I’ve been judged many times for my near (emphasis on NEAR) inability to be alone. Admittedly I do breakdown, and have made some mistakes – but only because what I’ve come to realize is I’m functioning at a lower level. When I’m with someone, or other people in general, I feel more whole. It’s not that I CAN’T – I don’t WANT to.
My apartment is a reflection of this and my mental state in general. This past Saturday I dreaded getting out of bed. I knew I had to clean house. Nothing seemed to be in order. My sheets needed to be changed, I had to do laundry, wash the dishes… and the list went on. When things get this out of control I usually start in my kitchen (which is all the way at one end of my apartment) and just systematically work my way to the other end.
So, reluctantly, I peeled my body out of bed – not a pretty sight – and made my way over to the kitchen. My stomach was growling like a tiger. Opening the refrigerator I appreciated the cool air that poured out over my skin. It was hot already and my place was stuffy. I scanned for a yogurt but to no avail. I hadn’t been to the grocery store in at least a week. Now that I was thinking about it I probably had only eaten 2 out of the last 5 days. What the heck was I doing?
Still staring into the fridge hoping by some miracle that something appetizing would magically appear, I noticed it still looked packed – but HOW? It hit me. I was so SICK of my fridge being “full” of 101 condiments but not having one thing that I would actually eat.
The purging began.
Goodbye sugar-free ketchup, you are gross and I won’t miss you when you’re gone.
Sayonara 6 month old stir-fry sauce. I don’t stir or fry alone…it’s hazardous to my health.
Auf Wiedersehen baby carrots that are now producing other…new…weird little carrots… I know you aren’t a sauce, but your yucky. 37 other items hit the bricks. So now what? I really needed to pick up a few things but I HAD to eat first.
After cancelling plans with my best friend only to find myself sitting on my couch with my dog eating a bag of defrosted peas watching “When A Man Loves A Woman” (TIP – NEVER DO THIS) I knew I had to pull myself together.
This was a situation not even going to the grocery store could fix. It was time for Costco.
Costco, Costco, Costco… What do I think of you? Cue the legendary quote…
Norman: Got tons of it at Costco. You see, I’ve got an exclusive membership card. And with that card, I get access to the whole place. I can buy large quantities of anything at discount prices.
Allison: Can’t anyone get one of those cards?
Norman: No, don’t think so. But I can talk to someone, if you’d like.
Carl: Yeah, put in a good word for us. That would be great.
What I love about Costco, besides the discount prices of course, is that you can pretty much sample your way into a food coma. The Costco nearest my apartment is at 116th Street on the UPPER east side in Manhattan. It’s considered Harlem, and though the area is in the midst of heavy gentrification, I’ve been asked to hand over my economy sized ketchup when walking back to the subway (and felt guilty for not wanting to give it away). Costco has also taught me a lot about myself as a person. What do I need? What do I want? And how do I recognize the difference?
This seems pretty existential for wholesale shopping – but hear me out. When I go to Costco or any other store I make a list. Napkins, hot sauce, bottled water, economy sized jar of capers… you see where I’m going with this. But then I walk through the automatic double doors and like most any woman, I go into shopping overdrive. Dried fruit is on sale – buy one get one free. Two sets of 800 thread count sheets for $60 – um, what? Think… THINK - Do I want or need these?
DROP THOSE SHEETS!
How about an economy sized box of Trojans? A young woman actually bumped my shopping cart out of the way to grab her box. Was it my imagination or was she running? Was she in an economy sized emergency? I have definitely been watching too many movies – but then again maybe she did NEED them. What do I want? What do I need?
I pause with my cart and remember that I have to carry everything back to my apartment by myself – not easy. I put back everything but the essentials and buy yogurt, Clorox wipes, Frank’s Red Hot, capers and garlic – not bad! I walked up to the check out line and pulled out my exclusive membership card.
The Trojan girl was 3 people ahead of me, she also bought socks… I guess everybody needs something a little different.