After many years of fighting it off, Aaron and I have succumbed to the monster known as Costco. We really thought a lot of ourselves for refusing to buy a membership, even after having a kid, but in a weak moment, we found ourselves with membership cards (remember, we are sleep deprived) and an over sized cart, ready to spend, spend, spend.
Aaron was on the front line...the first to go in....
He came home with this dazed look on his face, his eyes glossed, his skin pink, a bead of sweat rolling down his brow, a slight pant as he took air into his lungs.....I had to slap him a few times and scream, "Aaron! Aaron McCaig Erbeck! Come back to me Aaron!" It wasn't until the car was unloaded and the goods shuttled away (we have to buy a storage unit for this), that Aaron finally came around. "My god, Tracy. It was horrendous."
That was a month ago.
Today, as I used Luca's last diaper and installed the last of the toilet paper, I knew I had to find the courage to go. As the parent not punching the clock, it was my duty, my charge to return to the front lines. I had no choice.
I drove North on Aurora...Aurora! With it's sleazy car dealerships, by-the-hour hotels, and cemeteries of strip malls, the journey in itself was enough to make me want to go home and shower.
I pulled into the parking lot, loaded the kid in the Bjorn, slung my small suitcase of a purse over my shoulder, and walked the 2.5 miles to the actual entrance of the store. I was weary already and my throat was parched. Some character wearing a bright red vest with a "Costco" patch smiled at me and nodded slowly. He said nothing and gently handed me a Dixie cup of red liquid. "Go ahead lady. Drink it. It's a sample. It's free." I didn't hesitate. This would prove to be almost fatal.
Once inside I found myself in complete awe as I looked around. I couldn't see the sides nor the end of the building. All around me people were scurrying about, eyes focused and determined, I didn't exist to them (but the jumbo box of Doritos did).
I grabbed a cart and joined the mob. It took me a few minutes, but it wasn't too long that I got into the groove. I tore up and down the aisles filling my cart with all kinds of wonderful things! 25 lbs of turkey burgers, a gallon of ketchup, 52 pack of red and blue toothbrushes, a flat of instant noodle soup, 16 bags of trail mix (you know, the kind with lots of fake m&ms) all shrink wrapped together, a sweatshirt for $15!, a t-shirt for $8!, a 10 pack of underwear, 2 cases of beer, 2 gallons of "red table wine"...and more, more, more!!!!! I was dizzy, I was sweating, I was manic, but I was getting the best deal possible on 62 lbs of sliced pepperoni!
It was during this frenzy that Luca decided to projectile puke all over my chin, his chin, and everything south of both. With one hand I'm wiping curdled milk off of us, with the other I'm loading 50 rolls of toilet paper, with my foot I'm steering the cart....and out of no where comes another full cart at full speed, driven by a elf like gray haired woman. She shot me a look full of daggers. I shot her a look of disbelief. She cleared her throat and said, "EXCUSE ME!!" Now I am absolutely certain she was not blind and she could see my juggling act. I'm not feeling kind at this point, so I reply, "Hmmm, I didn't smell it." Shocked and disgusted she says, under her breath, "Well I never...." (Oh lady, you're really setting yourself up). To which I reply, "Well that's obvious."
What is it about discounts and sales and warehouse shopping that makes us so evil and have such little regard for manners???
I shook my head and pulled myself together. I looked with utter amazement at my cart. What is all this CRAP?! I don't eat this stuff, I don't need a sweatshirt made by toddlers in a 3rd world country, it will take me forever to use 52 toothbrushes! It must have been the coolaid! I had to get out and fast!
I randomly dumped my selections wherever I could find empty nooks and dug around my suitcase purse until I finally retrieved my shopping list. I put my blinders on, grabbed only what I needed, and sprinted to the nearest checkout stand.
"How was your shopping experience today?" questioned the checker. "Fantastic. Thank you. I loved the free beverage sample at the entrance. Delicious," I replied, hopeful that it wouldn't be found out that I was not buying into the warehouse cult.
He eyed me with question. But he let me go.