Mother and Daugher…no, Daughter and Mother…Build a Birthday Bash…

New York Costco has some of the sameness as others….the Paul-Bunyan portions, the


Takes patience to get in and out of a NY garage....and cleverness to fit Costo Mongo sizes into a small car.

crazy-good prices, the only-at-rush-hour crowds in the aisles. And some special NY touches….escalators for the carts, complete with “minders” to make sure your items are loaded properly and won’t fall off of the cart. It’s Friday evening and the place is just jammed, the languages and ethnicities seem even more wide ranging than my Southern California Costco. Not many Sikhs in my home Costco.

Solo cups. Check. Paper plates. Check. Hot dogs. Check. Hamburgers. Check. Lettuce. Tomatoes. Vegetable platter. Check. Check. Check.

Hot dog buns? We stare at the nearly empty racks of bread. Jessamyn stands on tip toe and snags the last two packages of hot dog buns.

Frozen Limeade for the margaritas? Where is the frozen limeade? I do-si-do around strollers and carts without success. No limeade on offer, but in the last ninety seconds a huge wheeled column of hot dog buns has appeared.

“At least I had the beer delivered from Fresh Direct,” says Jessamyn, “So we won’t have to schlep that.”

Apparently my nasty face delivers the verdict on the vats of potato salad.

Jessamyn and I discuss the quality of the pasta salad. She looks at the recipe for homemade in her purse and we wonder if there’ll be time. Cheese and crackers? Or Salsa and chips? Both.

I spot the blenders three aisles over and we stand in front of the four models on offer. Prices range from $22 to $74. Jessamyn doesn’t pretend to know what she needs.

“Well,” my mom voice is rusty, but totally functional. “A blender is one of those things where you need quality. Cheap ones aren’t worth having.” We study the features on the two higher end models. Why is the one that doubles as a food processor LESS expensive? I note that the motor on the higher priced one is more powerful. Jessamyn adds it to our sleigh.

“What about condiments?”

“I have some mustard and ketchup.” She frowns. “I’m not sure if I have enough. But the sizes here are huge.”

“Yes,” I nod. “Sometimes, though the price is so good it’s still better if some of it goes to waste.” I’ve given away countless half-full gallons of milk, but it still makes me feel good.

“It’s not that. It’s that I just don’t have enough room.”

Ah, yes. New York living.

A minute later I call Jessamyn’s attention to a “barbeque kit” of condiments. It contains four Heinz bottles that actually look human-sized.

“Well I do have ketchup and mustard. What else do I need?”

“Pickles relish?” I make sure to get the question mark there, wanting her to run her own show.

“Do I really need pickle relish?”

Well, I like pickle relish of course. I know some people like it. Some not. But is pickle relish a requirement for a birthday barbeque? Nah.

The next 22 hours are a whirl of activity complete with picking up chairs, and visits to several other stores for missing items. Minute maid Limeade. Disposable silverware. Triple Sec. Jessamyn does most all of this herself.  I pitch in a tad and offer via text to pick up anything. “I think we’re good” is the reply. It’s a joy to see her in charge of her own world.

I mosey into Jessamyn’s apartment half an hour before lift-off.

There on the hamburger prep table sits a diminutive jar of pickle relish.


About Karen Ray

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