Sunday, May 4, 2008

Shopper Stalkers (a trip to Costco part two)

In part one of my Costco tale, I spoke of endorphins. You know, those little things that exercise give you that make you feel mi-tee fine? In short, Costco gives you that healthy glow. After your shopping is done. Sure, coming out of that store feels great, you can't wait to get home and crack open that 7 pound bag of chips while reading your latest 5 dollar bestseller. But, as a firm believer in trade-offs and natural laws, I must also relate the yin to this yang. Like everything in this world,
(even Katie Holmes) Costco has....a dark side.
It begins about a half mile from the store. Embarking on your journey is fun, and exciting. What bulk treasure will you bring home today? Then, on the street before Costco avenue, it starts. Sweaty palms. Then, faster breathing, followed by a quicker heartbeat. Sweat drops appear on your temples, and your eyes begin darting back and forth. If you are a hater of anticipation, like me, then turning into the parking lot is the worst part. The question you first ignored, then tried to ignore begins beating against your skull until you simply can't pay attention to any other issue! Your children could be choking on their gum in the seat behind you, and all you can think is,
WILL I GET A PARKING SPACE CLOSE TO THE DOOR??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah right, you are thinking as you read this. Silly question, you are thinking. Totally not me, you are thinking.
Well, I am unhappy to tell you that you are lying to yourself.
Do you really go to Costco, and drive straight back to the parking spot that is open farthest back from the store? That empty space that feels lonely and neglected in the furthest corner? Take a moment to consider that.
AHA!!!!! I saw that pondering look. No way jose! After a few hours you may eventually take that space, but no way do you head for it right away! You do what we all do. Drive slowly up and down the aisles, looking for a close empty spot, or watching for those shoppers with full carts huffing and puffing their way to their car. We are just as bad as the evil paparazzi!! In our quest for that close to the front parking space, we are all "paparazzi!" Only our esteemed title is....shopper stalkers! Let's face it folks, when a cart packed shopper leaves Costco, her trip to the car is more watched than Brittney Spears' trips to the gas station. Ok, almost as watched. Once she passes the fourth or fifth parking spot, the pressure is off. However, until that sixth parking spot....I have seen many shocking things.
I have seen charitable women transform into horrific monsters.
Sweet ladies who bake bread for their neighbors start to circle parking spots like hyenas around a felled gazelle! Bared teeth, manic panting, fevered grunting, screeches of rage, all from women you would have previously called first after a family emergency. I have seen a respected PTA president wait, count em, 45 minutes for me to vacate the spot I fought for, (and won) right in front of the door!
Going to Costco is so totally exhausting that yes, you do need the energy saved by getting as close as you can to that giant line of glittering carts parked right there in the front.
I support the troops, always have, always will, but I can't help but wonder if our soldiers shouldn't start holding boot camp in the war zone I describe here. They would learn valuable skills such as tracking (following the departing shopper) navigation (knowing where the most prime parking is located) and most essential of all, combat. Anyone in the armed forces could benefit from watching two minivan driving mamas grappling for the same skinny rectangle of achievement.
There is only one feeling better than getting that spot right there in the front.
Pulling out of it, and watching your rear view mirror. Go ahead, roll down the window, pull out ever so sloooooowly, wave and call out cheerily,
"Let the games begin again! : )