Do you feel lucky, punk?

Yesterday I got an email saying that I was the possible recipient of $6.5 million dollars, due to the passing of someone who MAY be related to me. All the money was in a Tongan bank just waiting to be transferred. Then, this morning I got TWO emails from “China Shenhua” saying that “company picked your email as a lucky person for $1,000,000 and a new car.” All I could think of was Bob Barker’s voice: A NEW CAR.

By the way, have you seen Jesse Paul on a 2008 episode of The Price Is Right? I love The Price Is Right (PLINKO!) and I absolutely adore the super-excited audience members. Jesse Paul, however, takes the cake. Watch the clip and tell me if you don’t think he’s the single greatest contestant to be on the show. I still get to spin the wheel, right, Bob?

Anyway, I’m feeling pretty lucky, with my super-exciting inbox of winning today. Plus, you guys, it’s almost my birthday! I love birthdays. I love that I’m turning forty. It feels like this exciting new era, and also that I’ve joined a super-special club of the over-forties.

So I’m having a few people over on the weekend, and last week I went to Costco to stock up on snacky things and other necessities. Since we had the painters at the house, I went to Costco after lunch and OH MY GOD YOU GUYS what was I thinking? I guess I was thinking nothing at all, since I never go to Costco in the afternoon. In fact, the only time I’ve been there not first thing in the morning was the one time I zoomed over there when the kids were in karate and I had 45 minutes to get there and back. On that occasion, I didn’t even take a cart, I just loaded up four items in my arms and popped in and out. I did not realize what afternoon Costco was like.

I expected it to be busier, but it wasn’t significantly so. The issue wasn’t with the number of people, it was with the samples.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not hating on people getting samples. It’s cool. I’m sure they have lots of tasty treats, and for free, and fill your boots, but for the love of god, people, please move your carts. Those giant Costco carts are bad enough, but when there are six or seven of them lined up to get a free spoonful of Greek yogurt, it is impossible for the non-sampling population to get by and get on with their lives. I was literally trapped in the aisles, trying to edge past the lines of people sampling the wares. It was like a weird nightmare; I’d get to the end of the aisle and would not be able to get out. I’d turn my cart around, but by the time I did that more people were lined up on the other side for more samples. I even got a side-eye and under-the-breath muttering from some man who was under the impression that I was trying to budge in front of him, rather than get around him to get to the frozen berry section. Buddy, I’m not interested in your portion of ham on a cracker. You can have my share.

I’ve been on a kick lately where I am trying not to stock up on things; I’m trying to just use up what I have in the house, and only buy things I need. My canned goods cupboard was getting out of control. So, I’ve put myself on a buying moratorium; I make a list and I stick strictly to the list. Too many times I’ve thought maybe we need soap, bought a 12-pack of Dove, and come home to three unopened Costco-sized packages. In any case, while I was wheeling around the sampling population of Costco, I saw the giant Dove shampoo and conditioner bottles that I buy for the boys and my husband. I briefly wondered if I should buy some, but then I said to myself Nicole, it is not on the list, do not buy it, you do not need it. I stood in a giant lineup to check out and then I drove home, making several trips up and down the stairs to put things away. THIS is why Costco shopping is so exhausting – it’s the stair climbing that finishes me off.

Later that night, after his shower, Jake said to me, “By the way, Mom, the shampoo is empty.” I went downstairs to fetch another bottle and LO. There was no shampoo. There was no conditioner.

At this point, I fairly exploded. “I WAS JUST AT COSTCO!” I said. “YOU NEED TO TELL ME WHEN YOUR SHAMPOO IS ALMOST EMPTY!” I said this angrily to everyone in the house, including my husband, who said that the shampoo had a pump – he never picks it up – he didn’t know it was empty. People, I had to leave the room. I was disproportionately upset about this shampoo debacle. We did have other shampoo in the house. We just didn’t have that kind, and that was a tipping point for me. I was at Costco and I had to veer around herds of carts and people acted like I was going to take the popcorn sample right out of their mouths, and goddammit, we were out of shampoo. Kind of. I had to actually do some deep breathing, this was how upset I was. I kept trying to rationalize to myself that it wasn’t a big deal, but dammit, it was a big deal.

The very next day I got my period, which kind of cleared things up for me. It was, as Oprah says, an AHA moment. AHA! Do not shop at Costco right before ladies’ holidays, especially not in the afternoon.


  1. That takes me by surprise sometimes, too. The reason is takes me by surprise is I don’t have that reaction every month, just every now and then. When I do, though, it tends to be sadness, more than anger. Everything is utterly tragic.

  2. Years ago I had a friend who started his own soup company (don’t ask, seriously, he was like a proto hipster) and in an effort to sell product he did the samples give away thing at Costco. He said it was hands down the worst experience he’s had anywhere with that kind of thing. Just total insanity with everyone crowding around and snatching samples of soup. Totally nuts. I was . . . unsurprised.

    I nearly had the leave the house the other day when not an hour after getting back from the grocery store I found out we were out of eggs. Husband had used the last one and not told me or put it on the list. I was exceedingly irritated.

  3. Aaron Paul!! Or…Sturtevant, apparently. Oh, SAG rules, you slay me.

    Also “I’M TOUCHING BOB BARKER!!!!” made me howl!


  1. […] guys! Remember the shampoo incident wherein I went to Costco, didn’t buy shampoo because it wasn’t on my list, and then that […]

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