grocery store

A Costco-sized tangent that even I didn’t see coming


I’ve mentioned that when we moved we downsized by 75%, and about a month ago while walking through Costco I stopped dead in the paper towel aisle—BY THE WAY, my Costco, the Costco I attend, it is the biggest Costco in the world. Full stop. Period. Boom. The End. I don’t wanna hear nuthin’ about your wimpy little stadium-sized Costco. My Costco is bigger than Italy.

I didn’t ever write about this, so why not now? I had no idea that they were expanding the square footage of this Costco by seventy fucking thousand square feet. And one Sunday morning I was innocently cruising through the laundry detergent aisle when suddenly I looked up and I could not see the horizon. There was no end. The landscape stretched out into eternity before me. Birds were flying and crashing into each other because the sky and the earth had become one.

I was not prepared. At all. Not one bit. Had I been prepared I would have been all FUCKEN A! Behold this American jewel! I’m going out right now to apply for a concealed carry permit for the gun that I do not own so that I can waltz by all those pallets of Sprite and Diet Coke like a total privileged badass who will just take herself to the ER when she gets deathly ill from a preventable condition because fuck healthcare.

Instead I had a panic attack. Literally. I could not comprehend how I would ever get out of that building. Because my approach to Costco is to make sure that I have waked down every single aisle so as not to miss anything I might need in bulk. Two gallon-sized jugs of ketchup? Hell, yes! One always needs to be prepared for an onslaught of French fries.

How would I ever get out of there alive? I wouldn’t! And so I did what the panic attack told me to do: I abandoned my cart and ran out of the building. I am here right now apologizing to the Costco employee who had to restock all the items I had in my cart—the tubs of salsa that could fill a swimming pool, the 27 yellow onions I’d grabbed because apparently that’s how many you can shove into one netted bag and sell for $8.99, the 14-pound package of almond flower I would never use because I don’t cook, but it’s gluten free!

I have only been back to that monstrosity twice since the panic attack. The first time I drew a plan on a piece of paper and set a timer because I was there for only one thing: I am a sucker for Costco-brand baby wipes. Does this make me a horrible activist? Absolutely. Those things are terrible for the environment, but they are the solution to every single problem in life. Discard your regular washcloths and sponges and cleaning supplies and get yourself a giant box of Costco-brand baby wipes. You will never have to worry about stains on anything ever again, your children will never walk around covered in unknown sticky substances, and you will attract all sorts of romantic possibilities into your life because you’re suddenly putting an energy out into the world that says, “You totally want to fuck me.”

The second time was a month ago, and that’s where this post started! Here we are! You can always trust that I’ll make it back to the original point. In fact, I bet some of you get disappointed when I do because WHY ELSE ARE YOU HERE IF NOT TO BE SHOT OUT OF A CANNON INTO A RAGING WATERFALL OF PROSTHETIC BALLS?

(Oh no, prosthetic balls. I alluded to them again. Do you think Lance is ever going to read this? Probably not. It’s safe from time to time to drop this inside joke that lives on my phone. Plus, I have friends who are lawyers! If he ever did flip out I would pay their hourly fees!)

A month ago I left Costco completely empty-handed, and not because I had abandoned my cart next to a box of 4,000 individually-wrapped seaweed flakes. No. I walked out with nothing because I have no room. Where the hell am I going to put 16 rolls of paper towels? I do not have space in my house. And I still have a few packages of Costco-brand baby wipes left over from the last time, so we’re all good on that front.

I was originally going to make this post the second installment of Books People Send Me. You see, this month’s stack is now taking up a huge corner of my office and I need to donate several of them and clear up some space. I don’t have room in this house to store any more books than I already have. But Jesus, did that introduction turn into an unexpected sinkhole, or what.

Maybe I’ll post about those books tomorrow. Or maybe I will sit down to write and my lower intestine will suddenly unfurl into words.

Instead you get a picture of flowers up above, and yes, Marlo is sitting there on her device watching porn. Someone kept sending me very lovely bouquets after I moved into this house, and I am not complaining. But after the fourth or fifth one I literally had nowhere to put them. I was all LISTEN, DUDE. I know you’re here because I sent out my Costco-brand baby wipes pheromone, but please try to respect my square footage limitations.