Costco - a snapshot of American Life?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Or, is it a glimpse of American life through rose colored glasses?

    How realistic is the image Costco portrays on a Sat morning?

    Couples hand in hand, buying wines, cheeses, and appetizers for their get together in the evening, or burgers for their neighborhood cook out. Couples combing the book section talking about titles they love, kids giggling that they love their daddies, or begging their daddy to push them down the aisle. A husband trying to help his wife find the feta cheese, which they are apparently out of. So much love, happiness, respect. So many happy families.

    Meanwhile I also cannot find the feta, but have no one to ask but the deli guy. I busted my lip open on the cart trying to hoist the 30lb dog food into the cart, which produced instant tears. And I couldn't help but notice that I happened to be the only single person except the older lady handing out samples.

    How well does this snapshot of life represent the world we live in?
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    :capitulate::flowers:OMG, Steely, I am so sorry, but you made me chuckle.
    You have to remember that there are epics, dramas, comedies, horror films, SF and children's movies. Your life has more of the drama and in this case, a bit of comedy.
    Boy, have I been there done that!!!!
    I'd suggest sticking with-colby jack, and buying smaller bags of dog food.
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'd say your scenario is probably more accurate than the Costco commercial. While I have seen many couples shopping together, they are rarely smiling all that much. Costco and other giant discounters are not made to be fun family projects -- they are work. However, there are many other scenes as well. The couple who snarl at each other while trying to find the feta. The old man trying to get the "essentials" for his wife with Alzheimers (including the right size Depends). I've seen these and many other scenes at my Costco and Sam's Club. I learned a long time ago that as dismal as my situation may seem at that time, if I look, I will see someone who makes me grateful for what I have.

    I don't have a mate who will call me stupid in public because I can't find the food the store is out of. I can push my own cart and lift my own packages rather than hope someone will be kind enough to help me because I have no use of my legs or so obese that I can't lift 30 lbs. My child may run down the aisles like a wild child but she can run, she is intelligent enough to know it is not the proper behavior, she's not dying. I've seen these scenes in Costco as well.
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Steely, I sympathize. I haven't seen many of those "magazine ad" families waltzing and smiling their way through the store aisles lately either! But that's one of the little known downsides to being on your own! How do you do these things on your own? Lucky for me, the pet shop guy carries the 30-pound dog food bags to the car for me, bless his little heart! It's not that I physically can't, but I sometimes have to park a block away! It's just nice that he does it for me!

    But I know exactly what you mean! Example: I have to pay a guy to mow my lawn. Why? I have a lawn mower, but it doesn't work. There is a repair shop in town, but how do I get the stupid lawn mower there? I don't drive a truck, and even if I did, how do you get a lawn mower into the back of a pickup truck? It would fit in the trunk of my car but the *%&#$ lawn mower is too heavy for me to lift on my own. People who have someone around to do these things for them or to help them out have no idea how very difficult it can be. I'm the one who can only wash her living room curtains when the extremely tall son comes to visit ... he's the only one with arms long enough to re-hang them!
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Are they kidding? I haven't been in that store in a while but any time I have been in there, it's like crowds of people who cringe at having to buy all the bulk items, then fight through a ton of other people and stand in line FOREVER, just to get a deal that they can afford on their budget in our poor economy. No one leaves looking happy. Especially 'cause they forgot and jammed the receipt in their pocket after finally getting through the cashier's line, just to get held up at the door having to dig it out and show it. What a happy adventure!! It doesn't sound to me like they are marketing their best quality- bulk pricing!!
  6. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Hey...I take offense at that. I AM one of those older women handing out samples!!! ;) But, I do it with style.

  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Awwww..........Abbey, except you are a sample lady with a hubby. So you would have fit right into my "picture perfect" morning.:peaceful:

    So, in a serendipitous chain of events, I managed to weed through the couples fawning over the YaYa Sisters and Clinton's memoirs, to find a really good book today at Costco.
    It is Unless by Carol Shields

    "Happiness is not what I thought. Happiness is the lucky pane of glass you carry in your head. It takes all your cunning just to hang on to it, and once it's smashed you have to move into a different sort of life."

