Costco is a magical wonderland for shoppers of every age. When I was a kid, it was full of toys, books, and giant bags of cookies and candy my mom wouldn't buy me. As a young adult, I took ample advantage of my parents' Costco membership when I wanted to throw a party and needed enough food and alcohol for all my friends. Now I'm a grown-up with a kid and a Costco membership of my own, and a Costco trip is a totally different experience.
So I can say, with confidence, that here are 14 thoughts every mom probably has while shopping at Costco.
1. What if they don't think that's me in my ID? Just hold out the ID. Act normal.
Every single time I approach Costco with my membership card, I am convinced they will think it's someone else in that tiny, grainy photo and not let me in. It's me in the photo, but I am incapable of showing anyone my ID without acting like a 14-year-old trying to sneak into an R-rated movie.
2. Don't mind me, just eyeballing the jewelry.
I'm here for groceries. I'm here for groceries. But let's just do a quick loop around the jewelry display, just to make sure Costco isn't selling the Hope Diamond for $40 or something.
3. Socks! Oh my gosh, I want to buy a giant bag of socks.
If I buy that giant package of socks, I will have brand-new socks every day for a week. But I can't because I have plenty of just-fine socks at home. (Looks wistfully at the socks.)
4. Wait, did I just get really excited about socks? Who even am I anymore?
This invariably follows the previous thought by no more than 30 seconds. But I still want the socks.
5. Is that a Vitamix? I've always wanted a Vitamix!
The "special deals" sections at the ends of the aisles are a minefield of food-gadget impulse buys. Other things I've been tempted by include a sous vide machine, a soda maker, a vacuum sealer (to go with the sous vide machine I did not buy), and a GreenPan. (I did buy the GreenPan.)
6. How many bottles of Prosecco can I put in the cart before it looks weird?
Costco's Prosecco is only $7, and it's really good.
7. The produce room is so cold.
Forget browsing for the good green beans — just grab the first bag and get out, because the vegetable room is freezing.
8. Kerrygold butter is three for $6.50. Score!
We're "fancy butter" people now, kids.
9. Oh no, there's a Princess Elsa castle in the toy aisle.
Maybe we can detour through the Seafood Roadshow and the kid won't notice it.
10. Three pounds of wild salmon is just $30?
Salmon is good for kids' brains, right? How much do I have to get her to eat before she gets that full ride to Harvard?
11. I wonder if the kid will be potty-trained before I get through this giant package of diapers.
Nothing forces a person to take a cold, hard look at how the potty training is progressing like 200 diapers for $30.
12. No, you can't have that.
No, child, you cannot have four-and-a-half pounds of Nutella. I don't care if it's $8.
13. Yeah! Costco olive oil!
Two liters of extra-virgin olive oil costs $19, and it's the good stuff, too. Kirkland Signature olive oil is genuinely about 40 percent of the reason I have a Costco membership in the first place.
14. If I were here by myself, I could buy so much chocolate.
I'm coming back for that Nutella. And a box of those copycat KIND bars. And I'm going to hide them all in the secret drawer that only opens after all the kids are in bed.