Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Shopping at Costco, or why I am glad I haven't given up profanity

If you have ever spent any significant amount of time at Costco, you know that profanity can make you feel better.

Also, if you are remotely prone to ECD, do not shop at Costco in a vulnerable moment. You should know that nothing will make you feel like you lead a more pedestrian, hopelss existence spending than a large portion of a Saturday there.

Perhaps they aren't all like this. But the one at Pentagon City, while a bargain, just makes you want to stab yourself in the eyes.

Particularly if you buy tires. Because for one thing, even if you get there when it opens, it is an eternal process. Not necessarily because the line is so long.

More because people will get to the front of the line and be all, "Hi. . .I'm here for. . .tires? What kind? Well, I think I need. . .round ones. With. . .treads? I suppose. . .black ones?"

And then the guy at the counter walks the person around to the tires. While the rest of you wait.

If you've never said the fuck word before, this would be a satisfying time to start. Because it sucks an immense amount of ass.

And then, if you come back later in the day to pick up your car, which they did a perfectly nice job on - it's not that the service isn't good, because it is - you might decide to get some bulk shopping done before you leave.

Which you will instantly regret. And which pulls out even more profanity.

Because your fellow Costco shoppers? They are probably perfectly nice human beings, but they careen around in slow motion like they've had head injuries. It's like that movie where the zombies come back to life and eat living people. They stagger around slowly and confusedly, but hone in on live flesh.

Nick asked if I'd rather spend a day covered in beetle larvae or walking around Costco barefoot with ingrown toenails. It's a hard choice.

If this doesn't pull out fuck, fuck, and more fuck from the least profane among us, I simply don't know what will.

Heckfire? My ass.


  1. heh. I find the mall at Christmastime to be similarly irksome.

    Seriously people, why do you think you can walk four abreast and block the ENTIRE walkway? Didn't your mother ever teach you the etiquette of walking in groups?

  2. You are a better woman than me. I can't, simply can NOT go to Costco when it's like that. My motto is "get in, get out and no one gets hurt". I find it's just a much safer experience that way. For everyone!

  3. Slightly Disorganized - YES! It is like the mall at Christmas! Minus the ho ho ho and twinkly lights! And the shocking lack of self-awareness - like nobody else exists! Aaaaggghhh!

    Ryane - We shouldn't have. It was when we could fit it in, but what a piece of hell. I lvoe the "get in, get out and no one gets hurt" - so excellent!

  4. hahahaha, i shop at that Costco too. i have taken to seeing it as an exercise in zen-building. i try to be efficient myself, but not in an unnecessary hurry - when i get the most stressed out is when i try to "get in, get out" as fast as possible. because if i don't have anywhere i'm rushing to except home to unpack the groceries, well, why rush just for rushing's sake?

    (this is not to say that this makes the zombies any less maddening - just that i'm trying a different tactic in dealing with them. because letting them practically give me an ulcer was not doing anyone any good :) )

  5. Shopping at Costco, you exchange low prices on bulk groceries for small pieces of your soul. Especially at PCity, where it's made that much worse by the asinine parking experience.

    I do, however, kind of like the fact that there is a place you can go and purchase a gallon jug of honey mustard and nobody will even blink. It takes impulse buying to a whole, borderline-unnatural level.

  6. Can you shop Costco online? That's the only way I'm ever giving that clusterfuck my business!

  7. For me it's not Costco, it's Michael's. Like you, I don't think it's all Michael's stores, just the one by my house. Every time I shop there it's a huge clusterfuck and I leave exasperated and cussing all over the place.

  8. I've still never been to a Costco... the whole idea of it kind of terrifies me. Like Walmart, but times 15 and with less teeth, ya know?

  9. Sheeit- Costco. And what about the people who wander around (leaning on thier cart- not paying attention) while talking about REALLY EMBARRASING FAMILY THINGS? People- I have ears! And you're speaking at full volume! If I was your pregnant/herpies positive/due for probation relative I would be HORRIFIED that you were talking about me in Costco. Ugh. Costco, but I swear to god it's 10x worse at Walmart or Sam's club.

  10. I always go to that Costco with a small group of people (3 is ideal), a shopping list, and some patience.

    One person stays with the cart, which only goes through the large isles. The remaining people walk into the smaller isles and get what is on the list. Since they don't have a cart to push around, they can easily walk around annoying people. Once your towards the bottom of your shopping list, the person with the cart can go get in line while the roaming people go and get the final few things. To do this, you sort of need to know where things are in the store, but once you figure that out, this method can speed things up a lot, and save a lot of aggravation.

