Costco: a home away from home

Costco sells virtually everything, from groceries to utensils to clothing.

Denise Estfan

Costco sells virtually everything, from groceries to utensils to clothing.

It is a Saturday morning. You wake up feeling refreshed and excited for the weekend. Something about the air is unusually crisp, and you can’t shake the feeling that God has a plan for you today. That plan? Brunch. Costco. With the family.

You roll up in your minivan ready for an adventure. Mom has the Costco card, and you have the energy and willpower of a cheetah.

First stop: blender guy. You expect a smoothie, but he is making spinach ice cream. The average Joe might think, “Ew! No way!” But you know Costco better than they do. The ice cream is everything you hoped it would be and more. Your mom considers buying the blender and its accompanying recipe book, but decides against it after 10 minutes of deliberation. No problem. She’ll order one on EBay.

Next: furniture. Deep in the dark recesses of Costco, there is always a brown leather recliner waiting for you. It calls out, “Come over! Sit on me! Don’t be afraid.” Naturally, you do just that. It is a glorious experience. Everyone in your family takes turns, and they all fall in love. Unfortunately, it doesn’t match any of the other furniture in your house. Nevertheless, your mom considers buying the recliner. “We’ll buy that rug too. It’ll work,” she says. She’s wrong. It will never work. 17 minutes later, she gives up, planning to check Craigslist for it when we get home.

Third stop: waffles. A woman is handing out samples of Belgian waffles with maple syrup drizzled on top, at what is quickly becoming one of the more popular taste tester stations. The other taste testers were hoping and praying to be assigned waffle duty, but they were stuck marketing Saltine crackers and meatballs. You eat your Belgian waffle piece in one bite, savoring it as you chew. You try to make your sibling get you another one, but they refuse. Siblings, am I right? They just don’t understand. Your mom successfully nabs two for herself, which she does not share with anybody. At this point, your mom considers buying the waffle iron. She’s on a diet, but she does not care. It’s Costco, and it’s happening. After a few minutes, however, she surrenders the notion, figuring that someone will give it to her as a Christmas present (Update: nobody will).

Fourth stop: candy apples. But first, paper towels. You guys ran out earlier in the week. You round the corner, ready to swiftly collect the towels and…your mom runs into a gal from work. Realizing it will be a while, you sprint toward the candy apple kiosk. It is only there on occasion, so you are lucky to even have the opportunity to eat the incredibly decorated apples they serve. You take samples of two different kinds, and they delight and inspire you. You are filled with such emotion that you are left wandering Costco’s endless rows of soup cans and Goldfish in a trancelike state. This place means everything to you. Nothing is more beautiful than Costco.

As you think this, you realize that you’re missing something…Oh yeah! Your family! Where are they? You want to be enjoying this moment of startling clarity with the people you love most in the world. Then it hits you. Sure, Costco is amazing and fun and full of life. But, it is those moments there with your family at 11:30 on a Saturday morning that make Costco feel like home.

You suddenly rush through the aisles frantically searching for your loved ones. Where are they?? WHY IS COSTCO SO HUGE?? You turn the corner, and your family reappears. They nonchalantly greet you and prepare to leave. They have no idea that you just had a mini-panic attack in the store. They didn’t even worry while you were away. You then register that only nine minutes have passed since you ate your candy apple samples. Feeling foolish, you hug your family members, breathe in the fresh taste-tester air and prepare to leave.

On the car ride home, you smile, knowing that wherever you and your family go, you can call it home. It is then that your mom realizes she forgot the paper towels and, in fact, purchased nothing at Costco. Well, better go back.