Thursday, September 09, 2010

Sam's Club

Perhaps you know my feelings about Sam's Club. If you're like my friend Lydia, who upon reading my food book, said about my Walmart screed, "why don't you tell us how you really feel?" I've only been inside a Walmart once and that was in Hawaii and I just went in to pee. I would have peed on the floor but I'm a lady. Or something.
But also. If you know anything about my feelings about the impending global food shortages, you know how I feel about Costco. Costco is one of our few weapons against the apocalypse. How will you survive the End of Days? With 24 boxes of Macaroni and Cheese. With one full pound of Parmesan. With a case of canned tomatoes.
(Two side stories. Once, for Renn Fayre, the final party of the year after theses were turned in at Reed College, I was an assistant to the makers of the hummus. Or the tabouli. Not, sadly, the meat smoke. Still, I promised the hummus makers that Costco carried a 32 ounce tub of peeled garlic. When we arrived at Costco (my mom sent me to college with a membership), they had no tubs of garlic. We had to peel our own. That is one problem with the Costco. It doesn't always have on the shelves this week what it had on the shelves last week. The second story is also about college and my mother. She sent me to Reed with a case of pencils. I ran out of those pencils just a year ago. That's like 18 years worth of pencils.)
Here's the problem. Flagstaff has no Costco. I emailed Costco the first thing when we moved here. "Will you be moving here soon?", I asked. "There is no "public" information about that," I was told. I took it to mean I just had to wait a couple of weeks. But now, two years later, there is still no Costco.
I was out of parm. I was out of contact cleaning solution. Out of Benadryl and shitake mushrooms. At some point, and, after I had to pointedly boycott Target for their particularly anti-gay attitude lately, I could not go on without. Is Sam's Club worse for the world than Costco? Is there more packaging, more stuff made in China, more jobs lost, more small businesses put out by Sam's Club than Costco. Probably not. And, these are dire times. The food. It is short.
So I went. I paid the $40 for the membership and bought organic nectarines, two pounds of shitakes, grapes, chicken thighs, 24 Sierra Nevadas for $18, six boxes of spaghetti, 5 avocados, pine nuts (oh how I've been holding out for the full pound of pine nuts), two bottles of wine (the Sam's Club in Arizona has benefits over the Sam's Club or the Costco in teetotaling Utah), bread, tortillas (more than we'll ever eat), cold cuts, and Greek yogurt, laundry and dishwasher soap.
The packaging was no more disturbing than at the regular grocery. And, the bonus is, I didn't have to go to the regular grocery store all week. Which is the main goal. Besides providing provisions for the end times. Also, now I can invite you over for dinner. For tortillas. with butter.

p.s. Erik went back two days later and got tissues, paper towels, milk and butter. So do come for the butter.


Lisa B. said...

I had to stop shopping at Costco when I realized how much money I had spent there in the last two years. I realized this because they scanned my card to see if it would be worth it to upgrade my membership. Oh my Lord. Why do I spend so much money on everything, absolutely everything? And every place I go. I need to stop shopping everywhere. The end. But I would truly like to have that full pound of pine nuts. The very end.

Nik said...

That's the problem. You go for the pinenuts, you stay for the for the four pounds of broccoli.

Middlebrow said...

I think we all have a love-hate relationship with big box retail. Target and Costco, especially, produce an almost unheard of conflicted stance in me. "What are these strange feeling at war within myself?" I ask.

Sandy said...

I'm going to play devil's advocate because my mom says that's what I do best ;)

Picture the people who work at Walmart, Target, and Sam's. Their socioeconomic status, demographic, etc.

Who else would hire them? Not New Frontiers. Not Bookman's. Not Winter Sun. While these places "may" treat their employees badly with bad health care plans and terrible wages, AT LEAST they hire them. They hire the unwashed masses. Who else is going to?

ASM said...

Spork is not dead, incidentally. See their website--they just published a new print issue too. Long live the spork. As you can guess this is a response to your interview on HTMLgiant.

Dr. Write said...

Long live spork!
Also, I love Target and Costco, hate WalMart and Sam's Club. I didn't say I was logical.
Also, I just went to Costco, so when you run out of apocalypse food, you are welcome at my house.
My word verification is almost excess. Is that a coincidence?