The 3 Stages of Emotional Connection to Costco

Shopping at Costco. There is an emotional connection that changes with age.

Going to Costco for the first time as a youngster was startling to my young mind. The experience changed as I got older. Here is what I have identified as the three phases of connection to Costco.

Shock and Awe (the teenage years)

Shopping in a warehouse? I can get a sweater, a blender, a new couch and a pallet of eggs, all while eating a giant polish dog with refillable soda for pocket change? Somehow this doesn’t compute. Hey…a mega box of candy bars?? OK, this place will do.

Disdain (the young adult years)

After getting used to the idea of buying in bulk, it gets old and, in my case, laughable. As a single girl with roommates, the idea of buying a box of cereal almost as large as my allotted space in the cupboard seemed a bit foolish. I scarcely set foot in Costco in my 20s or early 30s.

Acceptance (full on adulting)

Now that I’m married and the primary shopper for our household of two, Costco came back into my life. My husband got us a membership several years back primarily so we could save money on gas. For the first few years, my young adult disinterest reigned, and I wasn’t particularly interested in going inside to shop.

One day a few years back, a friend shared with me a delicious snack he had gotten at Costco and raved about what a bargain it was versus grocery store prices. Naturally, it came in a family-sized two-pack. I liked it so much, I decided to go get some for myself.

That is when it all began.

I started wandering the aisles and allowing myself to be tempted by the Amazon-sized portions of things we consume in ordinary quantities. The one snack became a regular purchase. Which turned into two when I discovered another tasty treat in bulk.

“Maybe I do need a pallet of toilet paper, five years worth of anti-bacterial wipes and 20 cans of black beans,” I thought to myself as I continued wandering. “I could always find a spot to stash some of it in the basement.”

With that thought, I realized I had finally become a responsible, possibly boring, adult. While part of me gets a little sad on the inside at such a thought, mostly I just laugh and embrace it. And console myself with a five-pound bag of sweet potato crackers.

Have you found similar phases in your emotional connection to Costco? Please share what your thoughts are!

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