Almost exactly a year ago (January 3, 2014, to be exact; I know because I blogged about our experience), Bill and I went to our local Mesa Costco only to find it so incredibly busy with post-Christmas winter visitors descending upon the East Valley that we couldn’t find a place to park in the immense parking lot. I vowed before God and my readers that I would never again go to Costco right after New Year’s Day. In fact, I think what I might have said was “As God is my witness, they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again.” Oh wait, that might have been Scarlett O’Hara because I have a vague recollection of someone – I thought it was Bill – saying, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Anyway, it doesn’t matter because there we were, Friday, January 2, 2015, driving around the Costco parking lot, dodging Buicks with Minnesota license plates and desperately looking for someplace to park. Though I was well-aware of the likelihood of frenzied masses at Costco, the situation was dire. Bill was nearly out of the Parkinson’s medication that keeps him functioning normally and nearly as serious, he had eaten the last of his peanut-butter filled pretzels. Desperation won out over reason. Peanut butter pretzels….
At least this time I was smart enough to not use a cart.
I seriously can’t even begin to tell you how many people were there. And here’s the thing about the Costco shoppers: In addition to pushing their Costco shopping cart (which, as you know, is as big as my yellow bug), at least one of the people (because, as I have told you before, winter visitors travel in pairs) was driving an electric cart. That works out great if your goal is to block an entire Costco aisle, which apparently was, in fact, the goal. Scoooooooooooooooooore!
I must stop here for a minute to insert something important. One of my New Year’s resolutions is that I am going to be more generous in spirit and look at things in a more positive light. It seems to only have taken seven days for me to break that particular resolution. But here I go – I’m back on the positive-thinking horse.
As we left the store, I heard one of the people who stands at the door for, I don’t know, eight hours at a pop, singing her goodbyes to people as she checked their receipts. When I say singing, I don’t mean humming a tune such as My Favorite Things. I mean, instead of saying, “Thank you, have a good day,” she is singing those same words to a tune she makes up as she goes along. It’s like being in a Rogers and Hammerstein musical. Singing and dancing as part of a normal life activity. And, just like in a musical production, no one seems surprised.
“Oh Lordy,” I found myself saying to Bill. “She’s still working here.” Because I have vivid memories of her from last season.
And then I stopped myself, realizing that at that point I was only one day into my resolutions. And really, how can you be cranky about someone who is that cheerful?
I would like to tell you that we will NOT, under any circumstances, be at Costco on January 2, 3, 4, or 5, 2016, but the reality is we will. If for no other reason than after spending massive amounts of money over the Christmas holidays, that buck-fifty lunch of hot dog and diet coke is about all we can afford. It’s what many could afford if you check out this photo of the food court that day….
Perhaps, like the friendly Costco worker, I will sing for my lunch.