Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Must. Go. Costco. 

Hello, my name is Karin* and I am a Costco addict.

There, I’ve ‘fessed up. They say that admitting to a problem helps you overcome it, right? Not that I necessarily want to overcome my Costco addiction, but I think if I don’t at least suppress it somewhat I could be in for big trouble somewhere along the line.

Wait…am I already headed towards disaster by admitting that I don’t want to kick my habit?

Costco’s square-shouldered, putty-colored stone façade beckons to me whenever I pass. Why they ever put one right next to my gym, I cannot comprehend. They should have realized the magnetic pull the place has over babes in spandex.

Hang on…was that the corporate siren’s heinous plan?

I actually look forward to going to Costco. For me, it’s the prom of shopping experiences. I always have a “Costco list” on my kitchen counter, ready and waiting for those just-gotta-have items to be added. (Although why anybody, let alone a two-adult household, actually has to have 48 rolls of toilet paper, is beyond me.) However I almost always forget to bring the list, which means I usually have to go back in a day or two.

Hold on there a minute, bucky…do I do that on purpose?

I love the whole Costco shopping experience. Before I exit the car I make sure my Executive Gold Star Membership card is in my hot little hands, so I can just flash it and breeze right by the head-counter (an hour early than “regular” members, I might add). I walk in briskly and immediately slow right the hell down…basking in the glow of the fluorescent lights and drooling over the right-by-the-door, eye-catching special values. Even if I am there to buy one or two specific things, I ogle the jewelry, caress the clothes, sniff around the bakery, man-handle the meats, feel the fruit, buy books by the cart-baby-seat full, and wait way-too-patiently in line to pay. It’s never less than a hundred bucks. I don’t care if I was just there yesterday; it’s never less than that.

It’s only money…I’ll make more of it. What, me worry?

At the neighborhood block party last summer, my fellow Executive Gold Star Membership neighbors and I goaded one “regular” Member so badly that one of the first things he did when he arrived at this year’s picnic was to present us with his Executive Gold Star Membership card. We passed it around like it was a new PDA.

Oh my goodness…did we cause this? Did peer pressure make him want that 2% back, early entry, and exclusive monthly magazine?

And now for the seriously deranged part…my husband and I have Costco “dates.” We have gone there JUST for the hot dogs and sauerkraut. And no, I am not joking. (Note that these visits do not technically count as shopping trips because we enter through the exit--so don’t go holding that hundred bucks a trip statement over my head.)

Besides, how can you beat a meal for two for less than four bucks (including two large refillable sodas and gas)?

We had a dinner party for family around Christmas last year and I was actually getting embarrassed because every time somebody would ask me “This is delicious; where did you get it?” or “That’s beautiful, where did you find it?” I had to answer “Costco!” I think my family is ready to do an intervention on me.

Should I seek a 12-step program? Is there a Mega-Shoppers Club Anonymous? (Preferably one that is exclusively for Executive Gold Star Members?)

*Name changed to protect the embarrassed.

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