Losing my Costco virginity

Friday, April 29, 2011

Regular readers (if I have such a thing) will notice that my blog has had a little spruce-up. Much more friendly, me thinks. Feel free to let me know your thoughts - and I shall feel free to ignore any thoughts with which I don't agree!

Last weekend, I had my very first Costco experience. Now, given that a lot of the visitors to this page are from the USA, home of mega-bulk-buying, that might not seem like a big deal, but here in Australia, Costco is still a bit of a novelty.

To put it in perspective, in the USA there are 416 Costco stores. In Australia, there is one. One single store to cater to the bulk-buy whims of the entire 20 million of us. So a visit to Costco is something of an experience.

I'd never had much interest in it before, other than a vague curiosity after hearing a rumour that you could buy a barrel of 1000 chupa-chips in it from there. But for some inexplicable reason, my Sister had bought herself a membership when the place opened a while ago, and she finally decided she wanted to use it. I was privileged enough to be dragged along as her 'guest'.

When we entered the car park, I started to have reservations. The place was jam-packed. We spent a good ten minutes trying to find a parking space. These reservations disappeared, however, once we'd wedged our car into a nearby crevice and I got my first glimpse of a Costco Trolley. They were HUGE! It was like someone had taken a regular trolley, fed it steroids to pump it up a little, then shipped it off to a bulk buy warehouse once it got too beefy to be sexy any more.

That was when I started to get excited.

We pushed our enormous trolley into the store and found ourselves standing in an aisle full of bulk-packaged sweets. That was it. That was the moment I realised I was in Heaven. Then I tried to move down the aisle and got bashed into by a swarm of other shoppers fighting for trolley space. That was when I realised I was in Hell.

Thus started two hours of good and bad. Tiny little joys - finding a half kilometre roll of baking paper; marvelling at 9kg tubs of washing powder; my sister impulse-buying a kilogram of processed American cheese slices - inter mingled with moments of overwhelming trolley-rage that would put any seasoned road-rager to shame.

The shoppers were a mix of Costco hardened parents bulk buying food and nappies, and excited sight-seers who were simply there for the experience and to exclaim over the amazing things you could buy in bulk.

At one point, we rolled our over-laden trolley down an aisle full of hardware. I paused in front of the biggest set of spanners that I have ever come across. Next to me a man had stopped to look at a set of saws.
'There's so many tools!' he exclaimed feverishly. 'I want to buy them all! I'm going to buy them all! And I don't even know how to use them!'

The biggest problem we faced was that when we first arrived, these bulk packs of food looked HUGE. But after an hour or so of getting lost amongst aisles full of oversized goods, things that were actually massive began to seem normal sized.

The danger in this was highlighted by our last purchase of the day - a fresh pizza, which we intended to cook as soon as we got home. We umm-ed and ahh-ed over it for ages, trying to decide if it would be big enough to feed four of us because it looked a little on the small size. When we got it home, it turned out to be so big that it wouldn't even fit in the oven.

My best purchase of the day, bar none, was this glorious, wonderful item:

That's right - 1.8kg of Jelly Bellys!

Anyone who has been reading this blog long enough knows that I have a serious Jelly Belly addiction. So having access to almost 2kg of Jelly Belly jelly-beans at a very reasonable price is not necessarily a good thing.

This is one of many reasons that I won't be hurrying back to Costco anytime soon. I think it's best to leave bulk buying to those of us with slightly stronger jelly-bean resisting will power.

Drinking right before bed is bad because...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

singing in the shower can turn into dancing in the shower, and shower dancing can result in embarrassing, hard to explain injuries.

Keeping my Heart in my Sock

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Freaked out
I’ve never really understood those ‘Funniest Home video’ type shows, where everyone pisses themselves laughing at some poor person falling down, getting kicked in the nuts or crashing a bike/wheelbarrow/pogo stick in what could only be a dangerous and painful way.
That kind of thing just doesn’t make me laugh. So you can imagine my horror when I got to witness a real life version of one of those videos the other day.

I dropped in at my parents place, and it turned out that Mum was babysitting my niece and nephew. It was a nice day so we were outside throwing a ball around. My niece tossed the ball up in the air, way above Mum’s head, and for some inexplicable reason known only to her, my arthritic 60 year old mother leapt to catch it. She tripped on a loose paver and went down like a sack of spuds, whacking her head hard against the bluestone brick border on the nearby garden bed.

I freaked out. I felt my heart drop so far I was scared to look down in case I saw it lying at my feet. It was one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen happen. I’d never thought about it before, but at some point you reach an age where falling down becomes a really big deal. A while back I saw a woman of about 60 or 70 stumble in the street and hit the ground with a disturbing ‘thwack!’ and it was a terrible, horrible thing to see. But this time I wasn’t just watching some random person fall down, it was my Mum; the person who will forever in my eyes epitomise the strength and power of being a grown-up. It was a horrifying thing to see happen.

