These past few weeks I’ve been doing squats, weight lifting, and long-distance speed-walking. I’ve gathered enough cash to stuff a mattress, and have been making detailed lists and plans. Then there’s been the hard work on emotional and mental readiness with affirmations such as: “I have what it takes! I can do it! I will triumph!”
Okay, you’re right, shopping at Costco isn’t quite like entering a triathlon, and maybe I’m exaggerating just a little, but I’ve gotta tell you, to me this trip I make monthly to quarterly feels like an Olympic event.
For those of you who are familiar with Costco, you know this is not your run-in-and-grab-a-bottle-of-milk kind of store. Oh no. We’re not talking 7-eleven. Comparing Costco to a regular store is like comparing a walk around the church parking lot to the Boston marathon. Just gazing in the distance from the front of this warehouse structure to the bakery in the back, can cause the hearts of even the most courageous and prepared to skip a beat. That is, of course, if we’ve been fortunate enough to make it through the preliminaries — 1. finding parking in what seems like a distant county, 2. making the trek to the front door, and 3. pulling a cart the size of a small truck from one of the seven, mile-long rows.
“Why do you even go in there?” my husband keeps asking. “It’s not like we have kids at home anymore. It sometimes takes us months to use up the stuff in those huge containers. I don’t get it.” I haven’t answered him yet in a way that satisfies him or me. It’s one of those things I can’t explain. Why DO we do what we do? Maybe I shop at Costco for the same reason people climb Mount Everest—because it’s there. Of course, in the case of Costco, not only is it there, but items are there I can’t find anywhere else. And the fact that they’re packaged in such nice big portions—these favorite items—makes my heart beat like a train coming out of a station. Anyway, aren’t big portions the American way—what this country is all about? I’m showing my allegiance, right? Plus there’s the savings part of it as well, an illusion maybe, but it always seems like I’m saving when I buy things in bulk.
Mostly though, I go to Costco for the same reason I suspect the athletes this week are competing in the Olympics. It’s the general exhilaration: the excitement of knowing you’re involved in the big one. Costco, like the Olympics, is the ultimate challenge. It’s the true test of shopping mettle.
To be continued . . .