The toll of shopping at Costco

Congratulations to Maggie, for winning the random draw!  I picked up the prize yesterday on my trip to Costco.  Can you spot it in my minivan?

No, silly, it’s NOT the case of tetra pak almond milk.  Nor is it the giant family size package of Snapea Crisps – those are ALL for me, family size be damned.  I don’t share my Snapea Crisps (although, this isn’t a point of contention in my house.  I am the only person who appreciates their snacktacular attributes.)  You’ll just have to wait and see, Maggie!

A few weeks back I was shopping with a girlfriend and she reached into her bag to pull out her wallet, when something popped out and fell onto the floor.  We both reached for it and started laughing hysterically when it became apparent that said object was an o.b. tampon.  You’d think we were in junior high, gauging by our level of merriment.  Although, truth be told, if that had happened in junior high, we would have probably died of embarrassment.

I thought of this incident with amusement yesterday while shopping in Costco.  I was in the feminine products aisle, and the gigantic boxes of Tampax Super were stacked underneath the gigantic boxes of Tampax Regular.  I selected a box of Regular but I also needed Super – SUPER!  I know, my feminine mystique is going to take a bit of a beating here – and so I tried to shimmy a box from beneath the flats of Regular.  Slowly and nightmarishly, all the Regular tampons started to tip over onto me.  Now, as a person who has a (probably irrational) fear of being crushed to death in a warehouse setting, this was a bit alarming.  I tried to push the boxes back but several still tumbled to the floor.  Fortunately for me, a box of Super also fell to the floor so I had only to replace the gigantic scattered Tampax boxes and wheel my giant cart away, relieved that I now possessed a two year supply of tampons and that I probably would not have to endure narrowly missing death by tampon crushing until early 2015. 

There are a few more humiliating ways to die – I’m thinking specifically of death via heart attack while on the toilet, Elvis-style – but death by crushing in a warehouse would be one of the worst.  Especially, somehow, death by crushing by giant pallets of tampons.

I actually really like grocery shopping, but the loading up of the van and the unloading of the van and then the putting away of the groceries are big negatives to me.  You may be saying to yourself why don’t you get your kids to help? but they are generally in school when I shop (see also: why I like grocery shopping) but even if they weren’t, the baskets that I load the Costco offerings in are probably half their body weight.  Yesterday was cold and snowy and grey, and by the time I had unpacked my giant cart into the van, driven home, and started to bring the groceries into the house, I was pretty cold.

Slight digression: remember, people, that I have what is called Raynaud’s Syndrome, which is characterized by poor circulation and cold, somewhat painful, purple hands and feet.  By the time I reached home my hands were numb and cold, but since that is their normal state in the winter, I kept calm and carried on.

Once everything was neatly put away, everything in its place, I washed my hands.  Hmm, I thought, my right index finger sure must be cold.  Even the warm water isn’t helping.  Then I looked at my right index finger, which was enormously swollen, purple, and had a giant dent in it.  It started to feel like it was going to explode.  Huh.  I realized that I must have pinched it somehow, bringing in the baskets of groceries, but my hands were so numb I didn’t even realize it was happening. 

If that isn’t reason enough to move to a warm climate, I don’t know what isI am a Delicate Flower who needs warmth and sunshine to bloom, people.  Or at least for me to not accidentally and unknowingly injure myself.  It’s still pretty painful today, but what was more alarming is that I was typing away this morning and it spontaneously went completely pins-and-needles numb and tingly.  And I tell you this: do not google these symptoms or you may think that you have somehow become gangrenous or the like.  Is my finger going to fall off? you may nervously ask yourself.  Fortunately I have feeling in my finger now, thanks to me turning up the heat and anxiously washing the floors, on the belief that moving around might increase circulation.

Last night while I was waiting for the boys at karate, I tried to take a picture of my finger.  I discovered that a) it is very hard to take a picture of one’s right hand when one is right handed, and b) I’m not going to become a hand model any time soon.

There’s an old adage that you can tell the age of a woman by looking at her hands.  By this picture, one might think I’m one hundred years old.  The waiting room at the karate dojo DOES look a lot like a nursing home.  I’m just watching my stories, dearie.


  1. I was actually hoping it was the box of tampons, then I realized, no that’s much too expensive a prize. I love to buy feminine protection at Costco because it’s (relatively) inexpensive, but still balk at paying WAY too much for what is essentially cotton in a cardboard tube.

    OK enough feminine protection talk! I realized the other day that my hands look like I’m at least 60 years old. Why hands, why? Was it all of those years doing the dishes without gloves? Not enough pampering? Kids? All of these things combined? Stupid old lady hands…

  2. That waiting room TOTALLY looks like a nursing home. I’d be afraid to sit in it too long lest I look up and find that I’ve lost forty years (all too possible given the state of my memory). That reminds me, I need to write a letter to my husband’s grandmother. Wah. Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset (cry-singing)….

  3. I shouldn’t laugh over the notion of being crushed to death by mega-sized boxes of tampons, but I am, because HA. What a way to go.

  4. Miss Elise says

    Loved the tampon story! Too funny! You are so descriptive in your writing I can imagine myself right there with you! I love your honesty girlie! Sorry ’bout your finger.

  5. Best. Story. Ever.

    Not even kidding.

  6. swimmermom says

    One way to avoid death by crushing under giant pallets of tampons is to use a menstrual cup. Mine has been performing admirably for about 10 years and I’ll never go back to the cotton and string!

  7. funny, funny.

    i’m kinda glad that i don’t need to buy tampons anymore.

  8. I am losing my mind. I swear I commented on this last week but I think it must have been only in my mind. Did you hear my comment? Haha. The tampons made me laugh. My mom used to be super concerned that I hide the tampons in my cart (if I had any and she was shopping with me). However as it turns out, after having kids I spontaneously generated an allergy to most toilet paper AND all tampons. I’ll let you think on that a bit. Think rash. Internally. Ouchie. So I have now gone super granola and use reusable Luna Pads and no longer have to worry about people pointing and laughing at me in the store when I buy a box of tampons…not that they every did that…but my mom can now rest easy.

  9. Once I bought an industrial sized box of tampons at Costco. When I looked the other way, Chunky dumped all of them in the sink and turned the faucet on. Yup…
    I hope that your thumb is ok. My guess is that you have the clap.

  10. Death by tampon boxes! Aiiiiiiii!

    My mom has nerve damage in her right hand and the number of times she has wounded herself (like, burns/cuts/scrapes) and not noticed is shocking.

    I love the look of skinny, cold hands, though, maybe because that’s what mine look like too. Only veinier. I have massive, heroin-injecting size veins on the tops of my hands.


  1. […] This was a silly fear for in all these times, I’ve only been almost killed once by a falling pile of tampon boxes. Well, “almost killed” is probably an over-statement. In any case, I actually ENJOY my […]

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