One Simple Rule for Shopping at the Warehouse Store

ONE WAY (Photo credit: loungerie) Don’t go the wrong way. She’s got an umbrella.

Today I went to Costco, and it was packed. Like Christmas packed. I don’t know why– it was 1 o’clock on a Friday. The cashier said it was like that yesterday, too. Don’t people have to work? Where was everyone coming from?

Anyway, I love Costco, because lots of things cost less in bulk. Even if I had no kids, I’d still have a Costco card to get gas, milk, eggs and bread.

Did I mention they are carrying How to Be an American Housewife again? They are!

Anyway, after dealing with the crowds, I’d like to present a Golden Rule for shopping at Costco. I grew up going to the Commissary, the military food store. Then, of course, Cadillac was in the Army and then the National Guard, so we went there. No matter if there were lines snaking around the store, it was still pretty efficient. Here’s the rule I learned from Commissary-shopping:

Do NOT EVER leave your cart in the aisle in such a way that it blocks other people.

It’s pretty simple– have consideration for other people. But shoppers are always doing this– they see a sample and instead of pulling all the way over, they leave their carts out at an angle so nobody can get by. Or they stop and start talking to a friend and block traffic.

If I were a social psychologist, I’d study Costco shoppers because there’s interesting behavior– usually people don’t say anything when others stop in the middle of an aisle, and there’s a big old traffic jam stretching both ways. Why doesn’t anyone say anything? They are hoping someone else will, I guess. Do you know who does? Cadillac. He tells people to stop blocking the aisle.

This is because he was in the military. At the Commissary, if you blocked the aisle, or went the wrong way down the aisle (some have arrows painted on the aisle floors and they are 1 Way aisles), you’d have about 200 retired veterans yelling at you to get your head out of your ass. It was pretty great. You know The Greatest Generation doesn’t stand for that kind of inconsiderate behavior from ungrateful punks. It reminded me of being in Italy, where, if you made a faux pas (in my case, it was touching the vegetables in the grocery store without a bag on my hand. True Story) two dozen old ladies would a) smack your hand and b) tell you you are WRONG. They probably also cursed me out. I don’t speak Italian well.

Maybe people need to be told they’re wrong once in a while, if they are.

The other interesting thing I noticed is when people walked up to the registers, they all followed the cart in front of them, so there were 4 registers with long lines. I looked around and saw there were 5 other registers with one person in the lines, but you had to actually look. People didn’t look, they just followed.

You have to look.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

3 thoughts on “One Simple Rule for Shopping at the Warehouse Store

  1. We go on Sunday afternoons sometimes and it’s ALWAYS packed then. We jokingly call it the Costco Sunday Afternoon Worship Service. 😉

  2. I just started reading How to Be an American Housewife. I saw it at Costco & read the back. I was intrigued since I also have a Japanese mom, & in fact was born @ a Naval hospital in Iwakune in the 50’s. My dad was in the army during the Korean War.
    I am enjoying your book although it makes me sad to realize how lonely my mom must have been when we moved to My dad’s hometown in TN. I didn’t know anyone who looked liked me while I was growing up.
    I’m taking my time in reading this book, it is giving me do much insight

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