How I Almost Lost my Salvation at Costco

I hate all forms of shopping, except online shopping. I guess the older I get, the less patience I have for crowds of people. And I know that’s horrible, but I’m trying to be honest here. Costco is probably my most dreaded place with its shopping carts running about like bumper cars, food samples I can never eat, and the smell of Polish dogs being the only good thing about the parking lot.

Of course, I had to go to Costco yesterday with my mom to help her out. You know I love you when I agree to go to Costco with you. But know this: unless you’re my grandmother and you need the cart to help yourself walk, I WILL be driving that cart in that crazy store.

costco

So there we are, my mom and I, braving Costco like all the other people who apparently don’t have to work on Fridays. Like, seriously, does everyone work from home like I do or what? Although our Costco memberships don’t expire until next month, and you can renew online nowadays, my mom insists on renewing IN PERSON. Some lady and her granddaughter are taking their sweet time with the customer service rep, who is the only ONE person helping out for membership. I guess that makes sense, because they need all the manpower they can get in Returns.

There are people returning toilet paper because it’s not the right kind of fluffy, someone’s blender broke on the first try, and a lady bought her husband the wrong size socks. The Returns line is like the monkey cage at the zoo, except there are no metal bars. I’m glad we aren’t returning anything, because if we were, I’m thinking that I would need a bar–and not the metal kind, if you know what I mean.

However, our line has some tension for a good five minutes. The lady with her granddaughter is still taking forever (and by “forever” I mean that I am temporarily a 12-yr-old not getting something quick enough) but my mom and I stand by. Then a woman gets in line behind us, but seems to have no knowledge of personal space. She stands in a way that really impatient people–even more impatient than I–do when they think it’s going to get them ahead of other people. You know the type: they think their errand is more important than everyone else’s, and besides, it’s only going to take 30 seconds. R-i-g-h-t.

wait

So she’s standing right behind me, but slightly out of line, and I can hear her muttering and sighing deeply. “Gosh, this is taking so long…” Really, lady? Longer than the 10 seconds you’ve been standing behind me, breathing some of my air?

Finally, the Costco heavens open, two people are helped at once–in less than a minute–and my mom is renewing our memberships. Now that she’s feeling happy about doing this in person, I feel like an ass for arguing that she could have done this all online and saved us time. I mean, seriously? It took less than ten minutes and it’s not like I had anywhere important to go.

Then the shopping excursion commences. We go to get a present for my little sister’s birthday and I’m thinking that the rest of our experience will be uneventful. Wrong.

“You can’t have my apples,” teases an older man in the aisle.

Um, excuse me, but WHAT? We don’t want your apples, we don’t want to talk, and we’re busy. Can’t you see this, sir? But no, my mom–who, by the way, had a medical procedure this morning and is still on meds, at this point, that are equivalent to 3 martinis–decides to answer back. “Oh, why can’t we have your apples?”

And I just lean on the cart and want to shoot myself in the foot, wishing that Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility would present itself to me NOW.

My mom starts walking next to the Apple Fiend and asks where he got the apples so she can get her own later. Meanwhile, I find my sister’s gift and have to shout at my mom 3 times until she hears me. Typically, I have to call her twice, but the meds she’s on today make it 3. “Mom! Is this the one?” She leaves the old man’s side and says yes, and I haul the big box into our cart.

Note: My mom is totally fine, by the way. And if she’s reading this (but she won’t): I love you, Mom.

Next, we get laundry detergent in another aisle, and just when I think we’ve escaped Apple Man, he’s there, staring us down–no, like LITERALLY staring us down, apples and all–so I talk abnormally loud to my mom, making up a bunch of stuff and talking about moving out, so Apple Man doesn’t interrupt us. It works and I’m relieved. Though, I’ve now upset my mom about talking on the subject of moving–and not just out, but to a different city–and she says something like, “Well don’t rush it…” I refrain from using an expletive in my response and Mom just rolls her eyes at me. “Hey,” I point out, “I could’ve cussed.”

picard

We stumble upon the meats and cheese section, where all the food samples abound. Except I can’t enjoy anything because it’s all breaded or glutenized in some form and my mom tries the samples while giving me sad looks. She refrains from telling me how good everything is, but I can see it in her eyes, and I hear it in her Mmms. Thanks, Mom, I wasn’t hungry anyway. At this point, I’m texting my sister, who is my only form of entertainment in Costco limbo, and I ask her to save me. But she’s no help.

jj

When we near the never-ending lines of carts ready to pay and escape the torture, my mom announces she needs Co-Q10 and I argue that I’ll just order it online for her. But she gets a bit nippy and I respond to the effect of: FINE HAVE IT YOUR WAY AND TAKE CRAPPY SUPPLEMENTS. Yes, I’ve reverted back to being 12.

