If I had to make a choice between sending my husband to Costco or getting a root canal, my only question would be: novocaine or general anesthesia? Never send a man to Costco. At least not alone, without a person of the female persuasion.
Do you remember the story of Jack and the Beanstalk? Jack’s mom sends him to buy a cow so they can have milk. Instead he meets a smack-talking charlatan who hoodwinks him into buying some magic beans. Beans, for crying out loud! They aren’t even in the dairy food group! Eventually, he comes face-to-face with a giant. This is what will happen if you send your hubby to Costco. Only, he won’t just meet the giant, he will bring him home. Giant Tub of Mayonnaise. Giant Jar of Garbanzo Beans. Giant Rolls of Toilet Paper. The garbanzo beans are not magical.
I am convinced that something happens to a man’s brain when he steps inside Costco. Actually, I think it begins when the coupon book arrives in the mail. The coupon book is pornography. He quickly grabs it from the mail box and then secretly runs to the bathroom to salivate over the centerfold, Miss Cascade, in all her curvy, shimmery, green glory. He tells me he reads it for the articles.
So, back to the altered brain chemistry. If you are shopping at Costco or Vons, what’s the difference? You are still shopping. But somehow, buying things in a zillion-foot warehouse while pushing a Hummer-sized shopping cart makes men feel empowered. They are not simply shopping. Oh no, that’s what the little woman does. They are hunting, they are providing, they are leading the tribe. They don’t admit this, however. They just say they are looking for a bargain. But when my husband grabs that 20 lb slab of cheese and dumps it in the cart, he mentally thumps his chest and struts his stuff down Aisle 34. Because you just never know when a horde of cheese-loving neighbors will pop in and what will you serve them if you don’t have pepperjack on hand? He has saved the day and, in the process, asserted his male superiority over the chumps, the hacks, who weren’t fast enough or smart enough to grab the cheese first. It’s a jungle out there and only the fittest survive.
But men love bargains too, just as much as women. Women’s love of bargains is usually emotion driven. Those shoes are cute and they are half price now. Only $500, down from $1,000, but darn it, they are just SO cute! I would be crazy not to buy them. Men love bargains based on logic. I don’t need 50 boxes of Cheez-Its, but for that price it breaks down to pennies per unit. I would be crazy not to buy them. Oh, and the cases of beer to wash it all down with. Plus, I now have some crackers to serve the pepperjack on. The horde will love me for my practicality. Last fall when Costco was giving out flu shots, he got 50 just because they were such a good deal.
The practical side also kicks in on (or should I say kicks the butt of) the romantic side. I should have suspected something on date night he said he needed to stop quickly at Costco. Really? A Costco quickie? After snacking on all the free samples he comes to the conclusion that dinner out would be a waste of time and money. Hey, we are full and just spent 45 minutes together, gazing into each other’s eyes as we bit into free Pigs-in-a-Blanket. A woman can’t ask for more romance than that!
My main gripe, though, about why men should not shop at Costco is because they spend a Saudi prince’s fortune and yet come back with nothing! Nada. Zilch. Zero. At least Jack brought back some eggs, and they were golden, to boot. I would be happy with plain, old eggs. On average, my husband will spend $200 per trip and we will still have nothing for dinner. But we will have 500 Gillette razors so never fear, my dear, no hairy armpits for you.
So, I put the 50 lb tub of mayonnaise in the middle of the table, hand every one a spoon and say, “Dig in.” And here’s a Budweiser to wash it all down with, kids. Don’t worry if the spoons get messy because we have the lovely Miss Cascade who is not only sexy, but practical. A double feat the average woman can never hope to attain. I hate Miss Cascade.
On the upside, though, we do have a bunker’s worth of toilet paper. When Armageddon hits and there is a supermarket panic run on the essentials the leader of the tribe has our asses covered. And the horde’s too because they will still be at our house eating their way through months’ worth of pepperjack and Cheez-Its. And we will lift our baby-bottom smooth armpits to him in salute to his great ability to provide.