Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The High Brow Movie Watching Association

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tandberg_tv_set_1962_IMG_9481.JPG
Because I.... I mean "the kids" want to find out what happens in the new Winnie the Pooh movie.
Afternoon Readers,

How did everyone make it out of January?

Wow, that's a lot of mumbling. Yes, the year's bleakest month has come and gone, and everyone in Kellerman house survived. Granted, February isn't usually much better, what with the snow, cold, and salted street crap rusting everyone's reasonably-priced sedans, but at least this month we have a holiday that endorses eating chocolate until you can't stand. Or maybe you're supposed to eat so much, your lover can't pick you up.

Either or, let's embrace it.

Personally, I'll be stocking up on Twix hearts and planning a great, big book sale. My valentine to each one of you. I was going to make everyone a construction paper cupid sprinkled in glitter, but the postal figures were staggering. So, mark it on your calendars, February 11-14th, both my ebooks will be .99 cents!  Sorry for the exclamation point. I just ate two chocolate puddings in a row, and I can feel myself spinning out of control.

So, besides eating a large amount of dairy, like most families, we pass a lot of the winter time slog watching TV and movies.

(This spot reserved for appropriate amount of time to come to terms with the fact I skip over crafts and let Netflix raise the children. Agreed, I look like the type of person who loves to teach small humans how to cross stitch, but life is chock full of harsh realities. Deep breathes full of disappointment over getting to know your heroes, aaaaand moving on.)

Saturday night is better known as "Movie night" around these parts. Growing up, on Friday evenings, my mother would dutifully march up to the video department of the grocery store and swoop down on whatever new release VHS all nine or ten of us had demanded. We salivated every time she returned victorious, hoarding that orange-stickered video tape in her purse.
Blankets were set up.
Popcorn popped.
We crowded into the living room, like sardines in a cinematic can, and stopped fighting for ninety minutes. Perhaps only one person getting punched in the face. Husband and I are determined to continue this tradition.

This past weekend, however, it finally struck me what a perk it is to be able to watch TV and movies with your kids. We've stumbled into a veritable goldmine of being able to watch pretty much anything we want and not be judged for it.

Single person with no kids + Watching a whole weekend of Peter Pan = Potential weirdo

Parents + Watching Lego Movie four times in a weekend = Just enduring keeping kids happy

But are we?

No, we are not.

Deep down, I want to consume an entire bag of Orville Redenbachers and figure out why Strawberry Shortcake is having such a hard time. Is it social anxiety disorder, or is she just stretching herself to thin? How's she supposed to make thirty cakes for her friend's party AND hand sew everyone's party dresses? Pass the remote. Let's find out.

Or what about Scooby Doo? I now have free license to watch a marathon of it. Oh, you kids want to go draw? I've got a better idea. How about we watch these meddling kids solve fifty more mysteries and HOPE that someone is finally a real ghost. Because I want it so bad. Every. Time. But it never happens. After that, we'll watch both live action movies and decide which one was better, and hem and haw over the casting choices. Sarah Michelle Geller is always adorable, but it's like Matthew Lillard is made to play Shaggy.

Fred? Eh.

Now find a real apparition, damn it.

How does Macaulay Culkin keep getting left at home?
Who built the bat cave?
How do they manage to make My Little Pony so saccharine? It obviously doesn't have writers, just bags of sugar falling off shelves and making random words on someone's linoleum. "Hurry and type that up." They yell.

I capitalize on my children's watching so I can answer these questions and more. I'm still slightly irritated the three-year-old got bored with the Kid's Learn Sign Language video we were both enjoying
and asked for Power Rangers instead. (I was this close to signing "Nice to meet you," with some fluency, the simple colors and pictures opening up a whole, new life where I signed my knowledge casually to any deaf person I met on the street. I could see it as a beautiful Hallmark movie, Inspirational Hands: The Paige Kellerman Story.)

Not only can I half sign things, but this winter of kid's television will also lend a certain spark to any conversations at parties I might stumble into:

"So, Paige, seen anything good lately? George and I find it so difficult to get out these days, but we managed to sneak away and see two Oscar-nominated films."