Next, my mom sends me to grab a packet of organic apples and I pray I don’t see Apple Man. Who knows where he could be looming now? I’ve never gone on a covert apple mission before this and let me tell you: it’s not easy. But I don’t see anyone creepy or familiar, and have success with my efforts.

bg

I find a shorter line somewhere in the middle and Mom finds me. We pay, I grab the loaded cart, and we finally make our way out of the torture that is Costco. I’m feeling like I need a Valium and a yoga session and a puppy, but Mom is happy, so that’s all that matters. Once we get in the car, I can breathe again and am ready to face Whole Foods. Nothing but Namaste and rainbows over there, so I know I’ll live to see another day.

And that’s how I almost lost my salvation at Costco.

army

All images via Meme Generator.

Think Happy Thoughts

WARNING: This post will end with rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns. So if you like to stay angry and depressed, don’t read it. However, I WILL start this off with a little negative. Because after all, how can you get to a happy place without releasing the bad stuff?

Last week SUCKED. Not as bad as other weeks I’ve faced in my life, but bad enough to keep me from making my friends sick with my cheeriness. I think they were scared of me, actually.

On Monday, I not only felt exhausted, but discovered that I had just the week to finish a certification to teach health courses this year. I am going to teach them in the summer and MUST be certified. I had paid my fees and took the class last year and procrastinated in finishing. It’s my own stupid fault, but I had NO IDEA that the expiration date was 3/17 until a week ago. It was like reliving my high school days, where I procrastinated on my junior year term paper and pulled an all-nighter just to get a passing grade. That and exhaustion were not a great way to start the week.

pro

On Tuesday, I was NOT feeling well and had a fibromyalgia flare up. Something I haven’t dealt with in quite a while. It definitely stemmed from stress, among other things.

Work was crazy…just CRAZY, with random things going on and major deadlines to meet. Deadlines that I wasn’t expecting.

Wednesday, I woke up with my left eye being swollen shut. When I looked in the mirror, I almost choked on my revulsion from seeing Quasi Modo staring back at me, rather than myself. A stye. A freaking STYE was in my eye. Eyelid, to be exact. That lasted through Saturday. GROSS. So I stayed home from work and worked my butt off to hand-write FORTY-EIGHT pages for that certification course! Six hours straight of study and writing and I still had to finish some things on Thursday.

QM

Thursday, I was still in pain and resorted to wearing my glasses, hoping no one would notice the freakish, swollen eye that made me super attractive.

TGIF. Friday couldn’t have come any sooner. I finally relaxed and could breathe by the afternoon. I slept in both days during the weekend and mailed in my materials for certification. Along with a nice note, of course. I felt the need to suck up a bit, since I had been such a tool by doing the work so last minute.

But as I recovered over the weekend, I read various books for leisure and re-centered myself and my priorities. I felt a sense of conviction. I know that we all have ridiculous weeks and it can’t be helped. It’s okay to whine and cry a bit because, regardless of “first world problems”, we are all human and cannot be superheroes–even if we are richly blessed. I am grateful for my friends and family being empathetic to my situation and pain last week. But I am also grateful for the reminder to think positive. To utilize the power of affirmations.

Most of the time, even when things become difficult, I still have a hope that things thrown at me aren’t so bad; I can deal. And I didn’t realize that what I have been doing all along is thinking in an affirmative, positive light…almost feeling affirmations and visualizing a positive outcome. When I read a book that focused on affirmations, just a few days ago, I had this “aha” moment and laughed at the ridiculousness of last week. I couldn’t help but think: If I had said more positive affirmations to myself last week, even through a very trying time, would I have felt better sooner? Would I have felt more rested rather than exhausted?

