Costco.

We were living in NYC when the first Costco on Manhattan Island opened on 116th Street, in Harlem. (This was before free delivery, kids!) We would lug our double stroller up to Harlem with one child in the front seat, leaving the back seat and basket open for eggs and milk, cheese and ham, olive oil, bagels, apples, and Vitamin C. The oranges and bananas would dangle from carabiners attached to either side of the stroller. And two loaves of bread fit comfortably around the head of the sleeping child in the front seat of the double stroller.

No. Costco is not at all unfamiliar to our family.

But Costco in a van has taken some happy adjustments to my physical commitment to grocery shopping, and some unfortunate adjustments to our budget. Instead of the if-you-can’t-carry-it-you-can’t-buy-it mentality, I find I can fit all sorts of Costco goods into our little white mini-van, almost doubling the amount of money I now spend at Costco. Let’s not talk about that right now.

It only took me two times losing our van in the Costco parking lot before I devised a plan: Namely, I park our van in the nethermost part of the Costco parking lot.

ADVANTAGES TO PARKING FAR FROM COSTCO’S FRONT ENTRANCE:

(1) I can always always always find my van! Because I am no longer at the mercy of “chance”, I can consistently park in the same spot. Every. Single. Time.

(2) And, because I am not competing with other drivers (ahem….parkers) for close parking spots, my decision has eliminated road rage, on my part. No longer am I the driver hooting my horn at careless backer-out-ers, or glaring at selfish space stealers.

(3) And during the Christmas season, not only do I find myself the furthest from the front entrance, but the closest to the trailer selling live Christmas trees!