“We are together,” I mouth to the woman standing at the door wearing a down vest and glasses. I gesture wildly toward Pam and our two girls who are sitting with their dolls in the shopping cart. And I hold up my black Executive membership card in plain sight.
Suddenly the Costco police — dressed in black t-shirts and sneakers and carrying box cutters — descend upon us and ask us to prove that we live in the same household. We are forced to show both of our names on our joint checking account. It’s not enough. We are taken to separate rooms and interrogated. I say that Pam hates the bran bread in the bakery, but loves the whole wheat. She doesn’t mention this. Instead, she says that we need cheddar cheese. But I say that we don’t, because we already have some in the freezer. Instead, I say that we need a plastic bag the size of a pillow case full of spinach. She says that we’re not getting spinach, because we’ll never eat it all before it goes bad.
Then, still doubting the credibility of stories and unconvinced that we are basically married, the police reunite us and force us to kiss to prove that we are not sisters just looking to get a discount at a big box store. Disgusted by this flagrant public indecency in front of our children, we are arrested by the real police. Our children, who are still sitting like angels in the shopping cart, are nabbed by a social worker and taken to a van parked outside. “Mima! Mima! Mommy!” they cry as they are carried off to the foster care system. My heart breaks.
“Sarah, are you coming?” says Pam. “The woman is waving us through and the people behind us are waiting.”
“Yeah, sorry I uh……. nevermind.”
That’s right. Nothing happened. We’re a family, and Costco has no problem with us. They treat us just like every other family. How was your weekend?
© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.