Table for one please!


I have a friend who insists on posting a Christmas count down on Facebook every day.   Well – maybe it’s not every day, but it’s frequent.  Too frequent.

Five more Saturdays until Christmas.  34 more days until Christmas. 816 hours until Christmas.  And they all have a picture of some Disney character dressed up as lame Santa, passing out gifts and smiling.  Ugh.

Terror grips me when I see these posts.

My pulse gets faster, my stomach starts to get that “roller coaster” feeling and little droplets of sweat ever so gently start meandering down my forehead.  I told her these posts make me anxious. Evidently she doesn’t care.  The relentless countdown continues.

48,960 minutes until Christmas.

Of course, my response is Pavlovian of sorts, based on conditioning from holiday’s long past.  Novembers and Decembers that were nothing but a blur of non-stop activity and motion.  Back in the days when I worked outside the home, entertained friends and neighbors, volunteered at church and school, took care of aging parents and tried to give my kids the perfect Thanksgiving/Christmas every year. Yeah – good luck with that.

Basically I acted like the Tasmanian Devil in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Complete with the unintelligible grunting.  And I kinda looked like him too.  Still do.

But now, the holidays are a breeze.  The kids are grown and on their own, I live in a new city so there’s no entertaining old friends, neighbors and co-workers, my job is very part-time and my parents passed away.  Plus, gift buying on the Internet gives a whole new meaning to the term “easy peasy”.

But some days are still busy though.  Like yesterday.  Places to go; things to do; people to see.  Days like yesterday during the holidays make getting proper nutrition a challenge.  My morning banana and mocha only last so long…

My stomach started rumbling about 1 PM, but I still had a few stops to make.  I needed to get my glasses adjusted, buy toilet paper and get our Thanksgiving turkey.  What to do, what to do?

It came to me in a flash with a clarity of mind and reason I rarely experience.  I did what any hungry person of a certain age would do in the middle of a Friday who needed a spectacle adjustment, a turkey and mass quantities of toilet paper…

My name is AGMA and I ate “lunch” yesterday courtesy of the sample ladies at Costco.

I think of it as a power lunch.  It allows you to power through shopping while enjoying the wide variety of outstanding food products offered by this membership-only warehouse club.  They graciously provide the fuel for your engine so you can shop until you drop.

Fridays in November and December is THE best time to dine.  The sample brigade is out in full force in preparation for the weekend of unbridled holiday food buying.  The Costco food departments are loaded with holiday favorites – ham, meatballs, cheese, chocolate, cheesecake, candied pecans – and they want to share it all with you. For free.  That’s the best part.

During the day on Fridays in November and December, the hoards of shoppers there on the weekends are delightfully absent.   This give you full accessibility to the “buffet”.  No wild children snatching the samples out from under your nose.  No elbows being thrown at you trying to get the last sample.  No lines to wait in to get that schmeer of spinach artichoke dip on the pita chip.  Lunchtime nirvana.

You’ve got to know the “unwritten” rules though.  Only take one. Dispose of the toothpick and napkin in an approved receptacles. And thank the sample lady.  Every now and then, buy what you are sampling.  If you can do that, sometimes you can get away with taking a second sample. “This is SO good, I think I’ll just grab another one!”

If I had some good Tempranillo with it, I’d swear it was just like eating tapas in Spain.  Kind of.  In a sick and twisted way.

Bon appetite!

18 thoughts on “Table for one please!

  1. LOL! Love it! I have dined at Costco also. Can make for a wonderful lunchtime feast! And I have guiltily bought my fair share of delicacies that don’t taste nearly as good when made at home and more than a shmeer is available! 🙂


  2. lol I love sample! I’m convinced that they taste even better because it’s free. I use to lie and say that I needed an extra for whoever was with me. And then, I’d make my littles get extra for me as well. hahaha


    • Kind of a Fagan-ish operation having your kids snag extra samples. I approve! But how did you manage to wrestle them away from your kids? It’s amazing what we go through to get an extra chicken cranberry meatball! Yes – that had those on Friday and they were as delectable as they sound! My stomach’s rumbling…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was smiling the whole time while reading this. It brought back so many memories of walking through Costco trying to find the sample ladies that seemed nice enough to let me take more than one sample. Not the grumpy ones who give you judging stares. Thank you for your post, I thoroughly enjoyed it!


    • First of all, I love your “picture”. Or should I call it an avatar? Although I really don’t know what that is… If I was a guy and 35 years younger, THAT would me my pictureatar. Anyway, it seems to me that most of the sample ladies are pretty chill and I’m sure had no problems giving an extra tapas (as I like to call it…) to such a well-mannered young man! Glad I gave you a smile!


  4. Haha! I used to supervise the demos in Costco. I had to help give breaks to the “sample ladies and men”. This time of year was sooo stressful. And I hated the people who pushed and shoved and complained because they had to wait for their one inch square of pork roast. So, sad to say, I was one of those who gave the evil eye more times than I’d like to admit. (I hope nobody from those days reads your blog!) Obviously, you’re all glad I wasn’t at your stores!


    • Oops – I think JustARandomCollegeStudent went to your Costco… Shhhh…. I’m sure he won’t recognize you. Hey – it was your job and it’s a whole different ballgame when you’re the boss as opposed being a sample lady (a generic term that includes both women and men) You were accountable for that pork roast so too many square inches gone missing was on you head!


  5. Pingback: Unspeakable guilty pleasures | Aging Gracefully My Ass

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