"Goosebumps."

"You have them?"

"No, I saw it."

"Oh. You mean you watched it with your kids?"

*coughs awkwardly* "Right. Um, yeah. The kids totally picked it out. Because I would never, and I mean never, pick out a kids movie so I could wax nostalgic about literary bits of my childhood. But when we get down to brass tacks, it was well thought-out and Jack Black was a delight. Even after the third time... so, they still have the Oscars, you say?"

As long as the Kellermans are tiny, I think I'll keep taking advantage of the happier side of Netflix. Sure, there's a plethora of annoying programming to be found in the realm of toddler TV, but if there's a chance I can keep laughing at why Shaggy's always hungry, I'm there.

(I also plan on being able to sign, "Nice to meet you. Do you have any change I can borrow for the carwash?" by the end of March.)

And now, I'm off to deeply discount books and load up on chocolate for this weekend. Get out of the way, other shoppers. Get out the way.

Until Next Time, Readers!


 
 
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Stuff You Can Do While Holding A Baby

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Caution: Always put baby down before attempting to knit said baby an entire suit.

Morning Readers,

Oh Lawd, January has set in.
I repeat, winter has set in and we're trapped.
Send reinforcements.
Send cocoa.
Send Xanax mixed in cocoa.

How are you guys fairing? -Well, all of you who don't live where palm trees sway and you can hear the ocean from your beach-front bungalow. You Readers just keep on living the dream and don't tell the rest of us about it. Just do you quietly where we can't see it from our tundras.-The Kellermans are neatly frozen in The Oak Palace, waiting for spring, trying not to climb walls.

Scratch that. I just had to pull someone off a wall.

Right now, my job sits squarely at keeping everyone distracted and holding the baby. Because she loves to be held. The good news is she's cuddly like a bear cub, or least as cuddly as I imagine a bear cub would be. I don't know, I've never tried to hold a bear. But because of the constant baby holding, I'm left to do pretty much everything else with one hand. Currently, the top five things I'm having to do, single-handedly are as follows:

1. Taxes

Can you smell it? That's right, it's tax season. Last year, I had both hands to sort through documents and get things organized. This year, I'm trying to keep the two-month-old from flipping out of my hands while I interrogate Doc on whether or not I can write off, as a business expense, all the rolls of toilet paper he's tried to flush down in their entirety. "Surely raising the toddlers of America is a deduction. It has to be somewhere around maintaining a non-profit traveling circus," I insist.

More on that as it develops. The refund and the floods.

2. Grocery delivery

This one actually needs its own post, but holding a baby constantly has necessitated ordering groceries and having them delivered straight to the Oak Palace. This modern marvel is one I wish I'd discovered years ago, but my enthusiasm was unmatched when I ushered the delivery boy in yesterday and pointed the baby in the general direction of where the groceries were to be set down. "Would you like to hold my baby?" I asked. "I mean, not all of them, but this one is really agreeable and-"

But he was already gone.

3. Housework

My Everest.

Did you know you can load a dishwasher, with one hand, and only drop and break half your dishes? Thank goodness for thrift shop plates amiright? Dishes, laundry, general pick-up, I've got it covered. Just don't ask for symmetrically folded t-shirts or having two, matching socks show up in your dresser drawer. That sock dropped on the floor in front of the washing machine. It was either a.) squat down and get it while twelve pounds of baby made me feel the burn, or b.) you go to school in one Spider Man sock and one smiling, but very stretched-out Olaf and Sven.

4. Yelling at kids

This one is my current favorite because it, literally, requires no hands. Unfortunately, I can't really follow through on any threat I make. Have you ever tried to run after a five-year-old, while you hold a baby? By the time spring comes around, the birds will be chirping, flowers blooming, and I'll be the proud owner of four juvenile delinquents.

