The Tale of Costco (aka: Why you are thankful you don’t live by us)

Jul 31, 2009

#Family Life

I hate Costco. I hate Costco the way alcoholics hate bars. The way recovering smokers hate Neil Diamond concerts.

My children, they amplify the situation.

We call Costco the $100 store. It’s the place you walk in needing two things and walk out with a tab well over $100. “We need diapers and toothpaste.” I mark it off the list. An hour and seventeen items later, the cashier says, “$234 dollars please.” Every. Single. Time.

My children begin to foam at the mouth about a mile before the turn in. “Are we going to COSTCO?!” my four year old yells. “Yes!” I reply. My two year old says, “SAMPLE? SAMPLE?” And then the foaming, it gets worse until the time we actually walk in to the store and I’m carting around two rabid dogs who refuse a leash. They seek out the sweet little sample ladies like drug dogs on a bust. They can smell frozen ravioli from seven isles over.

I’d be proud if this was a marketable skill.

Usually at some point during the whole charade known as “shopping”, the children begin to melt down. The samples have been licked clean, the isles of canned goods stretch out in a foreboding hike and the massive amounts of bread selection tower like mountains.

They totally. Loose. Their. Minds.

At this point I turn to some lovely couple in the bread isle. They are discussing the merits of Whole Grain vs Whole Wheat. I lean in and whisper, “We’re walking birth control, I swear.”

They don’t laugh.

And so it continues. We smack in to isles of people quietly hoping to get their dinner and perhaps a vat of mayonnaise before heading home. We echo through the store as my two, yes, I only have two, children whine and fight and I think, perhaps, start speaking in tongues.

We finally hit the checkout.

“Hi, thank you, that will be $234” as I slide my card. I look over to the spawn of my loins, the physical love of my husband and me, about the time they begin pulling the “Childrens’ Hospital Donations” sign off the wall. The checker is disapproving. The people behind me wonder what kind of mother I am.

I look at my cart filled with diapers, bread, milk and cheese. I see the huge boxes of graham crackers and cheerios. I wonder, not quietly, why Costco doesn’t sell massive quantities of condoms among the vats of oil and 4lb bag of chips.

Then I remember, they have us. Who needs birth control when you can shop with the Flingers?

Just sayin’.

This image brought to you by the reason I only code.


  1. So replace COSTCO with Walmart and add in two more kids and you have just told the story as a day in the life of me. I.swear.to.God.

    By Shannon on 2009 07 31

  2. That is our story too. It is so sad. a few weeks ago, we went to Costco to get shrimp scampi, my husband’s favorite. We had a budget, but produce got in the way. Like tiny colored peppers and corn (which ended up being bad and we had to return it). Know what we had to leave without? Yep, the shrimp. My husband was devastated. Happily, a good Samaritan behind us in line bought it for my husband after seeing his distraught look - I actually blogged about it here: http://www.nibbana.net/a-random-act-of-kindness . Yeah, we hate Costco too!

    By Kelsi on 2009 07 31

  3. Forget showing the birth movie (although that is terribly traumatic too)... stories like should be told in middle school sex ed classes!

    By Meg on 2009 07 31

  4. “I hate Costco…The way recovering smokers hate Neil Diamond concerts…”  How about “The way recovering pot smokers hate Steve Miller Band Concerts”!

    I’m with Shannon.  I despise WalMart - with all of my being.  But slap my butt and call me hypocrite because yes, I still shop there.

    By Kim on 2009 07 31

  5. mwahaha. awesome.

    By perksofbeingme on 2009 07 31

  6. w/3yo. Last night.


    Kid cracks me up. Tonight at Costco. Very loud: ‘Stop walking daddy. I have to fart!’

    By Andrew on 2009 07 31

  7. HA! Absolutely true! Costco induces impluse bulk buying to heights unseen.

    By Vicki on 2009 07 31

  8. I hear ya! I too, “hate” Costco. However, they do sell massive packs of condoms in the pharmacy section. Usually right by the 39 Chapstick assortment packs! Ha!

    By Tommi on 2009 07 31

  9. They do sell condoms in bulk. But never carry much variety. wink

    This exact same thing happened to me YESTERDAY!! Went in for laundry detergent, softener, and paper towels and walked out $86.16 poorer, along with 18 eggs, like 10# of grapes, 3 rope toys for my baby Kaya (my baby walks on all fours, wags her tail, and licks her bum), a case of grapefruit cups and a 800# bag of Salt & Pepper Pistachios! WTF?!

    By Chef Tamara on 2009 07 31

  10. That illustration is absolutely teh awesome.  Sounds like all kinds of AWESOME fun shopping with you and the kiddies.  If I’m ever in town, I’ll come help wrangle them with you. 

    Cause that’s the kind of friend I am.


    By AmazingGreis on 2009 07 31

  11. If Costco had a kiddie play area like Ikea…I would gladly drop $236.18 (my last visit for diapers)weekly.  We call the samples “dinner.”

    By Laurie Mom of 3 on 2009 07 31

  12. Hahaha!
    Though when I read $100, I thought, boy, she gets off cheap.  We can pretty much guarantee $300+.  We have one more kid, though…
    I once checked out my recept and found I’d spent $78 on CHEESE!

    By Heather on 2009 07 31

  13. Substitute Costco (we don’t have a Costco here, WHAT? I KNOW!) with just about any other store and I have so been there (particularly about the kids ripping things and running like banshees and losing my ever-loving mind).

    By C @ Kid Things on 2009 07 31

  14. Precisely why I refuse to join one of those warehouse clubs!  LOL!

    By Marie on 2009 07 31

  15. you are HYSTERICAL…if you werent already married i would ask you to marry me…
    No Costco here but we have sams which i imagine to be very similar-the hubby refuses to take any of us with him when we need something from there…

    By Georgie on 2009 07 31

  16. I so hear you!

    I am not a member but my friend who is has taken me a handful of times. Just a little of this, and oh this, and of course this, and THIS! really adds up!

    By Amyinbc on 2009 07 31

  17. What, you don’t hit the food court first and get a smoothie or two to quiet the masses?  That’s how I manage to do it with 3, 3.5 kids. 
    But God love those huge carts - I can fit so many kids in there.  But I’ve also gotten out of Costco for like $5-$10 if I’m only in and out for samples and milk/bread.  Rare, but it happens.  Only takes us 5mi/15min to get there though - I’m sure it’s a bit longer in your neck of the woods.

    By Lanna on 2009 07 31

  18. This post had me dying with laughter. Perhaps it’s because I am so glad we’re not the only ones who wish Costco sold condoms in bulk! Then again, it would just be our luck that we would buy the only defective box ever made…

    Have you seen our Costco video from last year? Talk about birth control. http://bit.ly/15LVvV

    By Christine aka YoungMomyy on 2009 08 01

  19. Are you sure you are not my sister-in-law.  I could have sworn these were her kids becuase mine would never, I mean NEVER act like that.  Actually my 12-year-old knows better, and the baby, well he is the baby still.  I loved this story.  I always dread to see the amount on the register at Wal-Mart.  I guess the point is make the list and stick too it, huh?  LOL.  Love your site.

    By Teresa Burke on 2009 08 01

  20. Well, just consider it your little way of giving back wink

    By amanda on 2009 08 01