Costco (Where the Strong buy Batteries and the Weak buy…Everything?)

We’re all on a budget, right? These economic times have been rough on the lot of us and I’ve joined the ranks of the many trying to spend smarter/save wiser. Then why, oh why, would I continue to send my husband into that financial sinkhole more commonly known as Costco?

Let me set the scene for you:

Him: Hey, honey. I need some rechargeable batteries. I’m going to head to Costco. Need anything?

Me: (Looking at him speculatively) Are you sure that’s ALL you need? Batteries?

Him: Yeah. That’s all I’m getting. Do you need anything?

Me: So let me get this right. You are going to Costco and all you’re going to buy are batteries and the things I ask you to pick up?

Him: (Looking at me like I’ve lost my ever-loving mind) Yeeesss.

Me: (Looking at him with worry given his sudden memory loss) So, if I say I need spinach, bananas and bread you’re only going to buy batteries, spinach, bananas and bread?

Him: (Quickly losing his patience with this conversation) Um, yeah. Batteries, spinach, bananas and bread. I’m going now.

Me: Alrighty. See you back here with batteries, spinach, bananas and bread?

Him: Ya.

End scene.

Have you ever seen the movie “The Jerk”? Do you remember a certain scene where Navin (played by comedic genius Steve Martin) after a heated moment with his lady love is telling her he’s leaving and he needs absolutely nothing.

“I don’t need this stuff and I don’t need you. I don’t need anything — except this, this ash tray, and that’s the only thing I need is this! I don’t need nothin’ but this – just this ash tray, and this paddle game. The ash tray and the paddle game – and that’s all I need, and this – the remote control. The ash tray, the paddle game and the remote control, that’s all I need. And these matches. The ash tray, and these matches, and the remote control, and the paddle ball. And this lamp. That’s right. This paddle game, and the remote control, and the lamp and that’s all I need. And that’s all I need too! I don’t need one other thing. Not one – I need this – the paddle game and the chair and the remote control and the matches, for sure.”

Argumentatively one of the funniest scenes (and movies) of all time, and strangely, an almost perfect parallel to Jer and his shopping trips to Costco.

I have this vision of him walking the aisles of that addictive warehouse pulling random things off the shelves.

“I don’t need this stuff..I don’t need anything — except these Red Baron pizzas, and that’s the only thing I need are these! I don’t need nothin’ but this — just these pizzas, and this Swiffer. The pizzas and the Swiffer – and that’s all I need, and this — a car waxing kit. The pizzas, the Swiffer and the car waxing kit, that’s all I need. And these lighters. The pizzas, the Swiffer, the car waxing kit and these lighters. And this Armor-All gift set. That’s right. The pizzas, the Swiffer, the car waxing kit, the lighters and this Armor-All gift set. That’s all I need!

He can’t help himself, you guys. I send him for four things and he brings home 2 packing boxes full. And yet I still send him. Why? Because I’m lazy and don’t have the patience to stand in those Godforsaken lines waiting to checkout and then attempt to navigate my way past the hordes of lunchgoers trying to decide between a chicken bake or polish sausage. And Jer? He loves it.

So I guess I will continue to find space for all of his finds and the money to pay for it and he will continue to preserve my sanity. What a lovely duo we make, eh?

Mindy

It has finally happened.

Well,I knew it was bound to happen. Eventually. I’ve been racing against time for years now in a full-on effort to alleviate dealing with this issue. I understand it happens to us all and have tried to reason with myself to that fact. It still stings. It still digs deep. It still pains me.

Allow me to explain.

My sister, mom and I headed out this past weekend to visit our community’s holidaybazaar held at the local high school. We were actually afforded a break in weather and had a beautiful, sunny (albeit freezing cold) day to lift our rain-beaten spirits. I brought Avery along with me, her Hello Kitty wallet and purse in tote, to shop for crafts and quickly discovered some problems with my decision.

Problem one: Avery was misinformed regarding the term ‘bazaar’ and all it encompasses.

Avery: What is this place?

Me: It’s a bazaar, Avery. People bring their crafts and things here.

Avery: Why?

Me: Because they are trying to make a little extra money. You’ll see. It’s neat.

Avery: I don’t get it.

Me: What don’t you get? It’s crafts and stuff.

Avery: Um, okay. I don’t see any.

Me: See what?

Avery: Crafts and stuff.

Me: Because we haven’t actually gotten inside the main part of the bazaar yet. Be patient.

Avery: Can I buy a stuffed animal?

Me: Let’s wait and see what else is in there. Maybe there’s a craft or something you want to buy.

Avery: You mean like a snowman or something?

Me: Yeah, maybe a snowman.

Avery: I’d rather have a stuffed animal.

Me: Come on, Avery.

Problem two: Avery does not have a stellar grasp on the necessity for organization.

After much begging and pleading I finally acquiesed to allow Avery her stuffed animal. Another frickin’ stuffed animal. To join the other 472 sitting in her room. She finds a cocker spaniel whom she immediately names “Ginger” and pulls her wallet outof her purse.

Avery: My money’s in here. In my wallet. Just a sec.