5. Netflix

This is probably right up there with the grocery delivery. It truly is the greatest invention of my time. Ok, that's probably the internet in general, but having eight billion episodes of everything right my fingertips? Priceless. Or seven bucks a month. Whatever. The Little Lady loves Netflix too. It's just that she also loves when you don't sit down ever.

What this breaks down to is cardio. Lots of cardio. Fun Fact: You can walk five miles in your living room while watching most documentaries. My current plan to lose the baby weight is to watch every ESPN 30 for 30 and march myself into flat abs. What's that, Bo Jackson? You played and dominated two different sports? That's nice. Have you ever held a baby for 1,440 hours straight?

That's what I thought. You probably did.

Oh well, the littlest Kellerman should be sitting up by the time the weather thaws and the ice cycles melt from my mustache. If I've learned anything over the six years, babies grow fast. Just think, you guys, it'll only be a few short months before I'll be posting about her climbing the stairs and getting into things she's not supposed be remotely associated with.

Which reminds me, I need to check if the grocery store delivers that Xanax ready mixed in the cocoa.


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Friday, January 8, 2016

Every Time A Bell Rings, A Mother Buys A Bra

I"ll take five of your Grecian Bust Girdles, please.
Afternoon Readers,

Ugh.

It's a horrible thing to hate your husband during the Christmas season. This year, I pretty much wished peace and good will to all men, except for the one who leaves my cabinet doors open and tells me I look pretty, even when I fall over backwards trying to put on my Spanx.

But let's back up.

Christmas at the Oak Palace was what you'd expect. Santa brought things for all Kellerman children, we put a log in the fireplace, for the first time, and prayed it didn't set the house on fire, and everyone ate enough sugar to gift diabetes to all six of us. It was a silent night. A holy night. And a night I looked at a Victoria's Secret gift card and started hyperventilating.

Husband beamed back at me and nodded. "It's all for you."

What to say? Slowly, I pulled both corners of my mouth into a smile that looked, I suspect, like a cat entering rigor mortis. "Thanks."

"We both know you need new bras. Now you can get what you want."

What I wanted.  What I wanted?

What I wanted was to never go bra shopping ever again. Some women would've hugged that little piece of pink plastic to their chest and flown out the door. I stomped upstairs like the ungrateful ass I am, threw the card on the nightstand, and began rifling through my underwear drawer.

Husband was right, of course. There were bras on display from the Civil War that looked better than what I wore every day.

Underwire? I'd dismantled all those and used most of the wire to grab a bill that had fallen behind the fridge.

Sports bras, my weapon of choice. There's not a thing wrong with wearing sports bras every day, but the problem was mine had ceased being eligible for sports of any kind. Even curling. Carefully, I nudged around the pile of rags I wrapped myself in every day. "You guys aren't so bad." I picked up a rag with two holes in the right nipple. "Probably should throw some duct tape on that."

Deep down, I knew Husband was right, but why did he have to show his love in such an annoying way? The man was infuriating and had, single-handedly, ruined my Christmas. There are few things I hate more than bra shopping:

World dictators who overstep their bounds
Senseless violence
Candy wrappers I can't open with my teeth

But looking for boulder holders is right up there. Especially because it's essentially spending money on self torture. Later that week, as I dragged my feet through the entrance to Victoria's Secret, I was one-hundred-percent sure there were people who'd been hung, drawn, and quartered in the Middle Ages who'd had more fun than I was about to.

"Can I help you?"

The pretty girl with full makeup and styled hair had come up behind me while I had, roughly, five bras in each hand and was trying to figure out whether I owned cantaloupes or speed bumps. For a second, I decided to sound like I knew what I was doing. "No, no. I think I've got it."

She smiled. "So, you know what size you are?"

"A... C... or B. I see there's a D here too. Does that stand for desperation? I'm more or less sure it's one of these. If you sell anymore of the alphabet, things could start to get murky though."

Before I could stop it, she'd whipped out a tape measure and was taking my dimensions in front of the entire store and two people next to the pretzel stand outside.They ordered more salt and watched, captivated. I tried to protest. "This really isn't nec-"

As soon as I'd been violated, it was over and I was handed a card with my measurements. She beamed again. "Wow. Ok, this is what you actually are."

