Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Shopping 101

Hey, you know that song from “Frozen” that starts with “do you wanna build a snowman?” Of course you do. Oh…song stuck in your head? Sorry. Welcome to my world.

Around my house, we sing “do you wanna go to Costco” so if you’re a Costco groupie like me, maybe that tune is now just a teensy bit more tolerable?

I believe in Heaven and Hell. I know the Bible offers a description of both places but I kinda like to think Heaven is just a little bit like Costco. Because I really just love it that effing much.

Here are a few reasons why:

Free Samples

I mean…duh. On my last Costco graze-a-palooza I started with garlic bread washed down with energy drink. The sample dude swore this energy drink cured his ADHD and acne, which I thought was TMI, but whatevs. I moved on to tomato soup, fat-free popcorn, hummus and an egg white omelet. Quite the spread, although I did tell the sample lady that I thought it was a travesty to make popcorn fat-free, ever. I don’t think she really cared and I ate it anyway. I finished with sinfully yummy dark chocolate pretzel caramel orgasm bites (okay maybe they weren’t actually called orgasm bites but they should be.)

Hot Dog Deal

If the free samples don’t fill you up, there’s a snack bar, too. A hot dog (or Polish sausage) and a drink for $1.50? How amazing is that? Costco makes the best-ever hot dogs.

Churros

The snack bar has these, too and there are just not enough happy things I can say about fried dough rolled in sugar. Especially when it costs a dollar.

READ MORE: My Open Letter To Costco

Stretchy, comfy clothes

What better to sell in the land of eternal snacking than loose-fitting clothes? Costco has a yummy array of tights, sweats (oh, right…we call those yoga pants now) and oversized hoodies that cover your booty. Great stuff to wear while you’re cuddled up on your couch watching Downton Abbey and munching on chocolate pretzel orgasm bites.

Jumbo pallets of toilet paper

I don’t really need to explain why this is just awesome, right? Or is it just me? If jumbo pallets of toilet paper don’t trip your trigger, there’s also jumbo pallets of sticky notes and jumbo pallets of instant mashed potatoes….to each their own jumbo pallet fetish. I’m partial to toilet paper but I have a big family and butt-wiping is kinda important around here.

Double-seater shopping carts.

I can strap both my little kids in and browse to my heart’s content. I can paw through piles of stretchy pants goodness while sipping an espresso sample and my kids go nowhere…although since they’re fortified with dollar churros it’s usually a peaceful shopping trip. There’s a lot to be said for no fighting over whose turn it is to sit in the cart with the food because no kid likes it when you try to squash him with a super-sized package of ground round.

Kirkland brand wine

Good wine doesn’t have to cost a ton and there’s really just something wonderful about a jumbo bottle of reasonably priced boozy goodness. Nothin’ says classy like Costco brand cabernet, people.

These are all good reasons to love Costco. But my top reason for loving Costco is simple…

…because it’s Costco.

Honestly, my husband could get almost as much action from taking me on a date to Costco than a fancy dinner and a chick flick. Almost…

This post was originally featured on Jill’s blog, Ripped Jeans And Bifocals

Shopping with kids is a harrowing experience. They “NEED TO HAVE” every single thing they lay eyes on. And if you say no… prepare for the worst. No, really. The actual worst.

Oh, I’m sorry, have you ever tried dragging a screaming four year old out of a store while angry people make angry eyes at you? Probably not, because otherwise you would have agreed before. The worst.

Sometimes you just have to say yes. But other times you gotta stick firmly with your ‘no’ and incur the wrath of your tiny ball of fury. Yes, every single person in that shopping mall may hate you, but you stuck with your guns. Go you. And meanwhile, you can enjoy this video and revel in the fact that every other parent shares your pain.

Unfortunately, there are some unpleasant tasks that come with being a woman and grocery shopping is at the top of the list. It’s accompanied by waxing and listening to your 4th grader practice his recorder for three consecutive hours.

I will never view hot cross buns the same ever again.

