Archive for Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Cat’s Eye: Initiation to club overwhelming

May 2, 2007

I know I'm behind the times, and people have been doing it for years. I've heard them talking about "making a Sam's run" and "getting the best deal at Sam's," but until recently, I had never been there myself. I'm talking, of course, about Sam's Club -- a big warehouse where all of your shopping dreams come true -- at least if you want whatever you want in mass quantities.

The atmosphere is, well, cold, to say the least, and actually rather unsettling. I was assaulted immediately upon entering by a woman who wanted to give me a hand spa treatment. It didn't really seem like a warehouse club sort of thing, but I thought, sure, why not. This whole Sam's thing is a new experience -- let's try everything.

So I got my hands scrubbed with a sea salt solution and then soothed with a lotion in my choice of three fragrances. I learned that all the fragrances were in the package deal she was trying to sell me, along with a cuticle conditioner. Didn't my hands feel great? Of course they did -- use any kind of grit -- ah, I mean "microdermabrasion" on your skin and it will feel soft -- for about a day. How often can you use this stuff, though, before you are out of skin and have bones sticking out? The whole Spa Hand Treatment sold for close to $50. No thank you. I'll just salt my driveway without gloves and throw on some Suave lotion when I'm done for $2.29.

I was pulled aside again by another gal who just wanted me to pick out my favorite sunroom from the six or eight pictures she was sticking under my nose. I politely picked one out, and before I could take a step away, she flipped her laminated card over and began a fast pitch.

"That one? Well, it just so happens that you can purchase that sunroom today for just ..."

"I'm sorry, ma'am, I can't do that," I said, moving away.

"Really? Why not?" she said incredulously, as if money was not in the least a consideration -- as if I came from another planet where sunrooms must be shunned and abhorred. And indeed I was beginning to feel like I had come from another planet. Was it too late to just leave? But Kevin was pressing on, so I mumbled something to the sunroom pusher and hurried to catch up.

I went in with a list of various items -- envelopes, printer paper, paper clips ... I had no idea that the smallest box of envelopes would contain a quantity of 500. How long will it take us to use 500 envelopes? Oh, I'd say at least five years (and that with yearly CF fundraising letters). Did we buy them? Of course we did -- the price was great! And printer paper? Well, the best deal was on a box of 5,000. I think even my paper-wasteful kids will have a hard time using that up any time soon. (I did pass on the paper clips. I draw the line at a box of paper clips I can't lift. I don't want to have to leave paper clips to my kids in my will.)

We found seasonings, gravy mixes and feta cheese in larger-than-average containers. We bought blueberry muffins to put in the freezer and took note of the huge bags of shredded cheese. We actually bought a 1.5 gallon jug of liquid soap! I know if we had put our backs into it, we could have stocked up for and waited out an apocalypse of 50 years or more. Of course, we would need a second or even a third house to put it all in, but with all that money saved, we could probably afford several more mortgages.

Hey, now I get it! If you shop at Sam's you will save so much money you can afford a hand spa treatment AND a sunroom! (I'm going to need that sunroom to store all the extra toilet paper.) But, of course, since we spent probably twice what we would have normally spent getting all those great deals, it will have to wait for awhile. Maybe next month -- okay....year.

In the meantime, I'm thinking we need to have a garage sale to clear out some things we don't need. I mean, when you think about it, furniture takes up a lot of space that could be used for gallons of detergent and motor oil, and 40-box-packs of Teddy Grahams.

Ah, Sam's, how did we ever live without you?

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