"Well, I guess I did just have a baby. But it's nice to know I could go work at a cabaret, if times get tough."

She shoved me toward the dressing rooms, piled various styles in the corner, and assigned someone to critique my chest. "Hi, I'm Amber!"

I cowered in my kennel. "Hi, Amber. I'm Paige, and this is both terrifying and reassuring that I might buy the correct product. Do you mind closing the door so I can weep quietly for a while?"

She pointed out what to try on, what every bra was designed to do, and instructed me to call her when I was ready to have her size zero frame bounce back down and observe whether my post partum body was strapped down in a way it wouldn't break free and smash the narrow mirror hanging on the wall. "Just hit the call button."

The door closed behind her, and I quickly snapped up a bra that was fashioned to lift, support, and make waffles. "Here goes nothing."

Ten bras and thirty verbal outbursts later, I'd narrowed my search down to two. It'd been a tough battle. Trying on bras has the nasty habit of making a woman painfully aware of what she has or doesn't have, of what's falling out or staying in, and how much fabric it takes to lift one's chest off her ankles and back up under her neck. Tentatively, I hit the call button and Amber appeared like she'd popped in from Victoria's Secret wizarding school. "You ready for me to take a look?"

I surrendered. "Tell me the truth. Does this one fit me right, or am I two steps away from busting out while I Am Woman plays in the background?"

"You look great."

"Really?"

"Really. Oh, and I apologize. It looks like our cleaning person left a dirty rag in here."

"That's my sports bra."

"Oh... I see. Can we interest you in some body spray as well?"

Relieved, I dragged my purchases up to the register and made an investment in proper placement and supported assets. The cashier dropped everything into a pink bag and slid it over the counter to me. "Anything else I can do for you?"

I shook my head. "No, thank you. Unless you have some public stocks I can lock myself into, that's enough mortification for today."

All in all, I'm happy I got the whole ordeal out of the way. I'm actually 100% satisfied with what I bought, and I've begun the long journey of throwing out sports bras and giving them to Husband to mop up oil spills in the garage. I don't hate him anymore. This Christmas was about tough love and doing what needed to be done. But if he doesn't get me something different, like a robe with pockets filled with chocolate, next year, we'll have problems.


Until Next Time, Readers!



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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Newborns: A Field Guide


Afternoon Readers,

Oh boy.

I haven't tapped out yet, but finding our new normal has been a little trickier than originally predicted. Maybe it was trying to publish a book right before Little Lady's arrival. Or possibly it's the frenzy of things demanding attention in preparation for holiday hoopla, but whatever the reason, things seem to be a tad out of control.

(As if I ever have anything under control. Seriously, look at the expiration dates in the refrigerator, and you'll see a woman who lives right near the edge.)

One thing is 100% certain. Three years was enough for me to forget everything I've ever learned about newborn babies. Well, not everything. The poop, that stuck. But all the little things which require lifestyle adjustments are steadily jogging my memory.

How can that be?

I don't know flippin' know. What I do know is that I totally forgot new babies sound a little like mewing kittens. It's adorable. But let's keep this emotional tour bus moving along.

For anyone else who needs a memory jog, or moms that need a little solidarity, I'm typing out a field guide I can reference over the next few weeks, instead of taking shots of whiskey out of sippy cups at 9am. Even better, let's do it in a fun Q&A format. Because I'm all about fun. It's how you end up with four kids in the first place.

Newborns: A Field Guide

Q: Will I ever sleep again?

A: No. Well, it seems that way. Babies have no idea what time it is. Which is why you'll spend your days jacked on two full pots of coffee, a few uppers, and one, snorted Pixie Stick. Your nights will be spent watching re-runs of Fixer Upper and aggressively whispering, "Why Can't Joanna come re-paint my cabinets? We're living like peasants."

You're so delusional from sleep loss, you head out to the garage and start rummaging around for primer at 3am.

