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Friday, August 04, 2006


“A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will's freedom after it.” ~Aldous Huxley

I once had a blow out – a diaper blow out that is – in the middle of the frozen food section of Edwards in Latham, NY. At 6 months old, my mother had to abandon ship and run me home or risk cute baby girl poop all over the supermarket tile. There were also numerous occasions where either I or G would decide that the produce section, somewhere between the oranges and bananas, would be high time to throw a tantrum. Because my god! Grocery shopping is the idea of the Devil himself!

Apparently at some point over the past 21 years, I found Jesus and purchasing my $9 blueberries from Whole Foods is the highlight of my weekend. Do not disturb me while grocery shopping. I talk about how glorious the frozen foods are at Trader Joe’s “My, greek pizza or frozen pad thai? I cannot decide. I’ll get both” I get into a grocery store and suddenly I have a need for capers and 100 calorie oreo packs. Never mind that I eat capers if Michael Richards himself will be putting them on my braised salmon. I abhor oreos, but only find 100 calorie packs nifty. People! I go to three different grocery stores every weekend, mostly because I’m terrified of what the cantaloupe at safeway has on it, but trader joe’s doesn’t have fresh cantaloupe, but they do have cheap frozen Alaskan salmon, and whole foods does have cantaloupe but $20 salmon. Do you see the problem?

I’ve had many a conversation with family members as to why I must go to Whole Foods. Despite the fact that I grew up on Cheetos and chicken wings from Price Chopper and have apparently made it through the past 22 years unscathed. But no, now? Now, I need my organic watermelon and tomatoes that are nice, red and plump and won’t give me scabies.

So imagine the surprise of Mah and LB when I announced that I had never been to Costco. I, the grocery store lover of all grocery store lovers had never been to Costco. We don’t have them in upstate NY. We have BJs and Sam’s Club, but no Costco nor do I have a membership*. At the suggestion and evite of Mah, I went to Mecca:

Kid in a candy store would be the most apt adumbration** for such a thing. I was wide eyed and cruising around that place as if Jesus Christ himself were to emerge from the 3lb box of Healthy Harvest Pasta: Because that would have to happen at a place that sells a case of Yeungling for only 15 dollars. I had to start deciding between a 42 pack of toilet paper (I use it daily, so it might be useful) or a giant wheel of brie (bake it for me and spread it on a cracker and I’ll fall deeply in love). I decided against both and bought a giant sized bottle of cabernet sauvignon – shiraz mix (I will use it daily and it’s necessary. And let’s be honest, you can steal toilet paper from anywhere).

In a word: beautiful. And yet I was sad. Not because I spent an excessive amount on 13 flavors of qaker oatmeal or because I didn’t get the giant wheel of brie, but because I began projecting. What if I end up with a child who was like me? Tantrums and massive poops while I try to enjoy my shopping experience? What if I have to start going with a list because little HB Jr. throws hs or herself in a fit of rage on the gorgeous orange display? I cannot fathom the thought.

And yet another reason to never have children: They will no doubt ruin my grocery shopping experience and I just couldn’t handle that.

*Feel free to take me with you of course if you have one.
**That's what studying for the GREs gets you...remember that kids.


Anonymous Whinger said...

There should really be a list somewhere of all the reasons to not have children. We could just keep adding to it. :)

10:52 AM  
Blogger Isabel said...

I had a whole comment about my love for all things Costco muffins (buy them and freeze them), but the comments got lost.

Damn it.

Anyway, try their muffins.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous carmen said...

If I could get Whole Foods and Trader Joe's to move into my city, I'd probably have a public orgasm.

We've got a TJ within an hour, so I guess that will have to do.

Or, I could, you know, take a road trip to see you - five hours away - and go shopping with you.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Whinger: in SJ I had three separate conversations about childbirth. That gave me all the reason I need not to ever have children.

Isabel: It's the thought that counts and so I will.

Carmen: I don't know what I did for the first 17 years of my life without them.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I would have opted for the giant bottle of cab, too.

I visited a Costco once. Insane! (but good produce)

12:40 PM  
Blogger Lena said...

I was TOTALLY with you on the whole "multiple store shopping experience" (everyone knows TJ's produce has larvae in it), but THEN....No Costco?? Where EVER did you find your vat of granola bars and 10 pound bottles of shampoo all this time? Baffling. ;)

2:39 PM  
Blogger Dagny said...

As for kids and shopping, I say bribe them. "If you act nice while we're in Costco, we can stop at the snack bar on the way out and I'll let you fill up on whatever junk you choose."

I am with you on the shopping. I often hit Albertson's, Safeway, Andronico's, and TJ's all in one day. And it's not like there isn't a Whole Foods or a Costco nearby. We also have another wonderful store, Berkeley Bowl. If I'd added on these, grocery shopping would be my entire weekend.

My aunt always jokes that Costco should have an express line -- 50 items or less.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Bone said...

"And let's be honest, you can steal toilet paper from anywhere"

This reminds me of a gas station bathroom story that I better not tell.

I used to work in an office and the owners strongly and repeatedly encouraged us to use only one-ply of the toilet paper at a time. Seriously.

I had to look up adumber..uh.. that word.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous LisaBinDaCity said...

Hurrah, a fellow Costco lover!

You are officially invited to join me on my next shopping excursion ;-)

8:54 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Oooh, a girl after my own heart - cab/shiraz mix is the be-all, end-all.

I haven't ben able to find my own version of Mecca. At Costoc I wind up with a 3lb box of Kashi cereal, and I don't eat cereal. I just can't pass up a bargain, even if I can't use it. The closest I've come to Mecca is MN's own SuperTarget.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

That Mark Dayton...such a good man for doing that for the fine people of MN.I'd surely give up costco for SuperTarget.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Lassa said...

I love this store too, but for some reason I can never walk out of there without spending less than $250.00. Gah!

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Janet said...

This is hilarious. I also go to three food stores, one of them being Costco and one of them being Trader Joe's (Hello Greek Pizza!).

I buy my toilet paper at Costco and, in the three years my husband and I have been married, I've only had to buy three packs of it.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Adeline said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:13 AM  
Blogger Adeline said...

Yes the infamous Costco 200 club. I am from Seattle where they started and so this 200 club phenomena has been discussed.

But unlike everyone else, I shop at cheapie Winco for the bargains and between the meth addled moms trying to control their tantruming children (probably because they haven't eaten in 3 days) and the lingering strangoids talking about private things really loud on their cell phones next to the greeting cards, I have grown to loathe shopping.

I started to go to TJ's just to, I don't know, lighten the burden or something. I get annoyed by yogurt and bread with high fructose cornsyrup being in the first 3 ingredients and so Winco doesn't always do it.

Anyway costco. We always get the same stuff...cereal, coffee, water, juice soap, tp...just the basics. And I don't even visit the wine section unless I am feeling just kinda rich and crazy. But I don't like Costco either, it has no good juju or whatever.

I have written about this before, here...

3:14 AM  

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