Costco is not just a mega store. It’s entertainment and I’m not talking just about the thrill of buying in bulk, that’s a given. I’m talking about how almost every individual or family pushing the jumbo cart could be part of a sitcom, group therapy reality show or docu-drama about women who date produce. I took my car in recently to get its tires rotated and after spending two hours browsing the aisles I observed and/or stalked a cast of characters.
The parking lot alone should be made into a Driver’s Ed film featuring the crazed cart ladies who fear they’re not doing their consumer due diligence unless they leave Costco with enough sustenance and T.P. to survive a zombie apocalypse. With their carts stacked with 10 boxes of 196 rolls of toilet paper they’ve essentially blinded themselves from seeing on-coming traffic. And then to up the degree of difficulty, they’re straining to push their cart, weighed down, by two 40 pound bags of dog food, thus causing them to bob and weave through the parking lot like a kid’s floatie that has gone rogue in the ocean. You don’t enter this arena without your hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wall, your mirrors adjusted, and your driving focus in at least a state of DEFCON 3.
Once I got inside I made my Costco promise which is; I will not eat a churro, I want a churro, but I do not need a churro, therefore I will not eat a churro. Besides who needs a churro when there’s an abundance of food samples.
I head straight for the chocolate macadamia nut line and totally scored. I got a full size sample that had yet to be cut into those itty-bitty tasting bites. This is when a mom with a lot of kids (I’m sorry I can’t give you an exact count because they would wander and then come back hoisting an open jumbo box of Fruit Roll Ups above their heads like they were Moses with the Ten Commandments) got ticked off that I got a bigger sample than her. She complained to the very nice senior citizen about my sample size versus hers.
This is when I should have walked away and gone to lonely quinoa salad sample station. But try as I might I just couldn’t. I had to see how the Sample Mom story was going to play out. Well, this lady was hell-bent on getting a full size treat not just for her, but for her kids because in her words, “fair is fair.” Because I believe strongly in coming to the aid of the elderly I enthusiastically shouted like I was Christopher Columbus suffering from an acute case of scurvy and had just seen land after 90 days at sea, “Look, they’re giving away huge cups of that cheddar and caramel popcorn stuff.”
Sample Mom, grabbed six paper cups of the un full size chocolate macadamia nuts and hustled her brood over to the popcorn man. Where she then proceeded to comment on how the samples were small, like only four pieces of popcorn per cup, small. I thought it would be best if I hide on the other side of the store so I wandered over to the fruit section. This is where I encountered a woman with a passion for produce.
She first caught my eye because of her aggressive and arduous sniffing of the strawberries. I watched as she basically made out with a two-pound carton of berries. Then she moved on to fondling the peaches. It wasn’t your basic squeeze and go. Oh no, she rubbed the peach all along her face. I’ve seen a lot of people get down with fruit at Whole Foods and Farmer’s Markets but this was something different, more intimate. It made me so uncomfortable I ran away and found myself in the diaper aisle.
Here, a dad was talking on his phone and turbo upset over a baseball game. He had what looked like a four-year son in his cart wearing a rec baseball T-shirt. From what I could gather the umpires in the Pre-K league “suck.” I almost start laughing. Who gets that upset over Pre-K baseball? Especially when your kid is young enough that you’re still buying a 228-count box of nighttime Pull Up’s.
I felt it was my calling as an experienced mother to offer some guidance to this overwrought father. I waited until he got off his phone and said, “You know, all this sports stuff, it’s a marathon not a sprint. You should pace yourself.”
Sports Dad looks at me like he’s not sure I’m talking to him and then says, “Sucking is still sucking no matter what.”
Hmm, I wonder if Costco sells Thesaurus to aid this man in expanding his vocabulary and for sure he should probably load up on some sort of stress relief supplement or perhaps aromatherapy.
I smile and nod at Sports Dad, like I kind of agree with him, and quickly walk away. I was headed to my happy place. Yep, I got myself a churro. I deserved it.
**For more Snarky check out my book Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School.
Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good. Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival. If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you.
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