In 2005, we joined Costco. Mr. Rosenberg and I were handed the membership cards with our smeary, pixilated, fun house portraits on the back and we were in. Never mind that the cards read Jeffrey and Lisa “Rosenford,” they still worked.
On our first visit, Mr. Rosenberg’s first time to a big box store of any kind, he purchased a small pallet of underpants, a mega-jar of vitamins of dubious origin, and a trio of giant squeeze bottles of French’s mustard that would move with us to three separate addresses before we disposed of them. He veered from free sample tables to Breville Juice Fountain demos with joyful enthusiasm.
I was no better. I found it impossible to get out of there without experiencing what I’ve heard referred to as “the hundred dollar entrance fee.” I would enter with a small, solid list and exit with more than a hundred dollars worth of coffee table books, gallons of Kirkwood chicken salad, and family teeth whitening systems.
Some time in 2007, I let our membership lapse. The pressure of trying not to spend money in the warehouse of all-the-things-I-didn’t-know-I-wanted was too hard. Friends and family took their own trips to Costco and were kind enough to fill our needs for baby wipes and kitchen garbage bags: all the merchandise we ever really needed in the first place.
And then, I became a soccer mom. I suddenly had an actual need for cases of string cheese and oranges by the gross. Last week, it happened. I reactivated our membership. I posed for another scary black teeth clown photo and was handed a new membership card. If you see me wandering the aisles with a glazed look in my eye, please remove the snow tires from my cart. The Rosenfords are back.