The Costco Lady: A Tale Of a Real-Life Grinch

It’s Halloween hangover time, and not just because the party we went to was serving jello shots for the adults. “There’s no alcohol in these things — they’re delicious!” said no one who has any sense at all (read: me).

I love me some Halloween. Facebook is a colorful array of lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Face paint. Glow sticks. Crazy wigs. I love it all. And now starts the blink-and-you-missed-it-descent into the holidays. As many of my friends know, I’m a holiday junkie. I have no problem with Target’s Christmas aisle in October. No problem at all. Christmas = joy, people! Joy!

As many of us also know, however — the holidays also bring major amounts of stress. Cooking that damn turkey. Shopping for the people who have everything. Putting up the f*cking Christmas lights (which has nearly caused many a divorce, according to what I’ve heard). It’s not all spiked egg nog and Christmas carols (oh, how I love these). Hence my story about last year’s encounter with “The Costco lady”.

I had just braved Costco a week before Christmas. I should have gotten some sort of medal just for doing this. As everyone knows, Costco from this day forward is hell on earth. The aisles suddenly shrink to the size of ant highways and your cart becomes a loaded weapon. You have to perfect the “crazy eyes” look just to be able to get someone to let you pass to the next aisle. “I will cut a bitch!” your eyes have to say. I’ve got it down to a science.

I was heading to the parking lot with both boys (not in the cart, as they only last so long). We maneuvered around all the cars that were coming and go, arriving at our car, sweaty and exhausted. Just as I was opening the trunk to unload, someone opened their door into my older son’s head. He began to scream. Luckily, the cut was superficial and nothing to worry about, but he was bawling his eyes out. As I attended to him, my other son (2 at the time) decided it would be really fun to direct Costco traffic. He was doing so with precision — his arms held out to the stop the car while his legs did a little jig. What alerted me to this fact was Costco lady, who was parked about six cars over.

“Get control of your kids,” Costco lady yelled. “What’s wrong with YOU!? Put your kids in the car!”

“Oh thanks, lady, I’m just tending to my other son over here who’s bleeding. But thanks for your concern!” I fired back.

kid tries to hit snowman gif

Take that, Costco lady!

The truth is, she had struck a chord. I’m NOT good in parking lots. My kids like to dart around like insane zoo animals with psychoses and have never listened to my threats that I WILL box their ears if they don’t stand by me. It’s like, every time they even see a parking lot, they think, “GO TIME!” So yeah, she had pressed my buttons. And my blood was boiling. I decided I couldn’t let it go at that.

“MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS TO YOU, LADY! NEXT TIME, WHY DON’T YOU WALK YOUR ASS THE LENGTH OF SIX CARS AND HELP A SISTER OUT!?”

Okay, so it wasn’t my finest moment. But ya know, it’s a teachable moment — not for my kids, necessarily, as you can’t explain to them why Mommy has a potty mouth but they should NEVER, EVER use such language. But it was more for me. I was still shaking with anger for a while but, as I’ve thought about this day (many times over) since then, I’ve realized you never know what shoes she was walking in that day. A woman who just found out she has cancer? Did she just lose a loved one? Or maybe she found out her deployed son wasn’t making it home for the holidays after all. Another option? She’s just an asshole. But you just never know.

I’ve had time to let the situation marinate. And I’m changing tactics, choosing another weapon from my arsenal (which is usually filled with passive-aggressive, sarcastic rants). I’m ready for you this year, Costco lady. I’m ready for you. This time, I’m going to kill you with kindness. And we’ll see how you like it.

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