Why I loathe shopping at Costco

Do you have Costco stores where you live? For people with large families or folks who own restaurants or other businesses, these giant warehouse stores that sell in bulk are great. For single people like me, Costco is kinda useless. I mean, why would I ever buy a twenty-five pack of toilet paper? I don’t have room for that much TP.

But I did go to Costo over the weekend with my dad. I went because Coscto received a shipment of spring stuff. What’s spring stuff? Oh, things like flowers, seed packets, picnic tables, and lawn chairs. I was specifically looking for a new lounge chair, and I hit the jackpot. Most of the lawn furniture came in pairs: 2 chairs for $250. I only needed one. And thankfully, there was a nice chair for sale as a single unit.

Dad helped me place the heavy and awkward lounge chair on top of the shopping cart. I also bought some raspberries and 3 cantaloupe. Since the shopping basket was completely covered by my lawn chair, I positioned the fruit on top of the chair. It was a wide load to push down the aisles, but I managed. At the check-out line, my dad spotted a car that was on display, and he said, “Oh, I need to check that out. Can you handle the chair? Meet me over at the car after you pay.” “Okay,” I said.

At Costco, the logistics of checking out and paying are interesting. You roll your cart behind the check out aisle (on the side of the cashier), and you separate from your purchases and meet up with them again after you’ve paid the bill. I always get a slightly panicked feeling when I buy stuff at Costco. I hate being separated from my stuff. It’s sort of like sending your purse, wallet, shoes, belt, iPod and MacBook Pro through one part of airport security while you walk barefoot through the metal detection thing and are patted down by TSA screeners. I’m always so relieved to reconnect with my belongings.

Back to Costco. While I maneuvered my cart to the back of the checkout counter, a man pushing a woman in a wheel chair darted in line, in front of me, on the other side of the aisle.

“Don’t do that. You’ll cut that girl off,” said the woman in the wheelchair.

“That’s the point. I want to get ahead of her,” said the man who was pushing her.

“But her stuff is already being scanned,” the woman said to him.

He continued, “Yeah, let’s have her pay for our stuff too. Do you think we can trick her into paying our bill?” He was trying to get my attention and be funny. It wasn’t working.

Instead of walking behind them and retaining my place in line, I walked behind the cashier, around the end of the check-out lane where the shopping bags are, and back to my place in line.

“Oh, she’s clever. She’s crafty. Very nice move,” the guy said. At this point I made eye contact with him. Big mistake.

“You’re buying our groceries aren’t you, little lady?”

“I have no intention of paying for your stuff. You’re no doubt quite capable of taking care of this yourself,” I replied. I sounded like an uptight character from a Jane Austen novel.

“Hey, add our stuff on to her bill” the guy told the cashier.

The cashier and I looked at one another and I sort of rolled my eyes.

“Wouldn’t you know, we got the slowest, laziest cashier in the whole store,” the guy said to cashier. “Don’t you think she’s slow,” he asked me?

I gave him my ‘please leave me alone, okay?’ look.

“No one has a sense of humor. Everyone’s so uptight. You’re paying for our groceries though, right?” he asked me again.

I didn’t look at him or respond. Instead, I paid the cashier and wheeled the oversized cart over to my dad.

“Wanna look at the car?”

“No, dad, I just want to get the heck out of here.”

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