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I laughed hard when I read something that Kelly Ripa had said regarding the show The Bachelorette. She said “Going to Fiji is not Marriage…Going to Costco is Marriage.” Spoken like someone who has been married for a few years…dear reader, this is the real “reality”.
I have watched countless girlfriends, (ok myself included) expect rainbows and butterflies from men on the first/second/twenty fifth date. We expect men to show up at our doorstep in a top hat and tails holding chocolates/diamonds and small puppies… but, let’s be honest; this isn’t fair to our male counterparts… I would rather my potential mate be of quality and take me to Costco, then be a philanderer and take me to Fiji.
Dates should be about “team building”…how do the two of you navigate the world together…can you handle the stress of your car battery breaking down in the middle of nowhere, is your mate kind to strangers when the two of you are out and about, basically can they make good decisions out there in the world. Jessica Massa recently penned a book called “The Gaggle” in which she chronicles how we are now living in a “post-dating world”. She explains:
It’s easy to feel like your love life is nonexistent. You know you’re great, so why haven’t you been on a classic dinner-and-a-movie date since . . . well, forever? Because as it turns out, you are now living in a post-dating world, where the old rules for sex and relationships no longer apply. Suddenly, everything and nothing is a date. But this means that you have much more going on in your love life than you realize.
This has me thinking a lot about Costco. Why don’t we go on dates here? I want someone to take me to Costco.
Costco represents a springboard for a lot of life’s great moments but also represents the mundane. As a child I remember when it was nothing more than the big box store with a food cart that was literally a hot dog stand. Mom and Dad would take us on long, boring, (yawn) trips to Costco and push us around on the flat beds until we begged to go home. Over the years Costco turned into something more glamorous, a little bit more necessary…you could also say, I was growing up.
If I was having a party in college- a big BBQ blow out- we would pile in the Volvo station wagon and raid the meat counter and buy enough Captain Morgan’s to keep the party going through the weekend…I single-handedly bought my mattress from Costco on a rainy day in Chico, tying it on to the roof of that Volvo by myself…Christmases I took care of everyone on my list ensuring that everyone got something that they wanted. Getting to Maui for vacation- where is the first place we stop? Costco of course- because we can get snorkel sets and $1.50 hot dogs! Once I watched a man propose to his girlfriend while waiting in line to check out at Costco. And , I’ll always remember my BFF, Jules, telling me that the first family outing with the new baby was at Costco- It was an attempt to get back to normal.
As I settle into my new life in San Francisco the overwhelming desire for normalcy hits- I really need to go to Costco. I need to smell the cardboard boxes and eat some samples. Jay and I take my car (for what will be the last time I probably drive it in the city) to the 10th and Harrison location. It’s laid out like every other Costco out there, Peet’s coffee gift cards on the left, jewelry counter and TV’s on the right…but for the first time ever I see lots of other people like me. Young professionals after work on a Monday- doing a Costco run.
Jay and I quickly spring into action- what I like about taking different people here is how they shop. What are they drawn to? What do they end up buying? One friend that I went to Costco bought a year’s supply of Umbrellas…Jay is quickly drawn to the Power Bars. I remind him that as part of the Trophy Wife Training Program we need to get some Champagne and things to make for dinner (remember that part about improving our Kitchen skills). After our trip I say he can have anything he wants from the food court…
“Really?” he asks me wide eyed.
“Yes, I will buy you whatever you want” I say.
You would think I just offered to take him to Fiji. We happily ate our $1.50 hot dogs, and berry Sundays and also discovered that we could take the Malibu rum that we just bought and pour them into the Sundays (double bonus). Afterwards he encouraged me to ride the shopping cart down the parking lot slope:
“BUT don’t crack the eggs, we need those!” He yells at me.
The truth is that everything begins with this place… which is why you should forget your next date and just take them to Costco.