The Costco Crisscross

Wednesday, November 25, 2009
First off, I know that some people have very mixed feelings about Costco. There are times when I really do not need a gallon of mayonnaise. Actually, I don't think I've ever needed that.

However, we've found that there is no cheaper date than a trip to the mega store. We wander around like we're at a product showcase, try a few "appetizers," enjoy a few moments of entertainment on a giant screen, read some lines of a book to each other, do a fashion show for one another, talk about our hopes and dreams for tomorrow (which may or may not include that giant screen t.v. we were just watching), and race other couples to see who wins the "pick the fastest line" game. Then after we've paid for our take home gifts we enjoy a meal together.

We always have a lovely time.

We may need to get out more.

There's always one potentially socially awkward situation at Costco that I've yet to see addressed.

Every time we shop we venture up and down every isle. You never know what will jump out to you as something you need but forgot about. Or perhaps there is something on sale that wasn't on the coupon sheet. So we travel every isle. We are never the only ones doing this, and there is always at least one couple doing the same thing but traveling counter to us. The result is that every time we round a corner and begin traveling up the next isle they are making their way towards us.

And I never know what to do in those situations.

Do you ignore them? That seems weird to me. How do you pay no attention to the existence of someone you see every couple of minutes?

Here are some suggestions I have for dealing with the Costco Crisscross:

1. Ask if they've sampled the cheesecake. If you're getting tired of looking at this couple and want to get them off your path, ask if they've sampled the cheesecake. Everyone loves cheesecake. At least one half of the couple (the guy) will want to go try it. They then head off looking for free cheesecake and you're on your own.

2. Slip a random item into their cart. Hopefully they won't notice you doing that, and then a few isles later they'll discover it and you'll be there to watch the hilarity ensue. Best if it seems like the type of item the guy would love but she would never go for.

3. Introduce yourself ever time you pass. You know they'll begin wondering what's wrong with you. And of course they should.

4. Invite them to a race. First one to get their receipt checked at the door wins.

5. Work out a secret handshake. Secret handshakes take time to perfect. This way you can practice it every time you meet.

6. Fake a big fight with your wife on one isle and start making out in the next. This is only to see if you can catch them talking about you at some point when you cross.

7. Take the opportunity to ask tough questions and give them until the next time you meet to answer. I hate it when someone asks me a tough question and I have to answer it right away. I need time to think. This way you're giving them a couple minutes to think about how many children they hope to have one day. Or they can go try and find that cheesecake.

So, what do you do when you keep crossing paths with someone at Costco?