Shopping for groceries is one of the worst things on my to-do list, and I always avoid it if possible. However, my husband is beginning to suspect I may not be allergic to the metal on the shopping carts, so I’ve had to step up my trips to the store.

I know I can’t be alone in my hatred of the grocery store (or “market” for those of you who shop at the fancy establishment that bags your groceries for you.)

Here are a few reasons I despise the grocery store. Hopefully you can relate. If not, please buy me a membership to a personal shopper program. I hate bagging my own groceries.

1. The picky shopper picking produce.

Who cares if it’s bruised? Do you know what else is bruised? My head from hitting it against the wall waiting for you to pick the right peach. You’re not picking a mate for life, you’re picking produce. Choose some and go.

2. Shin-bruises from the shopping cart.

I hurry through the store attempting to make the torture as short as possible, and in doing so I typically hit my shins on the bottom bar of the shopping cart. I can only assume that bar is put there for the sole purpose of making my shopping experience even worse.

3. I turn into the plant from Little Shop of Horrors.

I resist the urge to belt out “Feed me, Seymour” as I stockpile 100 calories packs. You can eat five of those for a nice snack, right?

4. They frown upon snacking mid-shopping.

If I’m going to shop I need sustenance to get through the trip. If I’m surrounded by food, why wouldn’t I down a bag of chips and a Diet Coke? I will (shamefully) place the empty containers on the conveyor belt so I don’t steal anything. However, I take the judgmental stares for free.

5. Getting judging looks from the bakery department when I take free samples.

Although I don’t have kids, I don’t think I should be discriminated against by not getting an appropriate amount of free samples. After all, my muffin top suggests I’ve given birth to at least 3 children.
Who knows? Maybe they’re in the cart on the other side of the store (preferably with an adult watching them.)

So hand over the cookies. Would it kill the bakery worker to hook me up with a macadamia nut cookie?

Apparently it would.

There you have it; some of the many reasons I dislike going to the grocery store. I assume you agree, and we can commiserate together. If not, please leave your email address and I will send you my grocery list.

Motherhood. It’s often painted in soft colors with lullabies serving as the background music. But as most people know, motherhood is anything but a rosy fairy tale filled with edible rainbows and opera-singing unicorns. Motherhood is a tough job! There are endless dirty diapers, countless skinned knees, and tantrums ranging from mild to those of epic proportions. So how does Mom keep it all together?

The truth is, sometimes, she doesn’t. There are moments when even the most seemingly invincible mother falls apart, often leaving her feeling isolated and alone. That’s why she deserves something very special this Mother’s Day…the gift of sanity.

The books listed below make great gifts and can help mom feel connected, normal, and understood. Forget roses, perfume, and wacky gardening gloves. All moms deserve the laughter, validation, and moments of “Me too” that these books provide. Titles available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other book retailers.

The Mother of All Meltdowns by A Bunch of Hot Mamas Losing Their Cool: (MommiFried Press, October 2013) Featuring thirty heartwarming, humorous, and heroic tell-all tales from the trenches of motherhood, the anthology takes an honest look at the moments that bring even the strongest mama to her knees.

Minivans, Meltdowns & Merlot by Carolyn Coppola: (CC Press Inc., November 2012) Stories from an incredible group of women who forged a bond that most new mothers (or any women for that matter) would envy. Reading the stories is like having a great support group all mothers are looking for (or were lucky enough to find).

I Just Want to Pee Alone by Jen of People I Want to Punch in the Throat: (@throat_punch books, February 2013) Hasn’t every mother said it before? “I just want to pee alone!” A collection of hilarious essays from thirty-seven mom bloggers.

Ketchup Is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves by Robin O’Bryant (St. Martin’s Griffin, October 2013) A no holds barred look at the day to day life of being a mother, running a household, and the everyday monotony of parenting. It’s not always pretty but it’s real.

I Heart My Little A-Holes by Karen Alpert: (Baby Sideburns, October 2013) Full of hilarious stories, lists, thoughts, and pictures that will make you laugh so hard you’ll wish you were wearing a diaper.

Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies) by Jill Smokler: (Gallery Books, April 2013) From the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of a Scary Mommy and writer of the blog ScaryMommy.com, is a hilarious new essay collection that exposes the “vicious lies” that every parent is told.

Moms Who Drink and Swear by Nicole Knepper: (NAL, April 2013) Rants and raves about caring for children (without crushing their souls), family togetherness (without too many tears), the saving grace of girlfriends (and vodka), and love and marriage (and all the baggage that goes with them).

Stripping Away the Insanity of Life and Parenthood! by Tanya Masse: (Comic Strip Mama Enterprises Inc., November 2013) Filled with sass, humor, inspiration, and comics that will inspire you to live, love, learn, and laugh even when you feel like you are losing your mind!

Suburban Haiku by Peyton Price: (Running Press, March 2014) Every haiku is a 17-syllable catharsis—capturing the frustration and elation of daily suburban motherhood. Topics, or rather, targets, range from boring PTA meetings and kids’ sports to the elusive spa day, and everything in between.

Then I Became a Mother by Robin Kramer: (Byrne Publishing, LLC, November 2013) Enjoy your time as a mom by simply loving your kids. Candid, humorous, and touching, an uplifting read for moms in all stages of motherhood.

Moms Are Nuts by Amy Vansant: (Vansant Creations, April 2014) Emmy winners, magazine editors, comedians, TV personalities, bestselling authors, and social media superstars team up to bring you a laugh-out-loud book not about being a mom, but about having a mom, grandmom, or mom-figure.

Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us by Karen Moline: (Abrams Image, September 2012) The ultimate parenting guide, written by four moms who have seen it all. As hilarious as it is universal, each chapter presents a common parenting scenario with advice on how to get through it in the easiest and most efficient way possible.

 

I’m in Costco with my, then 6 month old, daughter whom I’m pushing around in the cart. An older European woman rushes us and in a loud, heavy, Armenian accent begins, “Ohhhhh my God. Ohhhh my God in Heaven. Look at that blonde hair! She is beautiful! What an angel! So gorgeous! That face!” She then takes a moment to look at me and asks incredulously, “She’s yours?”

What? A dark haired skinny, Romanian/Polish/Russian Jew can’t push a fair-skinned stout, rosy-cheeked, German-Irish child in a shopping cart without triggering an Amber alert?

Clearly she didn’t think I had the face of an angel, or that such a beautiful baby could come out of my own vagina. I’ve come to love (okay, like, let’s not get crazy) my face and feel that I have a certain appeal… especially after a good blow out.

I didn’t feel the need to explain to this loud, intrusive woman that my husband and I decided to adopt a child due to a genetic heart condition that we could have passed down to a biological child. Instead, I cradled my blonde angel’s head in my hand and said, “Yes. She’s mine.”

They make you take all sorts of workshops when you adopt. Give you lists of books to read. Show you videos. They try to prepare you for the large European woman who will accost you in Costco… but truth be told, nothing really prepares you for the questions you’re asked… for the things that are said… some of them right in front of your child.

A) Aren’t you afraid her real mom is going to come back to get her?

B) You’re so wonderful for taking her in.

C) How much did she cost?

D) So you can’t have your own baby?

E) Where did you get her?

F) Was her mom a drug addict? Stripper? Prostitute? Teenager? Homeless?

G) Where does she get that blonde hair?

H) You’re not going to tell her the truth are you?

I understand the curiosity. It’s human nature. Everyone loves a good story. The juicier the better. Ours is not juicy, no Lifetime movie of the week. Just two people in love, wanting a family.

Maybe if I answer those questions now, I’ll be better prepared for next time.

A) I’m her real mom.

B) Yes I am.

C) She’s not a car.

D) She is my own baby.

E) We used a Lawyer.

F) No, she was an amazingly brave, selfless Woman who made the hardest choice of her life because she knew she couldn’t give this child the best life.

G) Her head.

H) Yes. I will always tell my daughter the truth. It will enpower her. It will show her that she can trust us. But most of all, it will teach her that love makes a family not blood.

(Do wish I had that Irish skin, though…)