My Hissy Fit in the Costco Parking Lot


I have the receipt in my hand, officially checked with blue highlighter by the attendant, as we wheel our two loaded carts out of Costco.  We get to the truck and as the Bearded One opens the tailgate, I glance at the receipt and the total seems high to me.  We did buy the champagne for my little sister’s 50th birthday party this coming weekend.  Still…

And then I see them.  Mega This-or-That Vitamins and Fish Oil Supplements, two entries totaling over $50, and I snap.  Not physically.  I look perfectly normal, for me.  But I can’t breathe, or move, or think.  It’s all feeling in the initial shocking moments of deep personal assault.

I fish the two plastic pill bottles out from under my carefully selected steel-cut oatmeal and organic cane sugar and match them to the sums on the receipt.


Meanwhile, the Bearded One is dutifully unloading our monthly supplies, one gigantic boxful after the other.

My hands start to shake.  I want to weep.  Like when I seeded the sweet peas this weekend, the worms are all coming to the surface trying to breathe.  Everything that has made me mad for the last decade about the entire profit-driven food and health industrial complex is right here.  How I detest all this stuff.  My efforts are for naught.  I am defeated.  Hell, I’m insulted.  Who needs good food if you can just eat vitamins!


“I am soooo mad,” I choke out.  I stomp to the front of the truck, open the door and slam it shut.  Then I open it and slam it shut again.  The truck rocks.  “I want to go home!”  I grab my purse and turn to march back inside the accursed big box store with its loud flashing screens so as to cancel my eye appointment scheduled at 1:30, in 35 minutes.  I take a few big steps away.

The Bearded One toots the horn.  My heart stops with the sound, and I turn and see him sitting in the passenger seat.  Come back to me, he is motioning.  You are in a crazy place.

I’m standing there alone in the empty parking space in front of our truck, at the outer edge of a parking lot the size of an airport.

And there he is, behind the windshield in the 1991 Toyota 4-Runner that is our sole transportation and that he dutifully took to Virge the village mechanic this week for a brake job.

The anger in my body stops rising.  I am mad, but I am breathing, and I can talk now.

And we do talk, and I do a bit of yelling inside the truck with the windows up.  Health insurance, our budget, my healthy cooking and the endless pharmaceutical ads for high blood pressure and cholesterol.  How on most any other subject, I’m comfortable giving him $50 leeway.  It takes me most of the half hour to get over this breach.  It’s just too much money, I say.  He has no strong feelings about the purchase and says he weights my discomfort heavily.  He’s willing to just go ahead and die years earlier.  He grins.  Damn him.  He offers to return the supplements and I insist on it.

We get home over an hour later, and I’m still weak, but the eye doctor was absolutely a sweetheart and the Bearded One did the rest of the grocery shopping alone while I got the eye exam.

He even checked his blood pressure at the grocery store and it was fine as per usual.


I park in the driveway and see Ruby behind the gate.  Garfield sits on the deck railing.  And there is Sweet Tart, our new hen who is recovering from a dog bite, scratching and pecking, not a care in the world.  They are all getting along now.  Sweet Tart is the only chicken ever allowed in the back yard.

In fact, I have the distinct impression that the dog and cat are actually protecting her after the trauma this weekend when a bald eagle snatched our littlest banty hen right out of the lower pasture.  I saw it from the window, the stark white of its head and neck sticking up in the middle of the flock of chickens, who were
frozen in place as their only defense.

I watched with my somewhat blurry distance vision — soon now to be corrected with new glasses — as the huge bird that Benjamin Franklin so famously mourned as our chosen National Bird took off across the berry patch with Dusty in its claws.  Ben said the eagle was “a bird of bad moral character, he does not get his living honestly.”  Ben voted for the turkey, but it just wasn’t majestic enough.


“Ruby and Garfield are protecting Sweet Tart,” I say.

The Bearded One nods and bear hugs me from behind.  He says a few things, but all I hear is, “I’m sorry.”

“I had a hissy fit,” I say and smile just a little.  “I’m sorry, too.”

“After we unload the truck, I’m going up to the barn and start carving you a wooden ladle as a gesture of good will.”

“And I’m going to order you your own personal blood pressure cuff from Costco.”

Ladle 003

9 responses to “My Hissy Fit in the Costco Parking Lot

  1. I would have paid to see you lose it, though I’m not glad to hear of the pain. Love the way you describe this stuff, Christi.

    • Thanks, J.K.! I thought this week’s edition would be about Virge the mechanic, but the Costco episode took over my psyche. I’m over it now, thank the gods.

  2. Christine Widman

    I can’t go into CostCo without Den. I just don’t know where I am anywhere in my body alone in that place. But we certainly use CostCo for lots of our B&B supplies.
    And I have “lost it” – recently when I saw one of our huge blue agaves trimmed too much. Just like you describe. Thought I would just die from what felt like a sacrilege of its majestic age and wonder.
    lolol…the CostCo episode took over my psyche…lolol
    May your earthworms replenish your farmlet soil and soul.
    May your sweet peas sweeten the air soon with their luscious scent.
    Hugs and hugs

    • There’s nothing that can ignite a tantrum like sacrilege, I am so with you, Christine. 🙂 Thanks for your sweet pea wishes….we’ve put chicken wire around all of them to keep Sweet Tart out. May they sprout soon. Love you!

