Today my wife and I went grocery shopping at Costco.
We have been regular monthly Costco shoppers for 4 1/2 years now. Yet for the past week I was nervous about making the trip. After all, when I went there last time, two weeks ago, I got a bit shell-shocked at the “new norm:” lines around the side of the store to get in, limits on how many creams or eggs you could get, people wearing masks, everyone’s carts filled with toilet paper and/or bottled water… and no tables at the outdoor food court!* It was a bit shocking for someone used to the easy abundance we American consumers enjoyed in pre-pandemic times (are you with me here?).
However, this time I was psychologically prepared. I knew what we were in for. I’m happy to say that it all went well. Sure, we waited over 45 minutes before we go to the entrance. Sure, we wore masks–colorful ones my wife designed. Yet we decided to make the best of things, so we chatted with people around us, and we took selfies (the lady behind us photo-bombed “just for fun”). Once in the store, we got nearly everything we wanted, including items we were particularly keen on: two half gallons of cream** (they lifted the limit on buying cream–thank god); bananas; rotisserie chicken; and a 12lb. bag of brown rice.
There were several reasons that today was different. For one, I knew I had to clear my mind and stay positive. I primed myself ahead of time to be in good spirits, and worked to maintain that mindset during the trip.
Secondly, to be honest, I was practically ecstatic to buy food. The chicken, the cream, the bananas, the Corn Nuts! These things might as well have been manna from heaven pouring down on us! I was so grateful to the American economy for providing such ready easy access (all we had to do was wait 45 minutes!?) for such glorious goodness. I felt a profound sense of well-being from stocking up on good food! My wife even commented that I seemed in a better mood than when we normally went shopping.
All in all, today’s Costco run–Pandemic edition–was a gratifying, satisfying, and much-appreciated success!
*I have to say, one very noticeable benefit of Costco’s new norm is that there is no line to buy gas… and it’s substantially cheaper than it has been for awhile (coming it at about $2.25/gallon today). Even if you aren’t driving much, it is still hugely cool when you can fill both your cars (one was already half full) for under $40!
**In our household, we use cream like other households use milk and/or half and half. It’s become a staple that is great for coffee and/or breakfast concoctions (such as the latest incarnation of my “Cereal of the Gods,” which these days I usually enjoy simply with unbaked peanuts and maybe almonds)