If it’s Saturday, I’m probably at Costco. And I’m probably wishing I wasn’t. You know, the mega-super giant wholesale jumbo warehouse that sells everything you could ever possibly want and never even knew you needed? (“Look, baby, 1000 feet of aluminum foil!”) This ain’t Economy Size—any local supermarket can sell buy-one-get-one-free bananas. We’re talking, a single Costco-size packet of underwear means you don’t have to do laundry for six months. Yep, that’s what I’m dewing most Saturdays, and the likely last thing I want to be dewing.
But it’s the Hubs favorite place in the world (after Yankee Stadium, of course), which is why nearly every weekend, we trudge over there to pick up a five-pound bag of frozen mixed berries, a two-pound tub of baby bok choy, a three-bag party-pack of corn chips, or a 14-ounce log of goat cheese. It’s why we have a car in the City. The only saving grace is the free samples, which are enough to tide us over until dinner.
In the satirical movie Idiocracy—which I think about at least once a day (rent it!)—the main character, Joe Bowers, a present-day soldier who wakes up 500 years in the future, finds himself in an America sponsored and run by corporations and conglomerates. He and his futuristic host, Frito, wind up at Costco, a behemoth store that now operates like a small city.
Frito: Yeah, I know this place pretty good, I went to law school here.
Joe: In Costo?
Frito: Yeah, I couldn’t believe it myself. Luckily, my dad was an alumnus and pulled some strings.
It could happen, right? Costco has nearly everything, from birth (diapers) to death (coffins—look it up!). Most of my furniture that isn’t from IKEA is from Costco—couches, televisions, even the Beast’s beds. I’ve gotten designer clothes for a fraction of department store prices. Our stockpile of bar soap should keep us clean as a whistle for at least a year. And talk about customer service! When our treadmill went on the fritz, we brought it back to Costco A YEAR LATER and they gave us store credit!
But let’s be clear: I hate the place. It’s just excessive. I mean, when life hands you a ten-pound bag of lemons, can you really drink that much lemonade? Plus, have you ever tried to navigate a shopping cart there? You could drive a double-decker bus through the aisles, but first you’ll have to get around the woman who parks her cart in the middle of the floor as she sneaks off for extra ravioli samples. But most of all, it’s a time suck. Whenever we go in pursuit of 8-count paper towels and a 12-pack of sardines, four hours of my life seem to just vanish. I honestly don’t know where all that time goes; I can only assume that alien abductors shop at Costco, too.
One recent Sunday, I was promised a very quick trip to pick up avocadoes, socks, and underwear. That’s it. With the prospect of returning home before noon, I hurried out the door without stopping to shower or change out of my dog walking clothes—jeans, a pullover, and a cap straight outta Springsteen’s Born to Run. Yet, twelve o’clock came and went and I was nowhere near my abode. Long story short, the Hubs found a deal* on behalf of his brother. Next thing I know, my grubby self was off to Brooklyn to deliver a 55” television.** Will I ever learn?
*The Hubs always finds deals that would make you weep. He has never paid full price for anything.
**Thankfully, my brother- and sister-in-law kindly looked past my appearance and took us out for a spectacular late afternoon brunch, which, I admit, is a way better tip than I’ve ever given any of my delivery guys.
We finally returned home just as the sun was going down and unpacked the avocadoes, socks, and underwear—as well as a two-pounds of spinach, two bottles of agave, a bucket o’ hummus, an Oprah magazine, and 100 hangers (velvet-lined and way cheaper than The Container Store—you expect me to pass that up?).
Now if you’ve been reading this long, you’re probably saying:
Camille, for all you hate Costco, you sure seem to take advantage of the place.
Okay, first of all, whose side are you on here? Anyway, chalk it up to Costco Stockholm Syndrome—who wouldn’t have a weakness for a captor that offers a 40-piece Pyrex set for a song?? If absence makes the heart grow fonder, though, I imagine that maybe one Saturday a month would go a long way towards repairing my relationship with Costco. Either that or Costco needs to start selling time machines so I can get my four hours back. Oh, wait! Did you see the new catalog??