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post #560
bio: jen

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My Trip to Costco
 For my birthday, my mother sent me a $25 gift card from Costco and some tea (I like tea). I thanked her profusely, and she told me how much she loved Costco. My mother is a Shopper. Capitalism was invented for her. A retail environment is her habitat. She is a top of the food chain shopper. She's also a very nice person.

Unlike my mother, I am not a shopper. I can shop (I am female afterall), but I would rather do a lot of other things besides shopping. I should also say that I'm not completely Costco naïve. I think I've been inside a Costco twice. Both times I went with a man who was on a mission to get something. I also can find the nearest Costco. It's right behind the In & Out.

I went to Costco one grey overcast morning. I walked in and showed my gift card to the card checker at the door. He smiled and greeted me. Once inside, I stood facing a row of big flat screen TVs sitting on boxes containing more TVs. They were all simultaneously showing a preview for the new Star Trek movie, and it was just too much media stimulation. A woman pushing a huge flat cart nearly hit me, but I jumped out of her way. How much stuff was she gonna buy?

I clutched my Trader Joes shopping bags to my chest and moved on. I walked past a male Costco worker selling purses. One of his co-workers was ribbing him. Still, it takes a certain kind of man to sell purses at Costco.

I walked past the Blendtec girl making green smoothies with a Blendtec blender. She was blending and talking and blending and talking. The blender looked and sounded like every blender I had ever seen. I tried a bit of the green smoothie. It was a little too sweet for me.

I decided to be practical in my Costco shopping. What do I use a lot of? What do I always run out of? Laundry detergent. Unfortunately, all the detergent was bulk sized, and I had forgotten to grab a cart and take my yearly steroid. I looked around bathroom items, but they didn't have my brands. I contemplated ibuprofen, but I got depressed. I don't need that much pain relief.

I wonder if Costco has ever thought of doing a work-out day for its members. For a few hours, folks can come in and do laps around the store. Maybe do some squats with bags of potatoes. Maybe bench press the giant tubs of oleo.

I wandered through the food area. There were coolers and coolers of food. Who eats all that stuff? Then I started to recognize items from a variety of potlucks I had been to through the years. However, I couldn't buy anything frozen or refrigerated. Costco was my first stop of the day.

I wandered into the valley of clothes. At the center of the store were huge tables with stacks of ugly clothing. Two female Costco employees were folding and chatting. I did find a blue T-shirt for thirteen bucks ($12.99). It was made in Lesotho. I looked Lesotho up online. It's a landlocked African nation completely surrounded by South Africa and the largest exporter of garments to the US from Sub-Saharan Africa.

But I couldn't reflect too long on world economics and the true cost of cheap goods. The green smoothie sample had frozen my brain.

I found a tub of Fancy Mixed Nuts. I like nuts. They could also be a visual metaphor for my state of mind in Costco. My nuttiness is of the mixed variety. There is so much visual stimulation that I don't know where to look. The nuts were $14.49. Sold!

I took my two simple items to the checkout and got in line behind a bunch shopping carts. The lady in line behind me exclaimed that she had come all the way from Israel to shop at Costco. I noticed she had some nice looking bath towels.

After I paid, escaped, and nearly hit a Prius as I was pulled out of my spot, I went over to the In & Out. I ordered my fries animal style.

I wonder what Costco is like at night when nobody is there. Do the ghosts come out and watch the big televisions?

Thanks Mom, but please don't make me go to Costco again.

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