Last Saturday morning, while some women are at the gym, getting manis and pedis, or dressing up for a tete-a-tete at the Shoppes of Galleria, I am pounding an Americano at Caribou in preparation for a total mind-and-body-beating at Costco.
This has become a sacred ritual that I complete every few months with my friend, Caitlin. She is willing to drive from St. Paul, and I am willing to get out of bed, for an experience that is consistently both traumatic and deeply satisfying.
Traumatic because the parking lot is full of large SUVs, weekend drivers (i.e., people who don’t know how to drive), strollers, seniors, snow, and a general sense of urgency that there may be only one 60-pound jar of pickles left inside. Equally puzzling, but far more disconcerting, is the attitude of these shoppers once they enter Costco. They seem to lose all sense of propriety and goodwill. Shopping carts become not only a holding cell for flats of Frosted Flakes and vats of mayo, but also a weapon. I’ve been rolled over, cut off, bull-dozed, and intercepted on my way to samples (pizza, if it’s a good day; dried goji berries if it’s not). But the worst part is that no one smiles or says “excuse me” or “after you.” After all, I might be gunning for the 72-ounce bag of croutons, too.
So why do Caitlin and I subject ourselves to this madness? Aside from enjoying the commaraderie and needing each other’s protection, we go for Amy’s chicken sausages, baby bell peppers, batteries, butter lettuce, Bolthouse carrot juice, Dubliner cheese, Emergen-C, frozen berries, Lara bars, Ling Ling’s potstickers, Mach 3 razors, marcona almonds, Patron, pork tenderloin, ravioli, rotisserie chicken, organic tomato soup, and Speedo swimsuits. It’s not fancy or stylish or Byerly’s. It’s Costco and I love it.