Et tu, Costco?

Costco used to be my favorite place at Christmas.  I’m sure you see where this is going.

I was there by myself on Sunday.  It’s rare that I get to shop by myself. We needed gas, diapers and dog food, but I decided to seize the opportunity for some me time by doing a zombie-like stroll through the entire store.

The liquor and sugar is out of control this time of year.  That must have been why I loved it so much.  Specialty chocolates, truffles, peppermint bark and this crap.  Super-size bottles of bourbon in fancy boxes.  Sometimes with novelty glasses!  An expanded champagne selection and a whole separate section dedicated to the booze that is on sale.  I can practically feel the fireworks going off in my neural synapses.  I’ve been in the store since the holiday stuff arrived, but hadn’t paid much attention until Sunday.

I wasn’t really bothered until a man passed me and in his cart he had 6 bottles of what used to be my favorite wine.  You see, they’ve never carried this wine at Costco.  I was making special trips to buy it at a wine store.  I freaking loved that wine.  Seeing that Costco had also discovered it and picked it up almost took my breath away.  I suddenly felt a big sense of loss.  Like a friend of mine said here, I was queen of good, affordable wine.  I was a connoisseur in my own fantasies, but it was like my talent was being confirmed by Costco.  I was so good at drinking.  I relished researching, shopping and tasting wine.  And always more, more, more.  A true love affair.  A fucking alcoholic.  I’m also a pretty good baker.  These talents make so much sense now.

I guess I haven’t contemplated a drink too seriously since the very earliest days of sobriety.  I mostly get sad and resentful that it’s not an option for me.  I’m not sure if you noticed, but what happened at Costco began before I even got there.  See when I mentioned that I was trying to steal some me-time, that should have been a dead giveaway that the trip wasn’t going to end well.  I went there looking for more than just diapers.  I was looking to feel better.  What I got was a million reminders of the things that I can no longer use to make me feel better.  I resisted actually walking through the liquor sections.  I’m lucky Costco hasn’t carried Moose Munch for a couple years because I had already decided I would buy it if I found it.  You better believe I looked for it.

I’ve read a couple other blogs also talking about dealing with more cravings lately.  I agree that it’s the time of year.  Everything so shiny and special, everything I’m missing out on, everything the holidays used to be, all the good times I had drinking through this time of year, fun and warmth and togetherness, but I think most of all it looked really pretty and sparkling.  And it seems both easy and impossible to get that back.  Hard to accept that it won’t be that way again.  Hard to accept that I’ll never relax into the ritual of planning and executing a perfect holiday dinner wine pairing.  Hard to accept that the relief is really gone.

11 thoughts on “Et tu, Costco?

  1. OH. How I can relate.
    How sad is it that I want to know what the wine is?
    And I have, in my drafts, dated 8/21, a post called “A Merry Costco Xmas”…it was the day the decorations and gifts started going out, or at least the first day I saw them for the year. I never actually wrote the post but the title sits there, forlorn.
    Screw it!
    Love you!

  2. i so get this, especially as the wine i bought is in the supermarket i still shop at. Walking past that aisle sometimes brings a twinge…thank god the Coke Zero aisle comes first!

  3. It’s funny but this is the first year I am really feeling those “pangs” or “cravings” or whatever the hell you want to call them. I think my first two holiday season sober I was so busy just trying to hang on by my fingernails that the cravings and pangs were just a normal part of life.

    But over the last year I’ve grown more comfortable in my recovery so when this hits me it really pisses me off.

    I’m trying to stay out of the stores as much as possible. Now I think I know why.


  4. The holidays get easier as the sober days and years stack up. First sober holidays are a challenge, but if yours ends up being anything like mine, I was filled with gratitude when my make-up looked the same at the end of the night, I hadn’t gone to the after-party and the after-after party and I woke up the next morning without regrets, a hangover and some weird person (or people) in my bed.

  5. And again with the Shakespeare. 🙂

    I’ve commented on this before, but I was so shocked and a bit angry to see a wine tasting table at my grocery store while I shopped for Thanksgiving. It felt like betrayal. Come to think of it, that’s when all the holiday festivities and pangs started popping up.

    Most days of the year were fine. The cravings were really non existant, so I’m sure it’s just the time of year.

    Great post with some really awesome insights.

  6. Hooboy. I have never been so happy to live in New Jersey where alcohol is sold in liquor stores, not in supermarkets or in Costco, except for some location where there is a separate attached store for booze. Only Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have that nonsense going on and they are not conveniently located to me. However, the chocolate stuff is everywhere! Uggggh! I struggle…Oy

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