From the Blog

Getting Reacquainted with Costco

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I hadn’t been to a Costco in about three years. When I lived in California and Hawaii, I went to Costco all the time. I’d get that giant tub of shredded Parmesan and maw through that shit in about a week’s time. I’m not proud. But, what? Am I going to lie about Parmesan cheese? No, I am not. If you can’t be truthful about cheese, really, what can you be honest about? Look yourself in the mirror and answer that question.

Anyway. Costco. Dave said he hadn’t been since he was a kid. And I hadn’t been to a Costco since I moved to Portland. I let my membership lapse. Costco seemed so faaar awaaay in Portland. Like, beyond my usual five mile city girl radius, where I turned into a pumpkin if I attempted to venture further.

So now we moved to a small town, and now we live in a giant fricken apartment, and Costco is five miles away. After changing our address at the DMV, and getting our Clatsop County library cards, we entered the temple of Costco to begin our re-indoctrination.

Grocery shopping is probably one of the most mundane, unremarkable experiences we all share. But Costco is seriously like visiting a different country. Have you ever grocery shopped in a foreign country? Me neither, but allow me to tell you what I think it’s probably like. When you go to a foreign country, that mundanity (it’s a word, look it up) becomes fascinating. Strange products, different animal parts, unfamiliar household items. After being away for a number of years, and trying to downsize and not buy so much stuff, Dave and I stood in Costco with our mouths agape. In this case, it wasn’t that any of the products were unfamiliar, but that they were all so fricken enormous.

We were never opposed to buying in bulk. But it’s just the two of us, and we didn’t have the apartment space to store vast purchases. Now, we really can buy pallets of chicken broth, canned tomatoes, or tuna fish. We can buy a year’s supply of pasta. We can buy enough toilet paper to built a sweet fort with. They even still had the giant tubs of Parmesan (which I honestly did not purchase). I am a little suspicious that the sizes and quantities probably encourage over consumption. We walked out of there with a $150 grocery bill. I haven’t spent that much on groceries in a long, long time. We usually make many small trips, not giant trips like this.

It’s still just the two of us, and the size and quantities of these items still feels a little embarrassing. I’m glad I can pretend I have a tribe of 7 kids at home because it would be scandalous for us to be making toilet paper forts by ourselves.


  1. i have a costco membership. mainly for the toilet paper (they have the individually wrapped rolls, which i know is wasteful, but man i love ’em) 8 pack of tuna, and the inexpensive paperbacks. oh, and ink for the printer. ink is like half price at costco. but the store completely overwhelms me. in like 5 minutes. i grab a cart, pull out my list and in 5 minutes i am aimlessly wandering around, mouth agape, intently inspecting an item i have absolutely no use for.

    most of the stuff there is stuff i would n ever ever buy. because 1) i am one person, and 2) because most of it is processed shit. every time i find something there, that i like, the next time i go… gone! forever! i need to go get some stuff from them, but my membership is up for renewal and i don’t know that i want to renew it…

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