  11. Hehe. This is one of the many reasons I do not have a Costco membership. That, and the two-packs of giant Nutella jars.

    Have you seen Ice Age? With the Dodos? That's what Costco reminds me of. Which doesn't bode well for humanity, at all.

  12. love what wib said about trading low prices for "small pieces of your soul," so true.

    Ugh Costco, and really, any store. Hate the shopping! One awesome thing about living in a small town is the closeness of everything, including my trusted and wonderful mechanic. A few years ago I had an appt. for an oil change and I had to cancel cuz it snowed heavily and I got stuck in my driveway (doh!) I called him up, and he said, "I'll come and take you to work, then I'll have the car towed to the shop for the oil change, and pick you up after work." Wow. Beat THAT, Costco (or anyone else for that matter!)

  13. But all the free samples are awesome...all the mini quiches and such are deelish.

  14. kate.d. - We will probably come cart to cart one of these days! I think you're right - the hurry hurry makes it so painful. I, however, have trouble not being a hurry-hurrier. But I should probably just try to "be" with the whole Costco experience.

    WiB - You are right. Many little pieces of my soul have been shredded off to flit for all eternity in that damn parking lot. And I am the WORST impulse buyer of tremendous quantities of random stuff we never knew we needed. It gives me a bizarre amount of pleasure.

    FreckledK - I am pretty sure you can! But I have no idea if you can get food that way, and bulk food postage would be atrocious.

    Nicole - Michael's is pretty dreadful, too. And nobody is very helpful. And it's always so cold!!!

    LivitLuvit - It's not terrifying except in the "so this is the direction in which humanity is going" way, but is an enormous exercise in patience.

    Mary - Oh, god, I am probably that person talking about horribly personal things everywhere I go. Eeee. As for Walmart and Sam's, I never go to either of those, but assumed they were the same.

    VVK - Alas, it is typically Nick and yours truly, trying to get it all over with. I am often sent into the veg room on a broccoli/pepper mission. But for the most part, we're both with the cart, dodging and cursing.

    Jessica - Me, I am a sucker for the oversized everything. And I haven't seen Ice Age, but with Dodos, can imagine what you're talking about. None of this bodes well.

    LJ - Yes, WiB is hilarious, always. And there's no way any city can beat that kind of service. That is truly amazing, and really makes you feel like part of a community! Lucky you!

    Lemmonex - Yes! Love the samples! The truth is, there are many things I like about Costco - it's just the experience that's dreadful.

  15. NOTHING irritates me more than people who walk slowly and WON'T GET OUT OF THE EFFING WAY.

  16. Costco has its utility, but a trip there has to be like a targeted military strike. Know exactly what you're going for, remember where it is in the store, grab it, and get the fuck out. Diapers, wipes, rice, olive oil, frozen strawberries and blueberries, soy milk, frozen veggies, frozen chicken breasts, done. Buh bye.

  17. Haha - I can just see you two now - dodging and cursing, cursing and dodging.

    What I was actually thinking of was the seagulls from Finding Nemo. Enjoy.

  18. You forgot to mention the danger of becoming zombie-like and coming home with 5lbs of cheesy poofs or some such overside something.

    While it's a useful place for some things, it's best to go with a list and just keep your head down and your feet moving!

  19. New Rule: All costco members must take Costco Cart Driving School. And pass a test. Seriously.

  20. "Many little pieces of my soul have been shredded off to flit for all eternity in that damn parking lot."

    That was very nicely put. :)

    I have let my costco membership lapse twice now. Just can't bring myself to actually shop there.

  21. The only difference is that the Costco zombies hone in on the free samples at an amazing speed. They swarm until all that is left is the sample person looking dazed and you just know that all they are thinking about is that they just spent 20 minutes making tiny pizzas/desserts/whatever for 50 people to run her over and fight over the crumbs when it clears.

    Kinda sad. I try to avoid going there at all costs. Makes you wonder why we pay for memberships, huh?

  22. longredcape - That makes me batshit. On sidewalks, in malls, in Costco. I turn into such a hater.

    Wendy - Yes - that is definitely the best approach! We are slowly getting that down.

    Jessica - I know, can't you just?

    Sarah - I have definitely come home with 5 lbs of random crap before. There is always the danger of me buying their cookies or danish - both of which I love and could eat ALL of in one sitting, appalling as that sounds.

    iamaveragejane - That would be awesome. Really and truly.

    A.S. - There are many, many things I like about it and I've bought a shocking array of products there. But the scene takes some energy.

    Amisare - Oh, I hate to tell you that my beloved is one of the swarmers...but if it's sausage or cheese, it's true!


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