(Shhh... Don't worry, the baby will, eventually, find a schedule. For the sake of this post, we'll pretend the toddler years don't exist.

Q: How much do newborns eat?

A: Can't. I have to go make a bottle. 

Q: Will my baby be happy when I put her down?

A: Depends. I've had babies who've been content to swing in a swing for hours. In fact, they were so detached from me, they're currently living in their own rent controlled apartment and send me a card once a year. I hear Kindergarten's going well.

On the other hand, some babies refuse to be set down, as has been the case with my last two children. Babies like this tend to view the situation thusly...

"Oh, you're putting me down to go to the bathroom? You shouldn't even call yourself a mother."

Q: Seriously, how much do they eat?

A: Be right back after I make another bottle.

Q: How will I be able to tell if my baby likes to be swaddled?

A: She won't cry.

Q: How can I tell if my baby doesn't like to be swaddled?

A: She will scream. This is made more bearable by the fact your baby now looks like an angry burrito.

Q: After my doctor gives me the ok, will I be able to workout? This baby weight is making it hard to fit into my snow boots.

A: This also depends on the detachment issue. For babies who love to kick around on a blanket, congrats! You're about to look like Jillian Frickin' Michaels. For all you ladies who have a baby like our newest, you may want to

a) learn how power walk your offspring to sleep and/or use them for bicep curls
b) Like the majestic Brown Bear, use your fat to hibernate until spring

Q: This all sounds terrible. Is it worth it?

A: Surprisingly, yes. It's totally worth it. Because, in the free moments between making meals and shushing to sleep, the spare moments are spent showing your new baby off. This is because newborns are so damn cute. They also smell good and look like you. So, while you look like a sleep deprived Navy Seal ninety-nine-percent of the time, you'll also spend a lot of your time in public like this...


Ok, I have to go make a bottle.

Until Next Time, Readers!

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Girls' Shoe Giveaway From BobbiToads!


Morning Readers,

I know, I know. Like me, you're probably nursing pie hangovers and eating whip cream out of the tub, but you know what goes really great with leftovers?

That's right, free stuff.

Y'all know I love giving stuff away. I love it even more when the holidays are right around the corner. So, it goes without saying that I was totally in luck when I met up with the kind people over at BobbiToads. They make THE cutest shoes for girls. What sets them apart is their unique design. Not only are they in colors that are super eye-catching and fun, but they've figured out a way to mold toes into the shoe so that the nails either light up or can be painted with real nail polish.

Sundance got to try out a pair and was sold. She's currently rocking these light-ups, and loving the heck out of the pink sparkles and cute stickers she got to decorate the toes with.

The quality of the shoes is also out of this world. Kellermans need sturdy shoes because we're pretty much human wrecking balls, so I was super impressed with the thick quality of the material and stitching. Totally worth it. Oh, and here's a few more facts about their awesome company...



Because the peeps at BobbiToads are incredibly generous, they've offered to give away a free pair of shoes to one lucky Reader. So, if any of you guys are looking for a fun gift this season for a special little girl in your life, this giveaway is right up your alley. Also, as a special offer for all my Readers, from now through Cyber Monday, BobbiToads is also offering 40% off all purchases with the code PAIGE, at checkout. After Monday, that code can still be used for 30% off the entire site. Pretty sweet.

Now, all you have to do is hit up the handy Rafflecopter below, and you're on your way to adorable shoes. After that, go grab more pie. You deserve it.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Until Next Time, Readers!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What It's Like To Have Four Kids: Life As a Poker Game


Afternoon Readers,

How are you guys?

Good, good. Things are here are... going.

Let me start by saying that Little Miss is doing really great. Super healthy. Super cute. Better eyebrows than me. As far as being a stellar human being, she's got all the boxes checked. But let's have some real talk for a second. Lest everyone here thinks I have everything under control, I'd like to issue this PSA:

I don't. Dear Lord, someone throw me a life raft or a really sturdy pool noodle.

