Tag Archives: big box stores

Confession: I am a Costco Neophyte

Not kidding. I have lived in the suburbs for the past 20 years and have only been to Costco one time. Until today. Gary usually does the Costco run. He loves keeping inventory, as my friend Todd would call it. And the CD section is his little treat at the end of the spree.

Today, I needed paper towels, Swiffer supplies and light bulbs. So I figured I would go with him to avoid spending $300 in the quest to buy those few items.

We drove up and someone had a couch on a dolly, wheeling it out to their car. They sell furniture at Costco?! Honestly, can I actually be the last person on earth who does not know this? Or who does not shop at one of the big box stores for that matter. I really need to get out of the basement more.

Not gonna lie, I did get a kick out of the place. And Karen, you were right, the little snack stations are simply divine. But for the life of me I cannot understand why anyone would think it was good merchandising to sell area rugs directly next to fresh fish. That just seems wrong. “Honey, I love this new rug you bought for the living room but it smells oddly like crab legs.”

My favorite purchases? 18 pack of sponges! Love that. And the big thing of cinnamon for 4 bucks (I make my coffee with cinnamon every morning. Hey, it adds up).

So, in my quest to avoid having Gary spend $300 by himself, we spent…

$325 instead!

Agreed, impossible to get out of there for less. But hey, we needed it all, right?

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under homeowner, humor, products

College Move-in, Big Box Style


This post is dedicated to all you fellow parents out there partaking in the annual ritual of moving your offspring into the countless institutions of higher learning across this great land.

You know who you are. All of you flocking to the big box stores, veteran patrons of the Bed Bath and Beyond retail brainstorm: ‘pack and hold’. Consumers of everything that is not nailed down in Target’s ‘College ’09’ aisle. Walmart, Costco and Best Buy fans. If you are anything like me, around hour 36 you were resembling some sort of parental Night of the Living Dead character wandering around the aisles insisting on ridiculous items like shoe organizers and storage bins ad nauseam; the last shred of your sanity gone out the window with your third Starbucks of the day.

Seriously folks, we have surely lost our minds, have we not?

And if I were to guess correctly, most of you went off to college with some big ass ole Bose 901 speakers, a few cinder blocks and wood boards, a couple of orange and milk crates and an album collection that took up three quarters of your parents’ car.

There were no fashionable color coordinated canvas storage bins or over the door hooks, no shower caddies or must have bed in a bag sets. You had some clothes, a few towels, the old linens from your parents’ house an indian tapestry bed spread from the headshop and you were good to go.

Show of hands please, how many of  you had the coordinated dust ruffle for your bed? Yeh, that’s what I thought. Come to think of it, we did not even have bed frames, the fashion of the times was box spring and mattress on the floor. Anybody out there feeling like their college years were somehow not fulfilled because they did not own the ShamWow, or its pathetic copycat, the ShamEase (whose name is not nearly as cool).

So what has made us fall into this trap? Oh right, because we created it. We are the As Seen on TV generation of parents and damn it our kids’ will be organized and color coordinated even if it makes us broke!

Hey, I am not pointing fingers. I am as guilty as they come. You might recognize me as the woman who was wondering up State Street in Madison, WI muttering about the third curtain rod I bought that was finally the right size while searching for a hardware store to buy a rubber mallet.

Don’t ask!

(Stay tuned tomorrow for the funny stories)

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, college, humor, Jana, moms, parenting

Time to Cry Tuesday – Black Friday Uglies

Tblack-shopping-bago say I am not a shopper is an understatement. I loathe the act of shopping. Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I don’t like stuff, I just hate the act of obtaining it. All that hunting and gathering, clothes on clothes off thing. Wait, you guys don’t take your clothes on and off in Best Buy? Oh crap, no wonder young mothers are always covering their children’s eyes.

Enter Black Friday. This is the most inane thing to me. Out go the masses at ungodly hours to consume. Never have so many tried to save money by spending it. I don’t get this. I understand the bargain aspect, no one loves a bargain better than me (oh, except my mom – the queen of Loehmann’s). But what I cannot grasp is the concept of standing in rabid crowds to attain them.

This year Black Friday truly earned its name. In case you have been living under a rock for the past few days, a Walmart worker lost his life by being trampled to death by a crowd entering the store. (My condolences to the family of Mr. Damour) When I first heard this it did not quite register. The more the media covered this story the more horrible the reality became. This was close to home. And I don’t mean I am a Walmart worker, but this happened at one of my childhood malls. Tonight I heard a report that this man was 6’5″ and 270 lbs! Imagine how crazed this crowd had become to have knocked down and then run over a man of this size! How did no one see him and help him up? Was the desire to consume so primal, so egocentric that multiple people could actually trample another human being and not notice? I cannot fathom this.

When I hear things like this I wonder what future civilizations will think when they read about it. Will we be viewed as a barbaric culture with no self control? Will there be confusion as to why at a time when people are losing homes, jobs and net worth they would choose to flock in droves to consume? Oh wait, we don’t need a future generation’s perspective to see how insane this is. Do we? Please tell me we do not. 

What is the solution? Do we blame Walmart for not having crowd control systems thought out. Or are they the unfortunate victims here too? It was the (un)luck of the draw that it happened at a Walmart. Could have happened at any big box store or mall anywhere in the country. Should we blame the Nassau County Police for not seeing there was a major issue here. They were called to the scene for unruly behavior before the doors opened. Did they not see the potential danger? When does it stop?

Here is my suggestion for all the retailers out there who have fed the fire of this frenzy for so many years. You created this monster, now be responsible and learn how to tame it. I don’t suggest that retailers stop trying to get their take this time of year. Hey, some of my best friends are retailers. But I do propose that every outlet that invites these huge crowds take precautionary action and put systems in place to avoid repeating a disaster like this again. Operate under the assumption that there are way more potential victims out there than offenders. 

And protect them for G-d sake!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms and at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.


Filed under current events, Time to Cry Tuesdays