My husband is cheating on me with a chick named Costco. I didn’t know this until last night.  
Rochester, MN Costco. What a hussy. 

We embarked on a romantic grocery excursion to our Costco in Rochester, MN. Rochester is 45 minutes from Winona, so any trip there is a commitment. All kids were dispersed throughout three states, so of course we thought date night! List was compiled: toilet paper, tri-tip, vitamins, canned fruit, salt pellets. Budget was set. Cash was withdrawn. We were off.

Because it was after 6 pm, we stopped for a romantic dinner. Well, perhaps it wasn’t like let’s go to Chipotle, honey. More like, we’re going here. Deal with it. My infatuation with Chipotle goes back to the early days of 2000. Before children. Before McDonald’s invested then divested. Before the sweep for illegal workers. They had me at chicken-burrito-pinto-beans-mild-salsa-sour-cream-cheese, please. When I was pregnant with Emily in 2003, I could put away a burrito, chips and guacamole, and ask my dining partner are you going to finish that? My ankles were huge. I switched to a burrito bowl a while later and I’ve been hooked since. I’m committed.

I suppose you could say my boyfriend’s name is Chipotle.

Side note: My friend, Cindy, swears by the three taco diet. She orders the three taco meal, eats two for lunch, one for dinner and loses a pound by the next morning. Works every time. Go ahead, try it.

So, I’m enjoying my burrito bowl. By enjoying I mean savoring every bite in a non-guilty fashion. Literally, there were mmmmmm’s and it’s been so long and this is so good. Scrape, scrape, scrape goes the plastic fork on the bottom of the paper bowl. The slightly fatty, greasy fresh chicken melts perfectly with the fresh pico de gallo salsa and cool shredded cheese. Guacamole and sour cream mixing perfectly with the warm ingredients, creating a beautifully paired hot/cold sensation on the tongue.

<Excuse me. I need a moment.>

You know how the first bite is the best? Every bite was delectable, even the last. As I inserted the last bite into my still-watering mouth, scraping every last morsel from the bowl and appreciating the… OKLET’SGO! LET’S GO! YOU’RE DONE! COME ON! he says.

Oh my gawd! Can I swallow first? The Chipotle employee wiping table next to us completely cracks up. My husband is up and out of the restaurant before I can even gather my purse and throw away the trash.

I should have suspected something was up.

Shoved in the car, we speed away to the Costco across town. As we approached, we can see the lights from the parking lot illuminating nirvana. My husband, wistfully, Ahhh there it is. I look over, wrinkle my brow and roll my eyes. Whatever.

As we parked in the nearly deserted lot and I gathered my bag, my husband was forced to reveal his indiscretion after this one simple act: he put on more cologne. He reached into the middle storage compartment of the truck and squirted liberally.

I believe I said something to the effect of what the hell? To which he replied, whaaaaat? I want to smell nice for my girlfriend, Costco. 

And there you have it. I bet Costco has a lot of boyfriends, that hussy. 

As we walked the empty store, I noticed he was suspiciously eyeing her goods. How dare she have those tools on sale! Those jeans in his (newer smaller) size! That stupid blue sweater he’s trying on right in the middle of the store!  He’s caressing the tri-tip and talking to the butcher! As he picks up two bags of salt pellets, I swear I see an afterglow. There was glowage, people! Perhaps it was cologne glimmering from his neck. Maybe.

Look at that guilty walk. 

As we walk the wide, shiny aisles, piling up more pantry treasures, I realize the metaphor of Costco as girlfriend is strangely accurate.

He dresses up, smells nice, brings money and leaves the kids at home. Um, that’s a date.

Then again, no kids means we have to load and unload all of the treasures, so perhaps it’s not that romantic after all. Especially since there’s really three of us on this date.