Sorry I've been slacking lately....
Actually, the main reason I haven't written much in the past week is that I haven't really been home. I've been lost inside my local Costco, you see. Wandering around for days, surviving solely on free samples of cocktail wieners, cream puffs and a special blend of vitamin water and my own tears. It was a terrifying, dismal ordeal that I am just now comfortable discussing.
It all started a few weeks ago, Jeff came home after an excursion to our Town Center with my in-laws and my children, while I stayed home and vegged on the couch (fully intending to clean, pack stuff away and write, but once I got horizontal it was waaay too difficult to hoist myself off the couch without the aid of a 150-pound man...operating a crane). When Jeff returned, he was all gleamy-eyed and cautiously excited, which made me think he must have just purchased that Ford F-250 he keeps virtually building online and drooling over. (He claims that we need a truck so that we can tow things. Since, you know, we have so many things piled up in our driveway and yard, just waiting to be towed around by said truck.)
Jeff (as soon as he found me lying on the couch in pretty much the same position as when he'd left): I got you something.
Me (thinking he was about to pull out some fluffy bedroom slippers, or a new body pillow, or even a peanut butter cup blizzard from DQ. All of which would have been extremely well-received.): Oh yeah?
He disappears around the corner, where I heard a rustling of plastic. He then emerges, straining under the weight of a 30-pack of paper towels.
Jeff: Paper towels!
Me: ...Yeah, I see that.
Jeff: I got you some more stuff, too.
Me: ...I can't wait.
He leaves the wall of paper towels on the floor and disappears again, this time hefting what looks like a small swimming pool of Tide and an equally ridiculous container of Downey.
Me: Wow, hon. Thanks...
Jeff: We joined Costco!
Me: You did?
Jeff: Yeah. You, too. We're all members now.
Now before I am labeled as an ingrate and possibly a complete bitch for not jumping up and down at the prospect of belonging to a wholesaler chain, let me give you a bit of background information on Jeff and my relationship with stores like Costco, Sam's, BJ's and the like:
I hate them.
Seriously, I would rather go to the dentist, the doctor, a Katy Perry concert. I'd rather see a three-hour show featuring nothing but clowns, mimes and Dora the Explorer than have to stumble around the 1000-foot high aisles, the tables strewn with Levis and polo shirts, the DVD's and books and plasma screens and tire racks and refrigerated cases of shrimp platters and veggie trays big enough to serve all 58 members of Blood, Sweat and Tears. I think I simply get overwhelmed, and have a sort of out-of-body experience when I try to process everything. Kinda like giving birth...to a 100,000-square-foot baby that has its own optometrist and snack bar.
Jeff and his parents have always belonged to wholesale clubs. It's sort of a family tradition for them, not unlike other families getting together for post-Thanksgiving charades of Fourth of July wheelbarrow races. Jeff's family like getting together every month or so and making a trip to Sam's Club. Had I known that once I married Jeff not only would I become a member of his family, but also a member of Costco...well...let's just say he owes me a pass on his mandatory participation in my mother's infamous treasure hunts.
I think my main issue with places like Costco is that I have never had much experience with Buying in Bulk. Having so many kids in our family, you'd think that this would have been my mother's main method of shopping. But no...my memories of childhood revolve primarily around the time I stole a box of Fruit Rollups and lied for weeks about it, because I spied them first and knew if I didn't make my move, they would have been instantly devoured like a swarm of siafu had marched through the kitchen. Perhaps this painful memory could have been avoided had my mother purchased a 50-pack of them, but alas, most things she came home from the grocery store with were packaged in a size that didn't require my parents to build a shed in the backyard to house them.
And so when I open my linen closet and am practically smothered to death by an avalanche of Bounty, I can't help but feel kind of...overwhelmed. And I think knowing that I have such an enormous inventory of paper towels causes me to be a little more liberal with my use of them. It's okay if I use twenty sheets to wipe up spilled water--I know where I can get some more! I can use the paper towels for all kinds of things--cleaning, bathing, covering up on chillier nights. The kids can build towers with the rolls, they can climb on them, sword-fight, use them as telescopes, pillows, stand on them to reach more paper towel rolls. The possibilities are endless. Unlike the space in my house to put them.
I think Jeff is a little disappointed that I'm not embracing the concept of Buying in Bulk, and maybe over time I will warm up to the idea of coming away from a store minus $300, but plus a cement block of cheddar cheese and a lifetime supply of spaghetti sauce. Or maybe we just need to have a few more children to make Costco a necessity and not just a fun excursion for Jeff and an excuse for me to be dropped off at the Katy Perry Mime Show while I wait for him to return with more cleaning supplies and giant cans of tuna. Well, I know where we can get one more kid. He's sitting on my spleen right now. Three weeks and counting.... Then maybe we can make a family trip to Costco for a 75-pack of Michelob Ultra.
That I can do.