One of the things Jason and I mutually dreaded were trips to Costco. The only thing that made our bi-weekly trips bearable was that we were miserable together and could find a small amount of joy in the snarky comments we made to each other about our fellow shoppers. We also knew that La Croix and large tubs of hummus weren’t going to magically appear in the refrigerator without a little pain and suffering on our part. I remember when Jason got a prescription for Xanax because it was the only way he could sleep when traveling to Asia or Europe for business. I also remember the first time he offered me one of his magic pills before walking into the warehouse of evil. We were like two calm gazelles wandering through a forest of famished hyenas, completely oblivious to the obnoxious lines of people waiting for free samples of yogurt or the gaggle of carts ahead of us…seemingly all full of loud and unhappy children. From then on we basically drugged ourselves so we could make it through Costco without having a nervous breakdown while navigating our way to the soda water. I suddenly didn’t mind standing in line behind that person who is arguing about the validity of his coupons even though the dates are clearly written on the top, or getting held up while someone searches for the bag of kale with the best date. I would dreamily gaze up at a smiling Jason and we’d both shrug our shoulders in unison feeling completely in harmony with the chaos around us.
I still take Xanax before I go shopping but now I take it so I don’t panic for entirely different reasons. The most crowded places have now become the loneliest places for me. I think the only thing worse than doing something you love without the person you love is doing something you hate without the person you love.