We often forget the power of visualizing and the mind. Just having hope, or faith alone–or whatever you call it–can truly change our physical, emotional, and mental/spiritual feelings. Yesterday, being in a better place than last week, I still felt exhausted. But I decided to try something. I said an affirmation aloud, maybe 30 times, until I truly believed it: “I am going to have a great day.” And guess what? I had more than a great day. I wore confidence just as well as wearing my pretty dress. I had a smile on my face all day. I felt good and looked good. People were drawn to me and I left their company with them feeling good, too. It was amazing, because I actually realized what I was doing; what I had power to do.

So here’s the rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns part: Give yourself permission to be human. We ALL are. But also try a positive affirmation–DAILY. Get over yourself and your fears/apprehensions/anxieties. Give in to the power of being positive and see what happens. I don’t care what situation you are in. It could be the most dire and horrible. Visualize the positive. If you have your mind and the ability to reason, you have a very valuable tool. USE IT. Plain and simple. The less we complain about our situations and the more we begin to count our blessings, radiate cheerfulness, and smile, the more we begin to not only feel there is good coming…it WILL come. I truly believe that! The more positive I am, the more good things happen for me. The more negative I am, the more I suffer and have less to offer others.

From chibird.com

From chibird.com

Your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to create one affirmation for yourself for the rest of the week. Remember that an affirmation contains no negatives and it must be personal. Say that affirmation 10 times aloud, each day. And then see what happens. I bet that you will have a great week and will make others surrounding you feel good, too. And how could you not want that?

Until next time, cheers!

When Experiments Go Wrong

Thought I’d post something on the lighter side today. I truly think it is important to be able to laugh at oneself and let me confess that I laugh at myself all the time. Seriously. I am one of the biggest goofs I know. Were I to be stranded on a deserted island, I would know how to entertain myself. Now, that doesn’t mean that I really am funny and that people find my antics amusing. For all I know, they may think I’m a complete psycho. Regardless, I am positive that at least someone will find these mishaps pretty damn hilarious:

There I was, getting ready for a coffee date. I had pinned my hair in tight coils the night before, securing each piece with two bobby pins. My hair is naturally curly and I thought, why don’t I help my curls along and do an overnight “set?” Then I’ll have fabulous ringlets when I unfurl each piece! What was a great idea turned out to be a hair disaster. See exhibit A:

Curls gone wrong…

After the initial freakout, I calmed myself down and thought, I bet a blow dryer would help this situation. Let’s see what happens. This is what happened; see exhibit B:

Lafawnduh?

At this point, I was laughing hysterically. I mean, who DOES that?! I took pictures of each stage and sent them to my sister. Pretty sure it made her day. Well, the Lafawnduh look wasn’t for me, so I decided to wet my hair and see if I could scrunch pieces back into semi-normal curls. The only look I achieved was “wet rat”. Attractive. See exhibit C:

Hey boys…

Finally, I busted out the blow dryer again and things were much better. Then I straightened my hair as quickly as I could since time was running fast. Still not my best hair day, but at least it wasn’t out of control. Sometimes I send those pictures to friends/co-workers randomly to bring smiles to their faces—especially if someone is having a bad day. Works EVERY time.

You too can ruin your hair, just like me.

One more mishap I specifically remember took place almost ten years ago. We were having some of my friends over for lunch that day—cute, high school boys, mind you—and I wanted to make a lasting impression. What does a sensible teenage girl do to impress? Why, bake an amazing chocolate cake, of course! I followed the baking instructions to a T. Well…sorta.

I still don’t know what I really did, but…somehow, I added in too much butter. When the cake was ready to pop out of the oven, I opened the door and shrieked. About a half inch of melted butter was swimming over my beautiful cake. That couldn’t do, of course! Enter: good ole Mom to the rescue. Who knows if this is a real thing or not, but my mom said, “No problem, we’ll make it Texas Cake.” Huh? WTF is Texas Cake?? (It actually is a real thing; I Googled it. Click here for a recipe.)

Mom grabbed a bag of mini marshmallows and simply threw them on top of the butter cake. Because everything was so hot, the butter melted the marshmallows and the marshmallows absorbed the butter which=win/win. The cake itself was very good and oddly enough, the marshmallows on top (with all that butter) added a nice balance of taste to the cake. Though it turned out well in the end, I have been extremely cautious when measuring butter to this day. Lesson learned.

Does anyone have any mishaps they’d like to share?  =)