For years my brother-in-law has touted the wonderfulness of Costco. To hear him describe it, this zenith of shopping makes Walmart look like a bodega.
He calls me on Saturdays like Monty Hall from Let’s Make a Deal. His voice starts low and quickly raises to an enthusiastic taunt: “Iiiiii’mmmmm at Costco, do you need anything?”
“I don’t know…” I get flustered, it’s so overwhelming. “Maybe chicken… and a dress shirt.”
From what he tells me, they have everything. However, I struggle with the concept of purchasing my poultry from the same place I purchase my polyester. And furthermore, what’s up with paying a fee to shop? Why would I fork out money simply to go spend more money? What if I get in there and can’t find anything I want or need? I guess that’s impossible since they have “EVERYTHING.”
Although I’d been assured I would fall in love with this merchandise mecca, I just couldn’t get over the idea of paying to go shop. I don’t even like to shop!
Well, Uncle Matt and Aunt Sallie took care of all that this Christmas. Yes, they splurged. And now, I am a card carrying member of THE warehouse store.
I didn’t want to squander my first visit, so I worked hard to prepare. I made a list of items that I needed for the next two weeks. I put on comfortable shoes and made sure I had my debit card (I’d been warned that my VISA would be frowned upon at the Cost Saving Empire).
I’ll have to admit, I was proud as I approached the double doored entrance, the membership card checker clad in her red apron. This place has standards, I thought to myself. Not just anyone can come in here. This might be nice. I wouldn’t be slumming around with every Tom, Dick and Harry in Raleigh. Nah, this was exclusive. My membership dues were paid – and now it was my right to go inside and spend as much money as I wanted! No one, NO ONE, could stop me.
On the first aisle, I purchased enough snacks to last the kids to graduation: thirty six containers of pudding and enough fruit cups to fill a bathtub. Which, incidentally, is where I’m probably going to have to store them.
I needed lunch meat but all I could find was a triple package of sliced ham. There was so much, I could have made sandwiches for the entire family for two weeks and still had enough left over to wallpaper the dining room. The same was true for the bacon. I think it sold in four pound bundles. If you put the strips end to end you could wrap yourself in it and spend Halloween as a pork mummy.
They had a box with 33,000 Kleenex inside. Imagine the snot that you’d need to produce to use all of that.
My next trip will be on a lonely Saturday night. I’m going to dress up and pretend I’m at a cocktail party, maybe sneak in a flask to complete the fantasy.
“Hey Danny, what you doing on Saturday night?”
“I got plans…fancy cocktail party. They’re serving brie and salmon patties.”
One of the servers had to be in her late eighties. She was dishing out meatballs. I walked up to her station. As she scooped the beef into the little paper cup, she just kept repeating: “These balls would be great for your holiday party. Try one today.” Over and over – and yet I was the only one standing there.
She appeared to be human and yet, perhaps she was some sort of bizarre windup toy, like a little old lady music box. I looked behind her for a crank – nothing. I’m guessing she’s still standing there encouraging folks to serve her savory balls at their New Year’s Eve bash.
I didn’t leave empty handed. I purchased some of the hummus (with garlic – really, really good), a Chinese dinner entree, three of those thin crust pizzas and some chicken; and $200 worth of pudding and fruit cups.
But – I didn’t get the dress shirt.
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