Costco. It’s a temple to materialism, and I have to admit I often hear the angels singing.
We live so close to Costco, I go over there at least four times a week. I rarely go to our regular grocery any more, and feel a little irritated when I have to go to the Atlantic Superstore to pick up a litre of milk or a mere bunch of celery, knowing that at Costco I can get a gallon of milk or four clusters of celery hearts. It doesn’t matter that there are only two of us, and that the milk will sour and the celery become a floppy soggy mess before I can use it up.
What does that have to do with anything?
I love wandering up and down the aisles, not missing a section, even if it’s electrical tools. You never know; I could need a power saw. I’m more likely to buy a new set of dishes, or cat litter for my mother, or enough toilet paper to last until I’m a very old lady.
But you know how it is with Costco. I go in for a pound of butter, and come out with an enormous desk. I go in for a chicken, I come out with a keyboard.
I go in for coffee and cream for work, and come out with a bicycle. I’ve been on it three times, up and down the half mile of our dead-end street and back into the apartment. It’s been rusting out on the deck all winter, and I don’t really know what’s preventing me taking it downstairs and locking it to the bike rack they’ve installed in the dry basement for the tenants. The expensive helmet I bought is tied to the handlebars. The only thing I’m protecting from the elements is the lock. It’s downstairs, securely locked to the bike rack.
I go in for a box of tomatoes, and of course I must get a bag of huge avocados. It has never been known to fail that my husband says we won’t finish them, and I don’t use them up before they rot. I hate that he’s right so much.
I’m either slow to catch on, or I do a fabulous job convincing myself buying in bulk is saving money.
I buy a lot of clothes there. I’m not much of a frill girl, although I’ve been trying to dress a bit more femininely this year. I’ve bought so many of their jeans and cords, their sweaters and pantyhose and tops and towels and sheets. I do have a number of items with their tags still on because I’m saving them until I re-lose those fifteen pounds.
Every time – I don’t exaggerate – every time I buy a watermelon there, it has rotten spots. But when I asked Costco how I should return a bad watermelon, they said, Freeze it, then bring it back. I don’t know anyone with a watermelon-sized space in her freezer. So I never take it back. But I keep buying them.
When my husband and I went to Santa Barbara a few years ago, the place I was most excited to go was the local Costco. I have a true taste for the exotic.
I was enormously proud of myself last week. I used up the whole bag of lemons I’d purchased there. Then I discovered I had another bag in the fridge.
The apex of Costco-resistant shopping is to go in for one thing, and come out with one thing. You feel a little embarrassed, but it is possible.
Wow. Look at that gigantic container of feta cheese. I could make the mother of all spanakopitas. Or just a medium-sized one, and leave the rest in the fridge to get moldy.
Somebody slap me.
Copyright 2011 Barbara Pottie Holmes