There is a Costco that is right across the street from my gym so I find myself walking the aisles of that concrete palace more than I probably should. I always thought that Costco was a place for caterers and that homeschool family from every small town with way too many kids but then I got my hands on a Costco card of my own. It was like The Great Awakening of colonial America but instead of being preached the gospel, my ears were played the sweet, rattling symphonies of 5lb barrels of peanut m&m’s.
Something about Costco activates all of the base pairs in my DNA that connect me to my caveman relatives of yesteryear. The giant packages of food call out for my hands to collect as if I may never eat again. It’s not even just the food. Last week, I walked past a display of 48 packs of double A batteries and it stopped me in my tracks. I looked at it for at least 20 seconds, seriously contemplating if I needed to buy 48 double A batteries even though the only thing in my house that takes double A is my computer mouse and it requires just one single battery that I haven’t had to change for over a year.
“If I don’t buy this 48 pack of batteries and my mouse dies in 2057 how am I going to be able to replace it? I asked to myself. “I’ll still have 14 years of batteries left after that.”
Good try Costco, but I was stronger than the dark magic you cast upon me. That was until I got further into the maze of plenty. It was almost as if something was calling to me. Like Voldemort whispering into the mind of Harry Potter to join him in the Forbidden Forest to meet his fate, the voice was getting louder as I grew closer.
Then I turned a corner into the dry goods aisle where my eyes met the disaster preparedness kits. You guys who shop at Costco surely know what I am talking about.
“I’m not weak.” I repeated to myself as every possible scenario where I would need 100 freeze dried meals flashed before me. “You don’t need to buy this.”
But the gravitational pull of Costco’s power grew stronger. The voice continued to whisper in my head, “The Chinese spy balloons are carrying EMPs to detonate over the United States. The lizard people running the country will not save you. You will be left to die.” Like metal in an MRI room, my hand shot to the handle of that godforsaken bucket at the speed of light. I bent the very fabric of space time with how fast I was moving. While time was moving slower for me as I reached for the bucket, I had a moment of clarity. “Be stronger than the bucket. You can do this.” and I pried my fingers away from the handle and scurried away to a less enticing area of the store.
I had won the battle but I was severely maimed and still deep behind enemy lines. I was about as far away from the exit as possible. Exhausted and mentally weakened, I pressed on. I tried my damndest to keep my eyes down and away from the forbidden fruit stacked miles high in every direction around me. Surprise, I failed. I was almost to the cash registers and out of the woods when I had to navigate heavy traffic and detour into the snack food sections. I was met by a Valentine’s Day surplus of strawberry yogurt covered pretzels. They were $5.50 for giant bags. God damn it. I put three of them in my cart. Why am I resource guarding? I live by myself. What kind of psychological mastery does Costco understand that I don’t? Now that I was broken and defeated I had no chance. Not a few steps later, I found a 40 pack of Capri Suns. I haven’t had a Capri Sun in probably 15 years but guess what? I bought them. I have no idea why.
I didn’t even get my car started before I cracked open a box of the juice and plunged that yellow straw inside. It was as perfect as I remembered. One of my greatest character flaws is my obsessive personality. I hyper focus on things I find interest in. This can manifest in the form of food as well. If you are asking “Wow did you eat 3 gargantuan bags and 75 servings of yogurt covered pretzels in a little over a week?” Why yes I did. How did you know? Did I feel like complete shit after my daily 10 servings full of fat and sugar? Nope, cause I have a stomach made of titanium and I kept this up until I ran the well dry. Good try Costco, better luck next time.