My niece and Nephew didn’t understand what the big deal was – after all, they fall down all the time. They couldn’t work out why their Nanna taking a bit of a spill had everyone running around like crazy.

Mum was ok – she had a bit of a headache, a badly scraped arm and bruised ribs, but no serious injuries. Despite the fact that she was ok, I still felt as though I was carrying my heart around in my shoes for the next few 24 hours.

And if I had through some freak of chance caught the whole thing on tape? There is no cash prize that could ever persuade me to air it on national TV with a cheesy voiceover and comedic sound effects.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

We have a new junior salesman that started work with us a week or two ago.
When I say Junior, I mean junior. He’s 19 years old, although to be fair he looks a bit older than that. He could pass for 23 – if only he didn’t open his mouth and speak.

When he speaks, it’s like he’s spewing youthful ignorance out into the world. I’m sure that at 19 I wasn’t like this. I mean, we all come off sounding younger than we realise, but he sounds so young. And the thing is, he talks ALL THE TIME. Non-stop. He is so chatty that it makes me want to tear my ears off just to get some peace and quiet.
I don’t talk much at work. In fact, the less talking I can do, the better as far as I’m concerned. But here I find myself with a junior employee who is constantly asking questions, or giving me a running commentary on what he’s doing.

For the past few days he’s been sharing my office while I teach him how we do the design work here. I often listen to music while I work, and so we got onto the topic of music and bands.

I was feeling a bit sleepy, so I put on The Beatles ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. Listening to The Beatles always perks me up. ‘The Fool on the Hill’ started playing. Then, as expected, Junior Salesman started talking:

Him: Is this ABBA?
Me: (jaw drops onto the floor) You’re kidding right?
Him: Nah, it’s ABBA, right?
Me: Ok, I’m going to pretend you’re kidding.
Him: So what kind of music do you listen to? Hey do you like that song by Rihanna? You know, the one with Eminem?
Me: Never heard it.
Him: It’s on the radio all the time.
Me: Yeah, never heard it sorry. Not really my thing
Him: So what music do you like?
Me: Well, my favourite band is probably CAKE…
Him: Who?
Him: I don’t know them.
Me: Stop talking please.

I suddenly feel very, very old. I know it’s rare to find someone who likes all the same music as you. KJ and I don’t even really like the same music. But at least KJ has heard of the bands that I like listening to – at least the ones who have been around forever, like The Beatles and like CAKE. So it’s begun. I relate better to old people than young people. This must be what it feels like to start getting old. How appropriate that it should happen just days before I celebrate my final birthday in my 20's.

Girly Girl

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Face of Evil
I’ve admitted before that I have been known to exhibit some embarrassingly girly behaviour. I don’t think of myself as a particularly ‘girly girl’; in fact I’d classify myself as leaning more towards the tomboy side of things.

But I do have some inexplicably girly habits that I can only put down to some innate feminine reflex that even a tomboy can’t resist. I’m scared of spiders (although to be fair, Australian spiders are well worth being scared of). When I’m feeling down, I feel an overwhelming compulsion to buy shoes. I like sappy, romantic comedy movies that often star Hugh Grant. I can’t resist shopping when I know there’s a sale.

These are all things that I have come to accept, and also to try to ignore. I thought that these things constituted the extent of my inborn girly behaviours. I thought that I knew how bad my feminine behaviour could get. But I was proven wrong this week when I did something so stereotypically girly that I felt overwhelming embarrassment (and shame) – even though no one was there to witness it.

It was a Monday morning and I had arrived at work early – about 7:30am. No one else had arrived yet, and that was fine by me, because I had come in early to try to get some work done uninterrupted.

I was standing at the printer waiting for it to spit out a couple of pages when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a movement. I looked over just in time to see two mice darting across the room so fast that they were nothing but a blur.
A shiver ran down my spine – I’m not a fan of mice, but I wasn’t too bothered. They weren’t near me, they weren’t bothering me, and since we’ve got something of a mouse plague going on at the moment at work, there wasn’t really anything I could do.

Then the two mice popped their heads out from behind the filing cabinet and ran straight towards me. At least, it looked that way, although they may have just been heading for a nearby desk. Either way, I did the most embarrassing thing I have ever done in my life.

I jumped up onto the desk.

THE SHAME! THE EMBARASSMENT! I’m like a 1950’s cartoon wife. Like a silly woman with a straw broom, wearing high heels and a house dress, balancing on a chair, screeching at her husband to kill the mouse.

So that’s it. I’m an embarrassment. I am the girliest girl that ever was. I am a woman who thinks that climbing on a chair will keep me safe from a mouse. I am a spider fearing, shoe buying, mouse hating wimp. Mock me if you will. I deserve it.