(Seriously, I'm not kidding about the 4 minute thing. I hosted a small cocktail party last night for the remaining few of us still left in Vegas, and despite the inclement weather, it was a lot of fun. And yes, the night's conversation started off about Costco and ended with Costco.)
One, the experience could have been improved if it wasn't four days before Christmas. Two, I'd imagine it would be a great deal more pleasant if I was not with a toddler.
In the rain.
Without an umbrella.
(it broke on Monday).
And three, remember, this is the same Costco where a man was shot dead in the entryway by police this past summer.
So I was a little nervous. Is it always this crowded? Why was there no parking except one spot, three miles from the store, that sixteen cars were vying over? What if a man flipped out in the chair section and Metro was called in and I had to duck and cover with a 30 pound squirming toddler in my arms? (that would likely wave and yell "Ball!" at Metro)?
We pressed on, regardless of my fears, though my biggest question for Costco is this: What exactly is your identity? You sell food...yet you are not a grocery store. You sell coats, but you are not Target. You sell electronics, though you are not Best Buy.
Costco, you are one big quagmire. Pick a team already.
Call me crazy, but I like to keep my shopping organized. Even if I'm making more than one stop, that's okay - I know why I'm going into 'X' store - furniture, food, electronics, etc. Costco...not so much. What if I decided to buy a chair when I was actually shopping for liquor? I would have to switch out my cart. And please, do not distract me with gift cards to Fleming's when I have a specific list of things to buy. Costco seems like that really fun friend in college that was a terrible procrastinator and always sucked you into her web, right when you had a big test to study for.
(Liz, I'm looking at you.)
I mean, let's focus here.
Which brings me to four main points about myself that make me the most unlikely Costco customer ever: a.) I value organization and presentation, b.) I overstimulate easily, c.) I hate almost everything the first time I try it, and d.) barring any kind of severe brain injury that alters my personality substantially, I doubt I will ever become a hoarder in my lifetime, since I really, really enjoy cleaning stuff out and throwing it away.
(seriously, ask Brian. I have thrown away half of his childhood.)
So...not surprisingly, Costco didn't go so well. But it wasn't all bad.
The wine section was lovely. The produce section was cold. The chair section, along with jewelry, was just weird. The samples? Not so impressed. I peered over a large crowd clamoring for their taste only to see it was a small slice of salami with American cheese on it. Huh? I thought they were supposed to be products we could try to see if we wanted to buy them. Like...a slice of lasgana. Or a piece of pie. Or something else equally delicious. I can roll salami and cheese together at home (in fact, I have) and not have to accept it from a woman who looked vaguely homeless and wore latex gloves.
My cart, by the end of the adventure, was a mash-up of my internal monologue. I scored some great berries. I found French-cut beans for Christmas dinner, but had to purchase six pounds of them. (sorry, Brian.) I skipped the Christmas ham section since again, our little family of 2.5 doesn't really need a 26 pound ham, but I did find a lovely bottle of Silver Oak 2004 for $79.99 Sweet! I hear berries and beans go quite lovely with cabernet. And on a whim, I threw in two bouquets of red tulips since they were only $8.99 each.
I never made it to the fabled Baby section. I caught a glimpse of it as I was in line (with my cart...I got yelled at by the checker, since I guess you are supposed to give them your cart?? And then they put your stuff in it? But my kid was in my cart...so...huh?). I hear the diapers and wipes are a total bargain, and my friend Sandy graciously offered to go with me during the next Costco adventure (sans children.)
I have to say, overall, it was a nice way to spend a rainy Vegas afternoon. Scotty waved with reckless abandon. The tulips are holding up great. And no one got shot, so I'm going to call the whole thing a success.
Sweet potato soup with crostini
andjou pears wrapped in proscuitto and arugula
drunken berries (raspberries, strawberries and blueberries with mint
cocktail meatballs in a cranberry glaze
crudettes with lemon-thyme dip
and a cheese platter (chambert, provolone, and Irish cheddar.)
Contact me if you want any of the recipes! :-)