Just like every other time I've had a baby, Nature miraculously comes in to perpetuate the human race, very pointedly erasing any and all memory of the very steep learning curve that comes with adding a new person to the family.  Oh, don't get me wrong, it's totally worth it, but when you're the everyday person with no nanny, butler, private chef, or someone to launder and fold all the yoga pants, and a budget that didn't relax at all while you were in the hospital, yelling, "More pie!".....

Jesus take the wheel.

I don't like using the term "shit show" very often because it always rings a little crass, but if the shoe fits, tighten those laces and go for a run. Admittedly, now that we're almost two weeks in to our new routine, things have settled down a bit, but for the first week, Life and I were playing serious game of poker, and, surprise, I wasn't the winner at the table. For instance, even though I'd just had a new baby, the other kids still needed to go to school.

Me: Ok, I just have to get three kids dressed, lunches packed, and get everyone in the car on time.

Life: I'll raise you one baby who needs to be changed and fed ten minutes before you have to be at school.

Me: You're bluffing. I just fed her an hour ago. I'll see your hungry baby and raise you one mother making sandwiches while she mixes a bottle with the other hand, just in case.

Life: Oh, look. I only need two cards. I'm not going to show you what they are, but I pretty much have this in the bag.

Me: Obviously, you can't show me, but if one of them is a toddler who just had an accident and the other is a little girl who can't put on her shoes because her feet hurt when she looks at them, I may have to fold.

Life: They don't call this high stakes for nothing. It's cute how you're trying to keep a straight face. Are you trying not to laugh or cry?

Me: Ha! Like I'd tell you. Ok, I'm going all in with a Percoset for this incision that's burning like dry kindling, a cup of coffee, and a novena to all the saints in heaven that I don't keel over and die.

Life: You sure you want to do that?

Me: I'm never not sure about coffee.

Life: Ok, but one of the twins just tried to start the car, the other one can't even find his shoes, the toddler is prostrate on the floor, crying hysterically about a juice box you didn't give him yesterday, and the baby just pooped again.Did I mention the furnace is on the fritz?

Me: Way ahead of you. I already called the repairman.

Life: But he won't be here until Tuesday. Good thing you noticed all that left over baby weight in the mirror this morning. You're going to have to hug the children and warm them with your own body heat for the next three days.

Me: There's literally got to be anyone else to play this game with.

Life: Nope.

Me: What?

Life:...

Me: What is it?

Life: The toddler just dropped the clean bottle into the filthy side of the sink.

Me: I fold.

So...

There you have it, folks. Things around Kellerman house are going, but going slowly. I know I'll get the hang of this new gig sooner rather than later, but let's just hope I have enough pain killers and coffee to weather the storm. I may not be winning every day, but there's always a chance someone will buy me a life raft for Christmas.

Until Next Time, Readers!

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Late To the Party

"Oh, Janice. It's so delightfully plebeian how you buy your Manwhich cans one at a time."

Afternoon Readers,

I haven't checked in for a bit, but I've been waking up for days in a universe where the Royals have won the World Series. My brain's still trying to process the amazingness of the whole thing, but as Husband's been waiting for this moment for pretty much his entire life, we're soaking in the experience and planning on naming the new baby World Series Kellerman.

It's the right thing to do.

Speaking of Kellerbaby, the countdown stands at only one day until she gets here. That's correct, we're finally at the very end, and I'm eager to waddle towards the finish line. Free pudding, people waiting on me, and watching whatever I want on TV for three days? Yes, please. It also means some uninterrupted blogging time. Who wants a live report on just how the cafeteria gets the jello-to-whip-cream ratio just right? Where they store the 100% cotton hospital gowns? I'm on it.

Before I can head to the hospital, however, my brain has been in overdrive, trying to check everything off my to-do list.

Bills paid sort of time? Check.
Toilets cleaned. Kind of.
Shopping for things I don't necessarily need?

The last one needed to be addressed. Luckily, my sister stepped in to remedy the situation. "So, you want to go to Costco with me?"

I nodded. "Sure. I've never shopped there."

Dead silence. "Um, get your shoes on so you can join the rest of civilized society."

