Not as noble as I thought

I feel I should begin this treatise with an apology.
It turns out I am weak. I caved in, fell to the powers of corporate America, handed in my integrity and honour.
Yes, I shopped at Costco.
I know; I’m sorry. You can’t see it, but I am hanging my head in shame. Thankfully, my hair still is long enough to cover my face to hide my abashment.
I pride myself in shopping at the independents, for supporting the little guy, ’cause hey, I’m a “little guy.” I feel immense satisfaction at buying local and preparing meals from ingredients that don’t suffer from jet lag before they appear on my table.
But what I can say; I had a weak moment. It was like a feeding frenzy, like packing dogs, where common sense made a run for it.
I was caught up in the swarm of other weak-minded souls, like those lemmings that leap off the cliff. I was in the back of the pack and just got caught up in the mob.
After I did some deep breathing and stretches, I bought muffins that had a steady diet of steroids before they were baked. I bought Cheerios that will take me into the new millennium and am now obligated to re-write my will to accommodate the supply of toilet paper and paper towel in my basement.
I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with all this dental floss, maybe floss hourly. My dentist probably would approve.
This isn’t my first crime. I’m a repeat-offender. I went to Costco back in 1990 or so.
I ran around the store like I had just discovered a lost civilization. “This is Paul Bunyan Land,” I shrieked with my arms waving madly over my head, interrupted only by my hands covering my mouth to muffle the squeals of surprise.
“You must love working here,” I said to a shelf-stocker wearing a back brace, a guy who looked like he could be a champion ultimate fighter.
I groaned to lift the peanut butter into the back of the shopping cart that was supported by steel girders. He didn’t react, but merely said, “Lift with your knees.”
My friend patted my back apologetically with a hint of embarrassment in her tone. “She doesn’t get out much,” she said, her head bowed, tipping back and forth, as she pulled the hood of her sweatshirt up tightly around her face.
She could have been the Unabomber, come to think of it.
Okay, maybe I didn’t get out much back then, my children were little, but socks in packages of 300? Who can resist?
And now, all these years later, my stalwart convictions failed me yet again. I was blinded by the packages of 30 ‘AA’ batteries and the pallet of laundry soap. I now have to build a new cupboard to house the three-gallon ketchup container and the 45-gallon drum of tomato soup.
When I die, my children can cram the 500 pens and erasers I thought I needed into the casket with me, along with my hand-written oath:. “I do solemnly swear never to shop at Costco again.”
That proclamation was never sworn before a commissioner-of-oaths, anyway. I can’t be held accountable.
As weaknesses go, it’s not really that bad. I’m not prone to shoplifting or driving while under the influence. I don’t write NSF cheques. I don’t watch Jerry Springer nor read the National Enquirer.
In fact, I don’t even glance at the headlines of those rag magazines while in line at the grocery store; I avert my eyes.
See, I’m noble.
I know my limitations. I suspect in another 20 years, if I’m still around, I’ll likely bump into someone who has a Costco membership and I’ll pretend they talked me into going along with them, just as an innocent bystander.
My eyes will widen when I enter while my friend proudly wields her membership card to the security police that bar the door. She will smile, knowing she is “one of them”—one of the special privileged.
My heart rate will quicken. Marshmallows! A 25-kg bag of marshmallows!
Perhaps I’m not as noble as I thought.
wendistewart@live.ca

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