I have been in love with you from the first day that we met. You whispered sweet nothings to me. “Low prices,” you whispered, “high quality, large quantities.”
You spoke straight to the heart of this tired, harried, pregnant mom with a house full of toddlers. I fell for you. I love you. But, now, I worry that you are taking advantage of me.
I appreciate your giant two-pack of peanut butter for less than I pay for the regular sized jar at the supermarket. I happily buy your quantities of cereal, for less than the cost of a box of sugary cereal that lasts through one breakfast.
We host parties, and we stock up on your cheap beer and reasonably-priced wine. And, god, I love your fruity drinks.
We look to you first for nearly everything. Food, meat, cleaning supplies, paper goods, holiday wrapping paper, electronics, Halloween candy, kitchen utensils, sheets, even the mattress on our bed. We have bought furniture, diapers (oh, so many diapers), cakes, coats, and swimsuits.
But, oh, sweet Costco, you are a cruel mistress, preying on my weaknesses.
When I am thirsty, you offer me a cold sip of a new vitamin health drink. When I am hungry, there is a bite of a tasty quiche. I turn a corner and you offer me a yummy cheesecake or a gooey, chocolate muffin.
Before I realize what you have done, I have added the vitamin drink, a cake, and two frozen quiches to my giant buggy. I pack the buggy carefully, but it is soon overflowing with toilet paper, boxes of cereal, frozen waffles, and deli meat.
I need you, Costco. You complete me.
I need your cases of paper towels. I need your deli meat. I need your tender steaks.
I need your easy breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods that are healthy, nutritious, and easy to prepare. I need the sanity you offer disguised as a box of drinkable yogurt.
And, surely, I need the extra vitamins in the health water I have just tasted. Extra vitamins could be the cure for the common cold times eight! The Hobbits are back to school and crawling with germs. Sickness is just a mere cold snap away.
I am weak and powerless against you. My eyes begin to wander, looking for other pleasures you have for me.
I don’t take care of myself. I forget to eat sometimes. Maybe instead of cookies, I should buy “natural granola” to satisfy me. Trail mix? Edamame? Protein drink?
No. I will focus on my list and get the last two items I need. But you are not done with me, yet.
I am paused at the end of an aisle when a subtle scent tickles my nose. My head turns toward the cooler of freshly-cut flowers.
They are beautiful bouquets, with a lovely, soft fragrance. You are like a lover, kneeling at my feet, offering me a token of your affection.
Baby Hobbit and I choose a bouquet in stunning shades of purple. Blooms of deep aubergine and soft lilac. We deserve these flowers. You want us to have these flowers. You want us to feel special.
I am sweating when we finish checking out. But you made lunch. A half-pound beef hot dog and a cold glass of lemonade for Baby Hobbit. Nothing for me, thanks. I’m exhausted, and probably too tired to lift that half-pound to my mouth.
I refuse to unload any more quickly because a dumb shit is waiting for my less-than-optimal parking spot. Dude, we are at Costco, on a Thursday afternoon, with a suburban. Chances are, I am a stay-at-home mom with a big-ass family. This is going to take a little while.
When we get home, I unload only the perishables. I tuck the baby Hobbit in for a nap, and then sit down with my giant box of individual cups of rice pudding. Four of these put me into a perfect semblance of a post-coital nap.
I love you, Costco. Thanks for the nooner. I will see you soon.