Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Negative Effects of Costco Consumerism on the Obsessive Compulsive Housewife

Heather Hall... are you out there? For some weird reason, I've never forgotten the sight of Heather's supply of Ziploc bags from Costco in her cupboard. There were like two hundred and ninety two boxes. And, oddly, I sort of envied the amount. "With that many Ziploc bags, you'd NEVER run out!" Isn't that the promise? The dream? Never run out... ahhhh, what bliss!

Since becoming a member of Costco, I don't think I've ever had fewer than two dozen rolls of toilet paper in my house. What am I afraid of? A sudden onslaught of diarrhea that simultaneously hits all six members of my family for two weeks straight? But that's the way it is. With access to huge quantities of toilet paper (and chicken, and juice, and Ranch dressing, and Ziploc bags, and cheesecake, and dental floss, and trash bags) - I am able to buy myself a little extra security in the material goods department. Yes, a loved one might fall victim to disease tomorrow, and that would leave me shaken, - but I will NOT be caught unawares without enough toilet paper.

(As a fascinating side note, I once spent six weeks in India. They do not use toilet paper over there, so I learned how to not use toilet paper. If toilet paper were to suddenly disappear from use, I could get along quite nicely with my left hand and a small water cup... but that's a story for another day.)

My whole point in writing this is to comment on how dependent I've become on buying large quantities of merchandise. And how good it makes me feel to be all stocked up on t.p.

Furthermore, I purchased the Kirkland (Costco) brand of facial tissue for the first time recently. It has this neat feature, highlighted on the giant box (containing 3,750 tissues): "Includes Colored Flag Sheets That Indicate 'Almost Empty'". The "Colored Flag Sheets" are a lovely shade of light blue, whereas the rest of the sheets are pure stark white. But the problem is, once that blue tissue pops up, I'm a nervous wreck! When will we run out? Should I get an extra box right now just to have nearby? Is it irresponsible of me to let a box stay "blue" too long?

See? The extra security I gained by having vast numbers of toilet paper rolls stacked in tall towers in my closets is COMPLETELY undermined by the new blue "Almost Empty" tissues.

I think Costco has me right where it wants me.


Katie and Mark said...

I just bought the BIGGEST ketchup ever and love it! We had ran out about a week before, and I'm not going to let that happen again. Our hot dogs and scrambled eggs were just not the same. You'll have to have boxes of facial tissue stacked up near the towers of toilet paper to dip into when the blue runs out. :)

Andrea said...

Its cheaper to buy in bulk, maybe its not so much fear of running out as it is liking to pay less for more! That said, costco makes my eye twitch.

heathorock said...

sounds like costco DOES have you just where they want you to be
i've been thinking about a similar issue the past few days as i've noticed how full (OVERFLOWINGLY) our kitchen pantry and freezer are.
i used to just buy stuff when we need it, but now it's almost overwhelming to figure out what to cook because there's so much to go through.
and there are people who don't have food at all. hmmmm. things to sit with...

heather said...

Haha! I am so glad that I could leave such an impression on you! Laura and I joke that I am her "emergency store" because I usually have what she needs and she can leave her kids in the car. :)

I do love to be stocked up and it is rare that I am actually completely out of an item....but that has more to do with my OCD that being a good homemaker.

I have to comment to your last commenter "heathorock" that I used to have the same problem with an overflowing kitchen pantry until I began meal planning. The two weeks prior to our first "menu," I tried to use up all of the food in our pantry. After that I only bought what I had planned for the upcoming two weeks.

It completely goes against my personality but I love having all the extra room in my cupboards! I've been doing this for almost a year.

Do you think I left a long enough comment?! I guess that's what happens when my name get PUBLISHED!!!

littlecbsmom said...

I love the secure feeling too. With the toilet paper when we are down to a 6 pack, I feel stressed. That is kind of funny, now that you mention it;)

I think they have many of us where they want us!

Laura said...

Teri, some things NEVER change, Heather is my store. And what does this say about me...I shop at Costco quite regularly and I still find myself running out of toilet paper and diapers...I'm lame and I guess planning ahead will NEVER be a gift of mine. Good thing I married a planner.