My own personal hell: Costco on a weekend

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“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.

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14 Responses to “My own personal hell: Costco on a weekend”

  1. Iris
    May 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    Interrobang – awesome. I’m going to start using it and see if my grammar-obsessed bosses know what it is.

    Also, Costco on the weekend is my personal hell too. Thankfully my bf is off on Mondays and can do the bulk buying without me.

  2. Jen Banks
    May 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    I love Costco. Seriously.

    My daughter and I like going at opening on Saturday mornings. She loves the samples and will eat every single one of them.

    I’ve managed to get it down to an art. I bring a list and am in and out (including sharing chicken fingers and fries for lunch) in an hour.

    It doesn’t have to be painful, Adam. Next time, put on a smile and listen for the birds singing on the roof.

    • Adam Rozenhart
      May 17, 2012 at 10:13 am #

      You’re way too positive, Jen! 😛

      I just can’t deal with all the people — many of whom are really inconsiderate, and behave like their the only ones in the store. I can’t get past that. I guess an earlier time is best.

      • Neumanic
        May 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

        Funny since I find that attitude to be precisely the issue when window shopping on Whyte Ave.

        • Adam Rozenhart
          May 24, 2012 at 8:56 am #

          As in, you find the people on the sidewalks of Whyte inconsiderate? I’ve only been out once this spring, and it wasn’t so bad. But maybe I have my blinders on because the pleasure of being outside overrides any douchey behavior from sidewalkers.

  3. Dana DiTomaso
    May 17, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    I friggin’ hate Costco, and so does Ashley (thankfully). I did see you check in at IKEA on a Saturday and I thought to myself, “poor bastard.”

    Last time Ash & I went to IKEA, it was on Valentine’s Day, because we’re those people, and the only folks there were couples having bitter fights and single people who desperately wanted to go on a date but didn’t have one lined up, so they bought inexpensive Swedish furniture to fill the gap.

    • Adam Rozenhart
      May 17, 2012 at 10:12 am #

      Ikea that Saturday was a calculated risk, for sure. But because it was the first really hot day of spring, the store was a ghost town. So no worries!

  4. Sarah
    May 17, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    I hate Costco. I went with Jen when she was pregnant and she even bought me said chicken fingers and fries, and while she is scarily efficient in her Costco efforts… I still hate it. A lot.

    *fist bump of solidarity*

    • Adam Rozenhart
      May 17, 2012 at 10:14 am #

      Thanks Sarah. I feel like Jen should sell lessons in how to efficiently and calmly shop Costco.

  5. Simon Turner
    May 17, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    Great article. If I am forced to go, I make it my mission to see how many samples I can get. The Costco lunch sampler platter. I feel no shame.

    • Adam Rozenhart
      May 17, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      I suppose this would be one of the only benefits of going. Thanks for sharing the bright side, Simon!

  6. Marcela Mandeville
    May 17, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    I completely agree with you. On the rare occasion I shop at Costco (even less probable on a Saturday), I feel sad and agitated at the same time. My thoughts are always “Why are there so many rude people” and “Do I really need ALL of this _______ (fill in the blank e.g., Lean Cuisine)?”

    • Adam Rozenhart
      May 17, 2012 at 11:43 am #

      I’m usually OK with crowds — at a concert or festival or just walking down the street, crowds don’t bother me… Until you put me in a store — of any kind. Then, for some reason, I just lose my shit

  7. JoaniB
    May 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    I’m with you on Costco. About once a month, my boyfriend starts planning the Costco run, and I shiver in fear. The crowds, mostly lost in their own little worlds of shopping lists and “But we’re saving money in the long run!” thoughts, give me the anxiety-driven urge to climb one of the stacks and avoid people from above.

    Love /is/ compromise and since he doesn’t join me for the other grocery shopping, maybe I should send him to Costco himself. I could deal with that.