“We should pick up a few things from Costco,” my girlfriend says to me on a Saturday morning, and I just stare at her, as the tears well up and I think this request is inhuman and fighting the crush of humanity trying to buy THE LARGEST BUNCH OF BANANAS IN THE CITY will destroy me emotionally.
My silence and slow-changing facial expression is met with a scoff from her. This elicits an absurd and meandering diatribe from me about “weekends,” and “sweatiness,” and “the cat doesn’t poop enough to require that many gallons of kitty litter,” and “why do you hate me, you’re supposed to love me?!”
Her eyes roll, mostly because the cadence of my yelling implies the use of the interrobang, a seldom-used punctuation mark. But also because I’m clearly being a big baby about it all.
We have this discussion probably once a month, when she thinks enough distance has passed from the last time we argued about the same thing. Weekdays are tricky — we both tend to pour ourselves into work, and so getting out to “large-format retailers” during the week can be dicey.
When it comes to a place like Costco, I have a get-in-get-out mentality. We should go there when we know there’s something we need a lot of. What we shouldn’t do is stroll casually down the aisles and ask ourselves if we really need 16 litres of Prego. Because we really, really don’t, and asking ourselves whether or not we do whenever we enter into a Costco is a fruitless and traumatic experience. Fruitless meaning pointless, and traumatic meaning even thinking of cooking and consuming that much pasta conjures images of the “gluttony” sin from the movie Se7en.
If I want or need science-defying quantities of pasta sauce, I’ll go to Costco, find the pasta sauce aisle, pay, and get the fuck out. I don’t want to peruse cases of baby food or think about whether we need to buy a 24-pack of refillable lint-rollers. Strolling through Costco isn’t like window-shopping on Whyte avenue (which, by the way, is entirely more pleasant on weekends because of the crush of humanity, not in spite of it). It’s more like standing in the middle of Piccadilly Circus during the Battle of Britain: disturbing and deadly.
And yet I know this discussion will be had again. A period of time will elapse to the point where it feels like this issue needs to be revisited, even though it does not. And I know, in spite of my protests, I will give in perhaps a couple of times a year. Because love is compromise. And love is also metric fuck-ton of Glade plugins that will dry up before they can be used.
Pictured above: me, refusing to go to Costco under any circumstances.