    Yep...........mine is smashed, time to move on.
  8. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Actually, I haven't seen anybody lately who goes through the store aisles with a big smile on their faces. They all have worried expression on their faces and little calculators in their hands!
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Donna.........have you been following me?? :rofl:

    Steely, honestly I haven't ever seen that portrayal in any type of store. That type of ad is meant to give you the warm fuzzies until you're just dying to shop there and get the warm fuzzies in person.

    American outgrew that sort of ad about 20 yrs ago. :( It's nowhere near reality. Don't let it get you down.

  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow, what a great quote.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Steely...I heard something recently about both Costco and Sams Club. Costco caters to a more upscale and wealthier client and Sams Club caters to small businesses and well, Walmart shoppers. I fit in with the Walmart type.

    Now I dont see a whole ton of happy go lucky people in our Sams but people do seem nice and friendly. I havent paid that much attention to whether they are one or two parent families. I do notice that people tend to smile at each other if given half a chance but that might be because we live in a small town. We are just that way. We talk about anything to each
  12. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I like to think that I gave people a warm and fuzzy experience. Yes, you were spending money, but it was a fun time. (Dorks had a customer call me for my 86 day notice this morning.) Knock down some MC Hammer in front of my was party time. On a good day I could get Starbucks to put out some samples while we danced.

    I did see my fair share of people just going through the motions. Always on their cell phones...walking faster than a jet, etc. Never make eye contact. I'm like..."Hey! How are you today?" Ok, biach. Talk on your cell and never make any real human contact. Feel good now? Actually, I think I said that out loud a few times. Probably not so good for job security.:tongue:

    So here's the deal. I SWEAR it will work. We'll get Thorn, Star, Terry and me and we'll be the quad greeters at Costco. (We'll just show up...not actually have a job. They'll never know.) Customers will be greeted by craziness and kindness that they've never know. We'll be on the Today Show. We'll be flown into all kinds of Costos around the country showing our fling. We'll be stars. Really. Ok, maybe not stars, but we might be a blip on the screen.

    Sounds good?

  13. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Steely...that was a great quote...hope you post it and maybe some more at my quote thread.

    I recall reading a book that mentioned what the author called "narrative" therapy. She told a story of a client and depicted two different descriptions of the same person...although you didn't know it at first. It was eye opening. With one description, you saw a woman clearly down on her luck. With the other description, you saw a woman who had a lot going for her...perhaps just having a bad day. Upon realization that it is the same was almost shocking.

    My point is that this could be the Costco experience. There are days husband and I have gone to Costco or stores like it and it has been fun. We eat a sample, buy a few things, find what we need and leave.

    Then there have been other days...especially ones with difficult child...that were NOT so pleasant. She was MISERABLE and inappropriate and we saw people there with perfectly lovely Leave it to Beaver Children who undoubtedly were just in on break from their Ivey League College....

    My mom died right after my son was born...and I can't tell you how many times I've been in stores like that were I have seen moms with their daughters and their new grandchildren buying supplies. New grandma, new baby, new mom...laughing, etc. Years ago, it tugged at my heart. Today, it warms my heart.

    I don't know if Costco depicts the typical American Life/lifestyle. I think there are many different types of families and families go through different stages. I think we often can't control what stage we are in. If we are not happy, we can take steps towards making a change. The one thing we can control is how we perceive the situation.
    Lasted edited by : Aug 10, 2008
  14. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    well I can relate, of course, not everyone is as happy as they seem, that could have been me and S2BX a year ago, and he would refrain from calling me an idiot until we got in the car.

    But as I sat in church this morning, my friend Joanna and her husband was in front of me, and he was rubbing her back. I miss that, I do. I can relate with feeling like the odd gal out, I am there.
  15. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I guess I must be oblivious when I go to Costco - seems like the only time I notice other customers is when they are in the middle of the isle bs'ing to one another and I am trying to get by. Some days I may be one of the smiley people, or one of the frowning ones having gotten po'd at SO on our way there.

    Truth be told, I would rather shop by myself, even knowing I gotta get 30 pounds of dog food, and I love chitchating with the sample ladies - if SO is with me I can hear him huffing and puffing behind me waiting to see if I pop whatever she is selling in my cart so he can ask me if I REALLY need to buy that.