  3. You make my humungous efforts to convince the world that I am indeed as mad as a wasp look like a kitten pawing at a ball of wool girl! You must have been storing all of that up for a long time! I am a regular venter (just ask Steve 😉 ) so it never really gets all that pent up. It doesn’t take much for it to errupt though. My ex and I bought a Toyota 4 runner back when they were new, shiny and amazing. I haven’t been able to see one since! I don’t know where they all went…maybe to the mainland to rust in the outback…who would know! Back then it was an amazing 4 x 4 and we used to take off the top and go fishing. Fishing here in Australia (at least on the mainland) is like fishing on the cape of South Africa and you get some really “interesting” fish that can swallow your bait, hook, line, sinker the lot and swim out to sea with both you and your rod so you have to know when to give it up…just like the B.O. knew. He was holding your rod and playing you back in carefully (what a WISE man! I have more respect for this wonderful backseat driver if it that is at all possible!).
    Sorry about your banty loss Christi but at least she went to a noble cause (not fat crawking crows that hover about for small chicks 😦 ). If she had been a turkey I dare say that bald eagle may have had a bit more trouble swooping her away…Sweet Tart has been sent to you for a reason. You are suffering from your own internal wounds that you are going to have to tend girl. Anything that festers that quickly is marking time on your mind. You need to find a happy medium. As someone who is part of a partnership of opposites I know how crazy Steve’s ideas and desires can be…”what the heck do you need that for?!!!” as penniless student hippies we know, more than the average Joe, how carefully you have to budget. Sometimes Steve’s crisps, or chocolate biscuits etc. might make me twitch a bit BUT he does our fortnightly shopping and spares me the road rage, the cyclist anger, the twitching and the abject chaos that descends on me if I go with him. He has earned his “treats cupboard” + 10% ;).
    Has the B.O. found flax meal yet? Very cheap and if you grind your own and add it to your bread or cereal it has the very same effect as fish oil only its AMAZINGLY cheap. He also needs to know that unless the vitamins are chelated (and even then they may still not be absorbed) they just pass right through you and are a waste of moola…he has his own internal quandries going on. Who wants to age badly? No-one. I have just lost 22lb in order to make sure that my future isn’t terrifying and feel that just about everything that causes you problems is diet related. There are ways around just about everything that nature didn’t hand you and that you ate yourself into on your plate (and I am not talking vegan conversion here 😉 ). Nuts and seeds are FULL of vitamin E, the chief anti aging factor and can be added to just about everything 🙂
    You LUCKY WOMAN! A ladle? I have been laying down hints for AGES about a ladle…I think Steve has tucked it neatly into his “too hard” basket. I have visions of gorgeous soups simmered for hours on Brunhilda’s heady expanse of heated iron and served into mismatched bowls (my idea of country thrift 🙂 ) by a gorgeous home-made wooden ladle and served with home baked bread and love. Call me idealistic but that ladle has now become my main focus when all around me is shimmering heat and brown grass and garden deflation that leaves my horticultural heart heavy and unresponsive. We all have our low moments and that bear hug is true love girl…my own bear hugs are few and far between and I usually have to seek them out (Steve can bear a grudge that can last a lifetime…).

    • Oh, Fran, let me assure you that I don’t rage regularly, and that since I gauge mental and emotional health by how long it takes to recover sanity given any engulfment, I feel more sane now than at most any other time in my 56 years. Just ask my kids.:) They’d call me downright Happy Go Lucky now! lol I’ve found the happy medium, most of the time. The health industry does pull my strings, though. 🙂 And the B.O. does have a cabinet of vitamins, including flax seed oil, and his newest addition, Brazil nuts. They are really really good for something! I’ll check for flax meal. Thanks. And the B.O. was tickled (Texan for pleased) that you are envious of the ladle. He needs some different chisel, so hasn’t worked on it today. He is a true love, you are so right about that. I’m hoping for some cooler weather and rain for your parched landscape and souls soon!

      • Brazil nuts are good for selenium and are the best sources…selenium pushes the “happy button”…Brazil nuts push my own happy button but not for the vitamin, I just love them :). We say tickled pink here too and Steve could care less that I envy another woman’s ladle by the way LOL! That ladle is square stuck in his too hard basket and is not showing any signs of coming out of it any day soon :(. No amount of coaxing, wheedling or blatent one upmanship “Christi is getting one!” makes an iota of difference to him because like Popeye…he “Am…what I am!” and no-one elses convictions are going to change or influence him ;). Its only 26C today and my mood has definately taken a turn for the better…20C on Saturday but back to 28 next week…at least we get a break 😉

  4. I’ve had my own hissy fits, (wonder where that word came from?) But I especially loved the Bearded One’s answer…to die a few years earlier for you! What a love bug he is!!!!!

    • Hissy fit is a term I learned growing up in Texas, Suzanne. I don’t really like it…refers to women having hysterical fits, feels kind of sexist…but it worked in the moment. 🙂 Love you.

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