My eyes squint as I get out of the car, the bright Florida sun assailing me with its heat. I trudge to the heavy metal roll-up doors, the heavily guarded gateway into Costco.
Carl saunters in casually, scoffing at the pricing of the Vizio TV’s: “What people don’t get, though, is that the refresh rate is low – that’s why the price is low, people!” He yells this out to his audience of no one. Well, maybe to that one elderly man who seems a little confused and has a difficult time pushing his cart as far away from Carl as he can.
I try to saunter in as well, but Little Miss Sunshine Costco guard asks me for my membership card. I stand there like I child, my hand points to Carl, I sigh, then do the obligatory eyeroll. Little Miss Sunshine does not give a fuck as she puts her hand out and waits for my card. It’s a store, lady, not goddamn Fort Knox.
After fumbling in my wallet and purse and looking like that one crazy woman at airport security who is having a complete meltdown because she cannot find her photo I.D., I remember that I put the stupid card in the pocket of my shorts. There I go trying to outsmart myself again.
There is a shitload of people at Costco at eleven-thirty in the morning.
In less than five minutes and 100 feet, our cart is halfway full of stuff I’ve convinced Carl we really need: Babe, we really need another one of these bath mats!’ He looks at me oddly and walks away, probably afraid of what else I’ll grab.
We inch our way towards the bakery section, a veritable junkie’s paradise that coaxes you with butter and sugar. Yes, we definitely must have ten pounds of cheesecake and five pounds of croissants. Our love handles will thank us later.
Warehouse shopping is difficult for those of us with restraint issues.
A smell wafts into the bakery. Ahhhhh, rotisserie chicken. I push the cart towards the rotisserie chicken area, but Carl is closer than I am. Carl! Carl! I say to him over the hum of shoppers. Get some chicken!
He looks back at me as if he’s never seen me before and I realize he doesn’t have his glasses on. Shit.
I start doing hand signals and mouthing Go! Go! Go! as if we’re SEALTeam 6, except this plan was doomed from the get-go.
Carl keeps shrugging his shoulders, staring at me. I know that look. It’s that Should I be concerned about you? Is this a medical situation?
There is now a massive amount of people in the meat department, it feels like a rush of concert attendees. My only defense is my clunky cart with the bum wheel. Dammit! I knew I should’ve gone back for another cart. I try to push through this wave, but for whatever reason, people seem to need twenty pound of ground beef at this very moment.
As the crowd swallows me up, I jump up and down and yell for Carl to Grab the chicken. Grab the goddamn chicken! I say it again under my breath for good measure.
He smiles and nods and I’m comforted by the fact that we’re able to communicate in this pseudo Stephen King telepathy.
I wander around the wide aisles that remind of that Seinfeld episode where Kramer repaints the four-way lane highway to a roomy two-way lane highway. I just need to get the fuck out of here.
The checkout lanes are a frenzy of family members running back for forgotten bread and cheese and kids begging their parents to get them slices of pizza. Carl shows up carrying a bunch of things that he piles into the cart and my face drops.
Me: Where is the chicken?
Carl: What chicken?
Me: The rotisserie chicken?
Me: I was telling you to get some rotisserie chicken?
Carl: Really? That’s what that was?
Carl: I could’ve sworn you were telling me to go get you some tzatziki sauce.
Me: Why the fuck would I ask you to get that? It takes like five minutes to make.
Carl: That’s what I was asking myself.
Costco has a way of sucking the life out of you.