Sold! To the portly fellow in the Dockers.
I did it. I joined the dark side. I am now a card carrying Costco member and I feel as if I have sold my soul to the devil. Not a red, spitting, pointy tailed, trident-wielding kind of a devil. More of a mushy, overweight, Dockers clad, slightly balding, bargain shopper kind of a devil. Sigh. I feel so dirty. In my defense, there was a reason – isn’t there always a reason? I went to Costco because I needed a folding table to set up a bar for the kindergarten parent party we are hosting this weekend. Doth I protest too much? And, believe me, I tried Target, and I tried Home Depot (it’s pathetic that those are my valiant attempts at avoiding big box consumerism), but only the dreaded Costco had the exact table I wanted. It happens to be the same width as my dining room table, so on Thanksgiving, I can put them end-to-end to make one looooong table, stretching into the foyer . . . and all the children of all our friends will eat with us . . . just like the Whos in Whoville. That is my vision for the holidays. And fuck me if I didn’t have to go to Costco to fulfill it. They don’t even sell roast beast at Costco.
If you were there yesterday morning and you heard feeble groaning in the aisles, that was me. Every time I turned a corner with my wonky cart that would only go diagonally, I saw some food that my family eats, but that was so grotesquely engorged and magnified as to be all but completely unrecognizable. Have you seen the size of the log of goat cheese? It’s like the penis of a horse. No, it’s bigger than the penis of a horse. How could one family possibly eat that much goat cheese? This store should be for Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints families only. No one else needs mayonnaise jars that weigh more than my two year old. No one else needs forty-eight packs of donuts, cheesecakes the size of semi-truck steering wheels, Aveeno sunscreen in gigantic twin packs. Who has that much face? The size of the box of Frosted Mini Wheats made me blanche. The paper goods aisle made me weep. So much plastic. So. Much. Plastic. The last thing fat, lazy Americans need is the message that it is acceptable to eat all their shit food on disposable plates that they don’t even have to wash. The last thing fat, lazy Americans need is the message that all of their hydration needs should be satisfied from a plastic bottle. The last thing fat, lazy Americans need is the message that they need bigger fridges, pantries, garages and houses in which to fit all this cheap supersized abundance.
Eating should be a bit more cerebral and contemplative of an act. There should be some aspect of our human consciousness and conscientiousness engaged. What we are eating, how much and where it comes from are basic, simple questions that bear some attention. Eating should not simply be the fastest, cheapest way to get’er done. We shouldn’t just be shoveling stuff into our carts and our mouths. We aren’t pigs. Eating should be more work, not less work. Oh, I’m sounding preachy. I really don’t want to sound preachy. I’ll say this about Costco – the wine is divine. The frozen edamame is great. I also bought a bag of the potstickers which Nanook of the North swears are a magic bullet for PMS and hangovers.
So now I’ve got my card, and I know I’ll go back. And each time, I’ll be slightly more inured to the gigantism afflicting everything in there and I may even start to buy more stuff. I know I won’t always make it out of there with only three things in my cart and my air of superiority intact. I just wish the card checkers were trained to say “Welcome to Costco. Remember, don’t buy anything you wouldn’t have bought somewhere else anyway.” I know I’ll need reminding. Or maybe I don’t take a cart – I only buy what I can carry in my arms. Whatever – I’m screwed. We’re all screwed.
Cream puff filled with fresh whipped dairy cream, anyone?