A Costco Virgin

costco man shopping

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.

costco baconI 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.

costco samplerAnd samples! On almost every aisle, there were Costcoians cooking up finger foods for us to enjoy: Chinese dumplings, various types of pizza, cheese, bread, hummus with garlic and hummus without.

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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  1. I had the same reaction to Sam’s Club…Took me years to get used to the idea of buying fruit in the same place that sells tires. And the quantities! Now I’m there every week…buying hummus:)

  2. When I visit the states I’ll swing by, sounds interesting.

  3. When Joe and I got married in May I became a card carrying member by marriage. I will never forget my disappointment when I walked in for the first time… and the guy didn’t ask to see my card. The wind was gone from my sail… 🙂 With two teenage boys and two preteen girls, we live at that place!!!! (Never thought of the cocktail party idea. Maybe we could plan a group outing and all meet at Costco!!!!)

  4. Love our Sams club, but having spent years out west, my parents were super happy when we finally got a Costco down here. 🙂 I try and only go a couple times a year because otherwise I’d have to buy another fridge!

  5. What a great gift! I don’t have a Costco membership, but used to go with my mom when I only had one kid. Now he’s ten and has two little brothers and we won’t all fit in my mom’s car anymore (we barely fit in mine!). So I don’t get to go to Costco anymore.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  January 8, 2014

      If you need something just let me know. You’d only have to get there once a year.

  6. Reblogged this on Menulis Sekedar and commented:

  7. Aunt Susan

     /  January 8, 2014

    so glad you found the other shopping mecca. Target is the other place I like to hang.
    don’t forget the flowers and chocolate chips. Kirkland is the best

    can’t wait to see you, maybe we should do dinner there, I do need to make a run!

  8. David K

     /  January 9, 2014

    My plan is always to eat my way through Costco, and sometimes that gets really tough when you have to whip that big cart around in the middle of a tight cheese aisle because the lady at the other end just took some yummy rolls out to sample. (And that 80 year old lady is sweet and doing her job). Although you wouldn’t guess by looking at me, I am the kind of fellow who will take a bite of anything once just to make sure I am not missing a treat. But after we shop and graze, it is always nice to finish with a slice of pizza. Your nephew and I are always amazed by the high-tech pizza equipment. If they ever put that pizza equipment on sale we may have to make an addition to the kitchen. Garlic hummus is really good!

  9. We shop there all the time and believe me, they have everything! My younger brother even bought a SIX FOOT TEDDY for £15 ($10 ish) once!

  10. Card-carrying member of Costco since 1989 (which isn’t surprising since we lived in the Seattle area for 25 years), and darn proud of it. Love Costco!! I even know why Costco’s brand is called Kirkland – in honor of the Seattle subsidiary where it all began. When the kids were younger and our house was consistently inhabited by any number of young adults, it was a life-saver in keeping the house stocked with goods. We got such a kick out of the Costco in Hawaii and its locale-specific goods, complete with surf boards and underwater cameras! Don’t live close enough to a Costco right now to be able to be a consistent shopper, much to my chagrin. We have a Sam’s in Asheville, but Sam’s will always be an imitation Costco to me, I’m afraid.

  11. Isn’t there a movie plot where in the future you can buy jobs at Costco?

  12. Cassandra.Fawley

     /  January 24, 2014

    Costcoians. I knew there was a name for those anonymus people.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  January 24, 2014

      Oh yeah. They’re right there – in the lettuce refrigerator.


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