking at least two of whatever it is. If there are no samples- pizza is baking, for example- they will wait. They will just stand there like wooden people and WAIT. I am being kind when I tell you that most of these people have never skipped a snack, let alone a meal, and yet, they wait. In an effort to get as close as possible to the food source, people leave their carts behind. They StopShort, abruptly in their tracks, forgoing their carts, and stampede towards the sample station. (At Costco, even the sucky sample stations are always packed- the weird lentils in some Indian red sauce has takers. The salad table, for crying out loud, has a line!) The abandoned carts resemble some sort of battlefield after the fact.
Costco is totally worth all of the trouble. I mean, it makes us Super Human! I do wish that these Super Human Qualities carried over to other aspects of my life… but until they do, I will continue to channel my powers there. All the best to my fellow shoppers… because I do embrace the Costco mantra and every man IS for himself!!