I had promised to next post my adventures in Florence as part two of my three part series. But my real life got in the way. I’ll tell you about Florence next time.
I have five rules for my bi-annual visit to CostCo. 1. Go early. 2. Eat a good breakfast. 3. Stay positive 4. Wear comfortable shoes. 5. Take a list. Today I arrived at noon, jangled on too much coffee and not enough food and I started letting negative thoughts enter my psyche the second I entered the parking lot.
I recalled the time my husband and I met our daughter in the CostCo parking lot while she was in college to buy tires for her car. We somehow managed to lose our card in the car between home and the store. When I met her at the front door, I explained that her father was ripping all the seats out of the car which I thought was futile, since I was sure our membership had lagged. I’ll spare you all the gruesome details that ensued but after 2 hours, she drove away on her old tires with enough cash to go buy tires at a real store, with these parting words, “You guys are crazy.” This came to mind because I wasn’t sure the card I had today was valid and I expected to be accosted by the nice little man at the door. My positive attitude was getting darker.
Since I hadn’t been to Costco in awhile I got distracted by the nifty things they have displayed in front of 41 flashing big screen tv’s as you walk in. I pulled myself together and reverted to my list.
Got the ink for my printer and was headed to the liquor dept. when I spotted the magnums of Kirkland Wine for a very affordable price. I recalled my dental hygienist, Lynn, had told me it wasn’t bad. What the hell! If that wasn’t enough, I struggled to get a case of KJ chardonnay on the bottom rack of my cart, wrenching my back slightly and noticed that a nearby employee made no attempt to help me. Alexander, the Nordstrom employee that helped me buy a $500 pair of Paul Green boots earlier in the week was much more accommodating.
Okay on to buy the bottled Marguerita’s and rack of lamb that we had enjoyed at our friends Chip and Susan’s earlier this summer. Done. I did pretty well lifting a 35 pack of Diet Coke using my leg muscles this time.
At this point of my loop, I realize I am as far from the front door as I could possible be and I’m exhausted. However, this did not dissuade me from swinging by the frozen foods looking for that excellent French Onion Soup that I found two years ago and have never seen again. It put me in position to stock up on frozen chicken breasts for the special dog food we make our schnauzer. I also bought 10 lbs of pecans, again, not on the list.
I watched Sue Grafton signing her latest book, C is for Costco Coma, and then watched some regulars settle onto the 8 recliner sectional on display that would fill up the lobby of any assisted living home for seniors and start to enjoy Grafton’s book. I wished I could be enjoying this experience like they were, but I wasn’t.
I had to make a run for it. So I got behind a rather wide-assed mother with a cart full of unhealthy snacks for her obviously large family (both in numbers and size). As I suspected she knew the ropes and lead me to the shortest aisle out, past the 10 pack of toothpaste and body lotion that were on my list but I didn’t need the quantity I bought. Since I’m almost 70, I think I have a lifetime supply of both.
I wisely decided not to follow Mother Hubbard to the last hurdle at Costco, the check out. I also steered away from the mother/daughter tag team in matching white shorts with colored printed underwear. I got behind the tall thin lady in riding pants and boots who seemed as out of place as I felt.
Now I was free to start worrying about the expired card and quickly add up the total in my cart to make sure I had less than the $1200 balance left in my travel debit account. I figured $4-$500 tops. It was actually only $394. Now I remember why I come to CostCo.
I started getting giddy as the horse woman streaked through the process. I nervously handed over my card. No problem.
I had mastered the art of loading the light items on the belt and leaving the heavy items in the cart. I actually was joking around with the checker. That’s when my debit card was declined. I had the money but my card had been deactivated without my knowledge.
Things got really dark when I stepped aside to call my bank. Who should walk by just then but the aforementioned hygienist, Lynn, who noticed the two jugs of wine in my unpaid for cart. “Good choice”, she said cheerily. I lunged forward to choke her but she mistook my actions as friendly and returned a nice hug and went merrily on her way. She really is a delightful lady!
Well after I went and got something to eat and some cash from the bank I decided I had to revamp my attitude for the return trip. I gave money to the wounded vet on the corner with a beaten down walker and an oxygen tank on his back. I was not critical about all the polyester covered big butts in the parking lot as I had been earlier. I did not complain about driving around all the trailer hitches that extend over the driveway from the vehicles. I remained smiling and patient while I paid my bill, retrieved my purchases from the cold box and loaded my car in the blazing heat.
So the moral of this story is to follow my 5 rules of shopping at Costco and always carry a blank check.