Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sometimes I'm clever...

...but not usually until it's too late and the moment's passed. My life is filled with moments where I think, "Oh, I wish I'd said..."

Case in point:

We have made a habit of taking a trip to Costco around lunchtime on Sundays. It usually happens because something about sitting in a wooden pew at church Sunday morning makes me crave a big, hot, cheesy slice of $2 pizza from "Cafe Costco." Each week I promise myself that we will not indulge in this craving, and each week, I fail to have the self-control to not eat my full day's calories in one delicious sitting.

Aside from reinforcing unhealthy eating habits, Sunday at lunchtime may be the absolute *worst* time to go to Costco. We're talking 1:00 p.m. Impatient bulk-foods shoppers abound on Sunday afternoons, and these shoppers are a special breed. It's as if they are extra hurried because their weekend is slowly slipping away from them, and if they don't get a case of tomato soup in time for Monday: you better watch out!

On this particular Sunday, I tried to find a place to sit while Mr. Spaghetti dutifully stood in line to order food. This is no small task since most of the tables are not far enough apart to accommodate the cart that held my sleeping Little Spaghetti in his car seat.

First, I sat down at a table on the end of the main aisle. But for some reason, every single table on the main aisle has a giant trash can sitting right next to it because - you know - having just one or two trash cans centrally located is just not enough. Or maybe Costco just knows most people are too lazy to walk to a trash can? Who knows? Either way, I felt bad parking my baby right next to the trash can. I didn't want him to get splashed with stray drops of soda that casual passersby might throw into the trash can.

So I tried a table at the front of the row where there was less traffic to block with my massive shopping cart. I sat down apparently under some kind of air conditioning vent that was blowing full bore...never mind the fact that it's JANUARY.

Finally, I settled at a table in the very back corner, next to the customer service desk. There was space for my cart, but I quickly found out that space was only there because they had just put away all the customer returns. As we sat there, returns started piling up, and they started filling in the space around my cart one big-screen tv at a time. Soon, there was no way in and no way out.

Enter: the lady with five children who was upset at having had to walk all the way to the last table in the seating area as it was. With me on one side of the table and my husband on the other, there were still three or four seats on each side of the table. The family came, intending to take up the seats on each side of us, which - to be honest - would have been a little too close for my comfort with strangers anyway.

Several of the kids tried to go around the table, but my cart (which I couldn't have moved if I'd wanted to) was in the way.

*Sigh* "Could you, like, move your thing over there,"the woman said while she waved her hand toward my cart like she was shooing a dog away. Then she rolled her eyes and put her hands on her hips. She gave me *the look.* Luckily, she's not my mother, so the look didn't have quite the intended effect.

"I'm sorry, I really can't. We're pretty blocked in."

"Fine." *Sigh* "Just make it work, kids," she ordered.

So they crammed in next to my poor husband, all six of them. In a space that wasn't really big enough for three people, let alone six.

Then Little Spaghetti started making some noise. So I got up, pulled him out of his car seat, and sat him down on my lap to wait while Mr. Spaghetti crammed the rest of his churro (our standard Costco dessert) into his mouth so we could leave.

All the sudden, the woman looks over, "Where'd that baby come from?"

Right...that'd be that thing you were telling me to abandon across the store just a minute ago.

"Oh, he was just sleeping, in the cart," I explained.

As we were getting up to leave, it hit me. I wish I'd said, "Well, ma'am, I could tell you where this baby came from, but I'm not sure that's how you intended for your kids to learn about the birds and the bees."