Christmas at Costco

It was the Saturday before Christmas, just before store opening when I pulled my SUV into the Costco parking lot, selected a parking place that would offer minimal chances of door dings, took one last swig of Starbucks® and headed into the store’s vestibule.

 It was ten minutes before opening, and while most waited in the warmth of their cars, a hearty gaggle of holiday shoppers - who like myself lack patience - had decided to wait inside the cart storage area that fronts the store. A happy crowd, some talking, others like me scanning their lists. A gentle pause before the doors opened when it would be best to have a plan and route.

I thought it best to get my cart and walked over to select one, hoping it would have all four wheels in alignment. Between me and the carts was a woman of about my age, slim, well-dressed and something about her seemed slightly similar.

“Think, think, think harder", I muttered to myself as the woman having taken hold of her cart apologized for being in my way. “No problem, you’re not in my way at all” I mumbled as I continued to struggle to come up with a name.

I was in trouble of a common sort. I’ve always been horrible with names and faces, but my wife is not. Further, she collects friends as easily as I draw breaths, and I cannot venture far from our home without running into one or two. They are all terribly sweet, know me by name, ask of our children and then stare at me kindly knowing I cannot remember their name.

But it is Christmas and I wish so much to be of good cheer… at least to offer some recognition. So I listen in as the well-dressed woman strikes up a conversation with another shopper. I hear bits and pieces of their conversation, hints, tips, clues to my puzzle. She mentions her husband, Kevin and that they are hosting 350 people that day at “Something”-Hill.

These are good clues. Who do I know who owns a business, is married to a Kevin and the name of the business ends in Hill? It’s, it’s it’s…. Oh-my-goodness, it comes to me as the doors open and the nice lady turns to me and offers for me to go first.

“No, no I’m sure you’re busier than I am today Governor Reynolds.” I stammer, as we both head into the store. With that, Kim Reynolds, Governor of Iowa, smiled at me like you would a small child or friendly dog, said “thank you” and disappeared into the Costco.