Yes, I live under a rock. But, even so, I'd heard of Costco. I just never shopped there for whatever reason. It was the final punch on my suburban mom card I'd yet to earn. Which was sad, because I only needed one more click and I could turn it in for a free infinity scarf.

"Ok, here's your card. You show it to the doorman and remember to give it to them when you check out. Easy."

I pocketed my new piece of white plastic and nodded back at my sister. "Great power. Great responsibility. Holy crap, is that a three-foot-tall case of salmon?"

She motioned toward the giant doors. "You haven't seen anything yet. Try not to hyperventilate when we get to the cheese."

For the three of you who've never set foot in a Costco, I can only describe it as a giant warehouse filled with wonder and super-sized cases of the ethereal. It's not a place where ordinary servings of chips dwell. Oh, you just want one package of bagels? Shut up, and get the hell out. You better have your hand on the 150 count bag or forget about bagels forever. It's cute you even thought you liked bagels before. Show some dedication. The five pound tub of cream cheese is to your left.

At first glance, it's easy to think the huge cases of pretty much everything you've ever had a food dream about are over-kill. But that's only until you see the prices.

"Hey, it says these are 3.99."

My sister nodded ."Yep, you wanna head to the bakery?"

"But there are seventy-five Pigs In a Blanket in here."

"And?"

I shook my head in disbelief. "That's a ridiculous amount of pigs to stuff in a box. Maybe we should tell someone. It has to be a mistake."

"It's not."

"But what if it is? That's enough hot dogs rolled in dough to feed royalty. All for the price of half a car wash. Someone could be tagging all this stuff wrong."

She placed a gallon of cider in the cart. "All of it?"

I looked skeptically at a box of eighty quiche for five dollars. "All of it. This whole operation could just be a front for funding illegal arms trad- Oh my gosh."

"What?"

"That ham's only ten cents a pound."

Now that I'm thirty-one, there are so few things that excite me. Heading to a club at 11pm? Pass. Memory foam bath mats for ten dollars? Treat yo' self.

"It's so soft."

"Paige, it's a bath mat. Why are you rubbing it on your face?"

"Soft."

"Mmm k'. Maybe we aren't ready for the non-food items."

Oh yeah, did I mention Costco sells things like coats? Right next to the five dollar pumpkin pies. I'd say it's completely unnatural, but.... America.

Once you're sucked into the experience, there isn't time to think, only that brief span of time where you're wandering ridiculously wide isles, muttering things at strangers like, "But if I buy the leggings, how will I bring home that 2000 count box of fruit snacks for the children?" That is, if you can even find your way back to any offspring you left at home. By the end of the trip, everything was relative. I stopped an elderly woman perusing  seventy packs of croissants.

"I need your honest opinion."

"Yes?"

"If I traded in all three kids I already have, do you think I'd have enough credit for that new refrigerator and two of these sheet cakes?"

"Honey, I don't know."

"But you have to know. That one comes with cream cheese filling."

"Um."

"It's fine. Go back to your rolls. Don't forget the chicken salad. Aisle ten for four bucks. Wait.... are you having like half of France over for dinner?"

It's imperative you bring a lifeline. If I'd happened to wander into Costco without someone to pull me back to reality, there's a good chance I would still be there, either living under a stack of goat cheese or figuring out how to drag a new fire pit to the parking lot and Tetris-ing it into the van.

My sister patted me knowingly on the shoulder. "Ok, we have to go."

"But..."

"I know it's hard to not want to build a fort out of the thousand-count diaper boxes-"

"You don't know my life or what I need."

"But if you don't move you don't get lunch for a dollar fifty."

"I think I just had a heart attack."

So, I totally get it now.  I get the appeal. The cases of everything. The cheap hot dogs. If this is what my thirties bring, then sign me up and put my face on the id. Because I'll be going back. Probably a lot. After all, if I'm going to cash in my suburban mom punch card, I can't think of any other place that will sell me infinity scarves at three for ten dollars.

Until Next Time, Readers!


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