As you can see in this Twitter conversation from last week with my blogging friend, Jack, I normally avoid Costco this time of year.
Should I hit Costco today or get a colonoscopy. #decisions
— TheJackB (@TheJackB) December 19, 2010
@thejackb I have a strict no Costco policy until everyone is finished with their returns. So like mid-February.But we’re out of wipes!
— Nina Badzin (@NinaBadzin) December 19, 2010
Then with no warning my homemaking/gathering instincts trumped my better judgment. In other words, our need for wipes, hummus, string cheese, and a bargain price on my favorite drug–I mean favorite gum–caused me to break my usual rule.
I only needed a few things, I thought. How bad could it be?
Well . . . if you’ve been to the belly of the beast known as the refrigerated section of Costco on a regular day, then you can only imagine the mayhem there three days before Christmas.
But the sheer volume of the crowd wasn’t the inspiration for this post. This was: A young woman, perhaps around 20, stood in the middle of that disaster and made a bad situation worse by TEXTING instead of pushing her cart.
Incredulous and determined to score a nearby sample of Irish Dubliner cheese, I tapped her on the shoulder. “Excuse me,” I said in my most ‘Minnesota-nice‘-meets-North-Shore-Chicago-chutzpah voice, “You really can’t text at Costco this close to Christmas.” (Apparently, my defense of Christmas knows no bounds.)
“Whatever,” she said without looking up. Yes, the girl “whatevered” me. What’s worse, she didn’t move. She didn’t care about the bottleneck she’d created all around her. She simply continued to text. I imagined OMGs followed by many xoxoxos. And I wanted to cause her physical harm.
But then, instead of getting mad, I started to cry.
I have to tell you, I don’t cry often. I cried maybe two other times this year and one of them was caused by the scene in Finding Nemo when [spoiler alert] Nemo’s father finds him. But there I was tearing up in the middle of Costco, wiping my nose with the back of my hand. The girl didn’t even notice–no surprise there.
I managed to pull it together and find the rest of the items on my list and then some. HOWEVER, I’m still thinking about the incident hours later. I honestly don’t know why I got so upset. Lord knows I dig my Blackberry as much as the next person, but there was something so thoughtless and unaware going on in that young woman’s mind.
Is this what we have to look forward to from here on out? Everyone staring at their phones instead of getting on with what they should be doing in that moment (driving, making eye contact, pushing the damn cart)!?
Do we need some sort of societal “stay in the moment” revolution? Or do I just someone to slip me a Xanax before I dare go out in public again?