She looks atthe vendor and smiles. The vendor looks back at her and…doesn’t smile.Moreover, she grimaces. Sheobviously was not enjoying her day.

As Avery zips open her wallet I realize it’s going to be a long transaction.Her wallet was stuffed fullto the brim and bursting at itszippered seams.I wasgrowing alittle unsure as to how she would locate the onelonely $5 dollar billamidst all the”important” paperwork filling her wallet. The frantic part of my personality was ready to just throw a 5-spot at the human gargoyle and get the heck out of Dodge. But, I could tell that purchasing the animal all by herself was important to Avery so I just stood back and inwardly seethed.

After rifling through used bandaids, sticker backings, playing cards, sticky notes and aboug 30 pounds of pennies, Avery located her $5.00 and proudly handed it to the lady.

Avery: Here you go. That’s $5.00 dollars.

Human Gargoyle: Here. (She handed Avery the cocker spaniel and then proceeded to scurry back into her hidey hole behind the sock monkeys.)

Problem Three: Okay, so here’s where the story gets even uglier. The real purpose of my post.

We continue to weave through the bazaar and we pass by these two young boys manning abooth with woodcarved crafts.

My sister says, “Wow. Look at that. They have a really nice booth.”

I said, “Yeah, it’s like a little workshop. Cute.”

The two teenage boys looked at each other, bashfully, and smiled. I thought, “aren’t they cute?”

This is when the horrible thing happened.

As we walked passed the boys I heard one boy say to the other one, “Dude…those two moms were totally hitting on you.”

Like a dagger to the chest. It was all I could do to keep from falling onto the ground and assuming the fetal position.

I’m a mom.

I mean, I’ve been aware of this fact since I experienced 3 stitches in the nether regions after birthing Avery, but I didn’t realize that other people (namely those younger types) would automatically assume it.

But, it is what it is and the fact of the matter is…I am a mom! A proud one at that. It’s a new, albeit more mature, identity thatnow after all ofmy pathetic whimpering I’vedecided to wholeheartedly embrace. You never know. I might even purchase a pair of mom jeans and move on to wearing moresensible shoes.

Mindy

Phew…is anybody else tired?

I’m exhausted. Like, seriously pooped. I’m pretty sure my feet are about ready to pop off my ankle bones. They’re propped up and pulsating Fred Flintstone-style from all the running around I’ve done over the past few days. It’s been a very busy weekend (for everyone, I know) but since it’s my blog I get to whine about how busy it’s been for me.We’ve had Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and we hosted a belated Thanksgiving on Sunday with the hubby’s side.

I previouslyposted about my Black Friday plans brought on by my obvious bout of temporary insanity. We were supposed to hit the local Toys ‘R Us at midnight on Friday. Initially I was a little apprehensive about waiting up until midnight to shop. Back in the day, in my younger and wilder days, we would wait until midnight to even go out to the bars. Nothing was happening before midnight. It was like the witching hour. The point in time where inhibitions were let go and fun was to be had.

God…what happened?

I practically had to stick toothpicks in my eyes to stay awake. I was checking email, polishing silver for Thanksgiving withthe hubby’s side that Sunday, mopping the floor, doing situps (I have no idea where this came from) and plucking my (sparse) eyebrows all the while trying to keep myself busy enough so that I wouldn’t fall asleep on the couch. It was like knowing I couldn’t go crawl into bed was making me sleepier! I would sashay past the bedroom door glancing at the bed, wishing I was in it. Jer was still awake working on his website and I would ask him, “Why aren’t you in bed?”

“Because I’m not tired.”

“What do you mean you’re not tired? It’s super late.”

“It’s 9:30 Mindy.”

Well, I’ll be danged. Father Time had slowed to a crawl just to tick me off. He knew that I wasn’t exactly comfortable with the idea of midnight shopping so he thought he would “stick it to me” bydragging the whole thing out. Just like a man.

So 11:45p.m. finally got here and I suddenly perked up. I actually got excited. It was like I was about to do something forbidden, something taboo, something wild and crazy. I pranced out to the Expedition, fired her up and headed out to pick up the girls. We chatted and giggled in a silly excitement all the way there reminding ourselves how crazy we were being.

And then it started raining.

Hard.

And I have curly, frizz-prone hair. And rain is not very kind.

Trepidation set in, once again, and was magnified ten-fold when I pulled up to Toys ‘R Us and saw probably 300 nutjobs standing in line. Did I mention it was raining? I pulled into the parking lot, thinking, hoping that maybe all of these people were lining up for something that had nothing to do with Toys ‘R Us. Maybe they were offering free helicoper rides up there. Oh, I know. Maybe it’s one of those VFW chicken booths. We pull up near the front of the store and quickly discover that a) there was no helicopter and b) there were no vets schlepping barbecued chicken. These people were here for Black Friday.

I’m pretty sure I squealed my tires pulling out of that parking lot. The only thing that would have me standing in that line would be a meet ‘n greet with the Thunder from Down Under and I saw NO speedos anywhere near that store.

So, we drove home. At midnight. Three wild and crazy gals with a dream for marked down Legos and Littlest Pet Shop. With nothing to show for our trip out in the inclement weather…but frizzy hair.

