I don't think there's a Costco in the country that isn't jammed to the rafters every weekend. Between the enormous, laden-down shopping carts parked haphazardly all over the place; the big families of shrieking idiot children; THOSE MOTHERF***ING FOOD SAMPLES that drive men to madness ... a trip to Costco on a Saturday could shred the nerves of even the steeliest among us. Worst of all is the stress that this godless place puts on us fools who insist on going there on the weekend.
I have, in the past, gone to Costco by myself. I have more patience for it, and so I enjoy it much more on my own. But Jesse loves the idea of Costco -- he loves the samples; he loves seeing what fancy beers they have in stock this time that they didn't have last time; he loves checking out the non-food section of the store to see if there's anything he can't live without.
But like a new mother, he has largely forgotten the pain and remembers only the incredible joy that comes from scoring a gift pack of Chimay that comes with a chalice, or from that $1.50 hot dog that came with a drink. And so he always wants to come along. And it turns out the same every time:
We always start the shopping trip out together. Jesse pushes the cart as I check out all the neat stuff they put near the entrance. Jesse quickly gets annoyed, however, by the large families of idiot children who park their ginormous carts in the middle of the aisle. As his irritation increases, his language gets worse and worse until I take away the cart and tell him to go on ahead.
I always take the cart away before he has a chance to start swearing AT the idiot children, but it's usually a close one.
I meet up with him again in the pasta section, where he grumpily demands that I "go faster" because "this is boring." With a dramatic eye roll, I tell him to just leave me alone to do my thing. He goes off in search of food samples.
I keep shopping, grabbing all the usual stuff and maneuvering my cart around all the salivating morons who are willing to waste hours of their lives waiting for one bite of a f***ing microwaved taquito. One time we saw two men fighting over the samples. I repeat: two middle-aged men FIGHTING because one of them took the last sample and the other thought he had more of a right to it. The guy who got the sample then THREW IT IN THE OTHER GUY'S FACE and they almost started punching each other.
OVER ONE F**KING BITE OF NASTY REHEATED CHICKEN POT PIE.
Once I emerge from the frozen goods section, I head into the fresh meat and cheese section in the middle of the store. This is where things REALLY start to get hairy. Carts are EVERYWHERE, as there are samples being given away at each end of every aisle. And oh, the families of idiots abound. The hungry children, who were apparently told that Costco samples would be their lunch that day, elbow their way to the front of the line, completely ignoring my repeated requests for them to "excuse me. Excuse me. EXCUSE ME." (the best solution, it turns out, is to tap them with your cart. Don't HIT them with the cart; just a gentle tap so they know you mean business. Once they figure out you're not trying to cut the line to get a piece of cracker with some dip on it before they do, they'll usually let you by.)
Okay, SERIOUSLY people, WHAT IS THE OBSESSION WITH THE F**KING SAMPLES? IT IS A PIECE OF CRACKER WITH SOME DIP ON IT AND YOU ARE WILLING TO GET FLATTENED UNDER A SHOPPING CART JUST TO PRESERVE YOUR PLACE IN LINE TO GET IT.
A piece of cracker with some possibly-gross dip on it is apparently one of the few causes ordinary Americans consider to be worth dying for.
As I navigate through this part of the store, grabbing tubs of hummus and a whole rotisserie chicken for $5, I note with a certain amount of angry jealousy that there's Jesse off in the distance, going from sample line to sample line, eating all the crackers and all the dips without a care in the world. F**k him.
By the time I get out of the deli section, Jesse will have tried all the samples so he will come looking for me. 100% of the time, I will be in the produce room, which means he won't be able to find me so he will call my phone. I seriously can't think of a single time in recent memory that this has not happened.
Then we'll load up on cases of beer, and the cart will officially be too heavy for me to drive so Jesse gets put back on duty. He curses and shoves his way past the remaining idiot families (and by this time, I don't try to stop him. If it were me driving the cart, I'd be mowing them down like this was a game of Road Rash) and we get in line behind 2384972843 other people to pay at the front.
Just your typical ordinary Saturday crowd.
At this point, Jesse is once again all Costco'd out after that tough final march from the beer section to the front of the store, so he wanders off to the food court to buy us each a hot dog. I stay with the cart while he eats his hot dog; then he comes back and takes over cart duty while I take my turn in the food court with my hot dog. At some point during my hot dog break, Jesse will reach the front of the line and will go to pay for our stuff. He will pull out my Costco card -- you know, me, the girl who was standing in line the entire time and is now 30 feet away in the food court, fully visible -- and the cashier will angrily accuse Jesse of trying to pull a fast one by using someone else's Costco card. Someone with the same last name who was just standing there LITERALLY THREE F**KING MINUTES AGO.
So Jesse will beckon me over to the register to explain to the cashier that it is my card and all I want in this world is to eat my hot dog while my husband pays for the groceries. And then the cashier will bitchily inform us that in the future, Jesse either needs his own card or I need to be present during the transaction.
I then set fire to the Costco warehouse and beat the cashier senseless with a reasonably-priced five-pack of tire irons, because COSTCO ON THE WEEKEND IS A GODLESS PLACE THAT DESERVES TO BURN.
GOT FOUR MORE TIRE IRONS IN CASE THAT ONE BREAKS, BITCH.
Turns out Jesse isn't the only one who forgets about the pain of Costco and remembers only the incredible joy that comes from owning your own 24-pack of Sugar Free Rock Stars.
Speaking of which ... how many of those do we have left? We might need to go to Costco this weekend.