"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Costco in the morning

By on April 27, 2020 in Columnist with 1 Comment

By Dianne Cornell

I  would like to share a “Senior” day at Costco with you. 

On a recent morning my husband and I decided to take advantage of Costco’s helpful shopping for Seniors by opening their doors at 8 a.m. before the unruly crowds (whipper snappers, hooligans and millennials) storm the place. 

We got up much before our usual rise-and-shine time, and I suggested we leave the house a bit before 7:30 a.m. My husband inquired if the store didn’t open until 8 a.m. why we would want to leave so early. 

The thought (picture the little cartoon bubbles emanating from a head), “Why must I verbally express the reasoning behind my plan to him?” seemed silly. Then, I remembered he is a member of the male species so I said, “I’m sure there’s a lot of other Seniors wanting to get there to beat the crowd, and we want to get in line early.” 

Our plan — and mostly sole purpose of this trip — was to procure that illusive product, toilet paper (apparently if you have enough toilet paper in your pantry you are protected, in some magical way, from contracting COVID-19).

We pulled into the Costco parking lot at 7:35 a.m. And lo-and-behold there was already a line forming. 

My husband gasped and said, “My God! Look at all the people!” (Cartoon bubbles again…. wasn’t that my reasoning for leaving early?)

We scrambled for our place in the structured, marked by cones in six-foot spacing, line. We were lucky as (if my math is correct) there were only 10 couples ahead of us so we must be just 60 feet from the door! 

The line quickly grew behind us. A very courteous, knowledgeable and comforting Costco employee told everyone the rules to be followed: “At 8 a.m. the doors will open. You will be let in in groups of 15 in one-minute intervals. You must stay in a line when in the store and not scatter.” 

I must say, Costco has this down pat. They were very organized and the employees had obviously been given the proper training to handle we Seniors. Carts all sanitized and deployed to us in quick, but not too quick (remember we are Seniors) fashion. 

Then, the courteous employee told all of us in line there is, “No toilet paper available.” 

The collective groan could be heard from at least three cone distances away. Our strategy changed. We decided on paper napkins. 

It’s cold. Very cold. The line had now stretched down the sidewalk to the Automotive Department and out of sight. 

We noticed people much more “Senior” than we struggling and trudging to the back of the line. Some with canes. Many with masks. Some in wheelchairs. 

I started to feel guilty about my place in line. I thought, “Should we step aside and let some of these other people move up?” Well, that thought bubble popped as they announced the doors were open. 

We marched in orderly, as told, trying to remember all the instructions we were given while standing in the cold outside. The rush of warm air as we crossed the threshold brought us back to why we came here in the first place. 

We stopped at the meat display case, proceeded to the cheese section (after all, our Feta was almost gone and man does not live by Kraft sandwich slices alone). 

And then… and then… IT’S A MIRACLE! There, just a few feet away was the tallest and biggest display (probably not but it seemed like it) of COSTCO KIRKLAND BRAND TOILET PAPER I have ever seen. 

We Seniors had been duped! It’s not nice to mess with Seniors. There was an aura of gold light surrounding it. People were mesmerized and then the six-foot rule was no more. 

An employee quickly, but not too quickly, dispensed ONE 36-roll package to each customer waiting for this precious life-saving commodity. We genuflected and gratefully proceeded to the checkout counter. 

This is the first time when in Costco we passed up the wine and spirits aisle. And also the first time we exited the store for under $100. Life is good! 

Cheers! (as TP is better than champagne these days). 

Dianne Cornell is an East Wenatchee resident for too many years to count anymore. As a retiree, she enjoys volunteering with Wenatchee Central Lions Club and being a walking partner for dog, Maggie. A supporter of equal rights, Dianne regularly encourages her husband to play chef in the kitchen. Not one to complain, she finds the arrangement highly satisfactory.

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  1. Peggi Moxley says:

    I don’t think that I have ever been seen a package of 36 rolls of toilet paper. I thought that there size was 96 rolls, which is why I have never bought TP at Costco.

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