I hate shopping, but I’m not ashamed to say it: I love Costco.
I know, I know. After all, Costco is a store, and it does charge us for its goodies, but I still don’t consider it shopping.
I consider going to Costco to be more of an event.
There’s no better feeling than clearing out the back of the Subaru, setting aside a few empty boxes and loading up the family for a fun-filled, action-packed afternoon at the neighborhood big-box store.
The fun starts when you sidle up to the door. Dozens of hands reach into purses and wallets to retrieve that all-important membership card.
“Members only” here.
That’s right: I’m a member of this exclusive club. You normal peasants cannot enter this cornucopia of king-size treats, but I can.
When we arrive, I’m immediately hit with all of the serious items. I’m talking about eyewear, roofing, flooring and caskets.
Caskets, you say? You have no idea the incredible deals you can get on caskets, if you shop for them at Costco. A little note at the bottom of the sign indicates payment in full is due upon purchase.
At that point, I grab a king-sized cart to roll my way through the warehouse.
Do I need a king-sized cart? No.
I told myself I was only there for some DVDs, but the king-sized variety is all they have, God bless them.
After I’ve selected a casket (simple black for me), it’s on to the clothing, where a selection of flannel, jeans and collegiate gear is ever-present, not to mention some awesome blankets and slippers.
I could always use another pair of slippers, right?
Soon, I’m in toys. What’s this? A triple Xbox 360 game pack that contains the one game my kid truly wants, as well as two others he’s never heard of before? Well, a deal is a deal, and he probably wants that retro PAC-MAN game anyway.
Ah, now it’s on to the food. I adore the food section because, at Costco, you never shop hungry. There are always vendors ready to shove an incredible variety of finger foods into your hungry belly.
Jalapeno shrimp? Yes, thank you.
Cheese balls? Don’t mind if I do.
Is that steak? Boy, you really can’t tell its tofu.
You get my point.
The bottom line is, Costco is the playground of stores. It has something for everybody, and have you seen the wine collection?
To top it all off, nobody ever complains if you browse. You spend hours trolling the aisles, and no one asks you if you need any help. And no one complains when I take two different samples of cheese on Ritz.
So there I am, having gone in for ... for ... what did I want anyway? Oh well, here I am, walking toward the register with a cart full of 5-pound jars of relish, gallon tubs of pretzels, plaid sweatpants and a contract for a beautiful casket (I’m going to look great in simple black).
And that’s where the dream comes crashing down. There are 50 families in line, but only two registers are open. The wait looks to be about 30 minutes, but no matter; that just gives me more time to consider this 15-pack of toothpaste near the register.
Finally there, the cashier rings up my bill.
And now I remember all I wanted was a few DVDs. Foiled by Costco once again.
Just when I thought that I could fight off the urge to buy it all, Costco has once again proven it is far superior to us mere members.
A little guilt-ridden, I slowly wheel my cart away from the register, wondering why I thought I needed all of this stuff. And I still have to load it all into the car.
No worries. I’ll feel better once I grab one of those foot-long hotdogs on the way out.A Time to Talk columnist Doug Pfeffer can be reached by email at email@example.com.