Oh, well. There’s always next year. I think I’ll write the company and suggest the meet ‘n greet idea.

Oh, and in just in case any of you are worried that my experience in the Toys ‘R Us parking lot may have jaded me from any further Black Friday retail therapy, we were out and about by 9:30 that same morning and did our share to boost the economy. You’re welcome, Mr. President.

Mindy

Black Friday

Well, did you survive the holiday? Are you still knee-deep in a tryptophan-induced coma? Are you leaking pumpkin from your pores? Oh…is that just me? How embarassing.

We had a wonderful Thanskgiving this year withturkey a’plenty and all the fixin’s. But even more important than that was the fellowship between family and friends. Oh, and the sweet potato bake. That was pretty important. Wait. I can’t forget my sister’s homemade rolls. Very important. Okay, so there were lots of important things now forcing me to spend some one-on-one time with Richard Simmons this next week.

So, now that all the hubub of Thanskgiving preparedness is over it is now time for Black Friday. It is now time to spend way more money than I was ever planning to because the crap’s on sale. “Oh, my God. They have 400-count packs of Pez dispensers on sale. It’s a value pack. We always need Pez dispensers.” Or, “Hold the phone, people! They have a special edition Jon Bon Jovi wall clock. And it’s on sale. Well, I’m picking that up.’

My sisters and I have alway shopped Black Friday but have never been those nutjobs lined up outside the Walmart at 2:00a.m.

Until now.

Okay, so it’s not Walmart and it’s not 2:00a.m. But it is Toys ‘r Us, and it is Midnight. That’s right. You heard me. MIDNIGHT. I’m that nutjob. And to be honest, I don’t even know why we’re heading out for that super-duper early bird sale.

People get crazy at these doorbuster moments. A few years back my sister-in-law and I joined a hoard of men standing outside ahome improvement store to pick up some super cheap items for the hubbies. As the doors rolledopen themass moved through the opening and with each inch we progressed the more hysterical people got.Icould hear some of these men audibly giggling at the sight of yellow signs withslashed-through prices and bins full of dollar tools.One man, andI usethe term loosely, apparently thought that Iwas taking a teensy bit too much time and rammed his cart into the back of my heels. Now, what the poor soul didn’t realize because he was standing behind me was that I was about 6 months pregnant atthe time, and if you had readyesterday’s post you will already know that I was notthe most emotionally stablepregnant chick. I gave the fool the benefit of the doubt by believing that he “accidentally” ran into me the first time. I was wrong. He pushed that cart into my ankles again and surrounded by agaggle of hyper men I turned around, faced the fool and proceeded to kick the front of his cart so hard thathis “weapon” backfired and knocked him in his own shins. I gave him a look that said, “Touch me with that damn cart again, moron, and your shins won’t be the only body partbruised.”Oddly,after turning a corner I never saw the man again.I thought I saw him standing with a security guard but I can’t be sure.

So, I am heading out to Toys ‘r Us, a veteran ofBlack Friday brutality, armed forlunacy. Wish me luck. Moreover, wish some luck on the poor fool who gets a little antsy with his shopping cart. I’m wearing my heavy-duty boots.

Mindy

I guess I’m not too good for Canned Food Warehouse…

I know I am certainly not alone in suffering from overpriced groceries and inflated food budgets. We are a small family of 4 and I am increasingly amazed at how much it costs to feed us on a monthly basis. I’ve recently begun trying to find ways to save a little money and have been re-thinking my shopping habits. I have to admit I’ve always been a bit of a grocery store snob. I really appreciate the little luxuries like clean floors, helpful store clerks and someone bagging my groceries that you get at some of the higher-end grocers. It’s probably due to the fact that I spend my entire day serving someone and appreciate getting a little extra pampering. (Okay, that’s just sad.)

So, my sister-in-law Sara calls me up and invites me to do a little shopping at, you got it, Canned Food Warehouse. I will admit, I have shopped there before but have usually picked up Laura Scudders cheddar mix and Hot Tamales in the party size. But on this particular day, we were going to do some shopping. Sara kind of eased me into it by starting us off in the beauty aisle. Now, I could shop for beauty in a nuclear arms facility so Canned Food Warehouse was really no problem. I was a little nervous about venturing into the “food” part of the warehouse, but neverthless, off we went.

People, my jaw hit the floor! That place is so cheap! Next thing I know I’m throwing crap in my cart right and left. I’m talking everything! I’m picking up bananas and cereal, English muffins and industrial-sized pizza sauce. Did you know they actually sell car parts at Canned Food Warehouse. I get on the phone and call Jer to make sure we don’t need any new oil filters for the car. I was actually considering buying a gigantic ficus tree. Why? Because they were going for $9.99! And it was gigantic. I worked myself into a frenzy over the amazing prices and huge selection. I was like a kid in a candy store…a shopaholic at a sidewalk sale – or in this case a Canned Food Warehouse.

Okay, so I overdid it a little. But the moral of the story is this…don’t discount your local discount store. There is a lot to be found by discriminate shoppers and quite a lot of money to be saved.

Oh, and right now they are running a killer special on ficus trees!

Love to all, Mindy