Moncton — Hub City mother and grandmother Nancy Wiggin, 58, thinks of nothing but Costco all day, every day, according to her family and friends.
“I’m pretty sure Mom used to have hobbies, interests, things she enjoyed doing,” Wiggin’s daughter Sarah, 33, told us. “I have this memory of her being into photography, and I think Dad said she was once part of a bowling league? I don’t know, but now all she cares about is Costco.”
Sarah, who has two young children of her own, said her mother has no interest in her grandkids — unless it’s to take them to Costco.
“She doesn’t babysit — she says Costco has built-in childcare,” Sarah confided, rolling her eyes. “That just means she lets the kids wander the long aisles, get endless samples of…I dunno…processed meat on a cracker?…pieces of a granola bar? And she lets them choose their presents for the following Christmas in March.
“…I’m worried this is going to happen to me when I hit Mom’s age,” she continued with a shiver. “I mean, right now I think I like to read novels and do yoga, but what if I’ve been fooling myself? What if I’m a Costco customer just waiting to happen? Will I just get sucked into the ‘Costco lifestyle’ she’s always going on about?! Kill me now.”
Wiggin’s friend Maureen Hollister supports and encourages this all-consuming Costco fanaticism.
“She lets me use her membership card, actually, and ever since she got it, I also think of nothing but Costco,” said the dead-eyed local woman. “Everything you’d ever need, and everything you’d ever want to talk about, or do, is all right there at Costco. You’ll never need to go anywhere else! Ever!”
Wiggin’s husband Bob said his wife is a shadow of the woman he married, and he feels there’s little he can do to stop the progression of her consumerism.
“We used to have these intimate, deep conversations late into the night,” he recalled, “but then they built the Costco here and she always had to get up early to be there when it opens. And she literally speaks of nothing but sales at Costco; we used to debate philosophy! Now the closest we come to that is debating the best prices on laundry detergent or whether homemade pie is as good as Costco’s.”
Bob dreamily discussed a time when the couple would invite interesting guests over to visit, intelligent people who were passionate about life and enjoyed lively conversation with company.
“But we can’t have people over anymore because Nance will drone on and on,” he said, “preaching the good news that Costco pays their employees ‘exceedingly well,’ that you can get a lifetime supply of Vitamin D for twelve bucks, that their prices beat even Walmart’s, that she buys all my birthday and anniversary presents there. It’s embarrassing.”
We tried to speak with Wiggin about her obsession, but she was already at Costco. Our reporter looked for her in the giant, fluorescent-lit warehouse but because she looked identical to all the other shoppers it was impossible to pick her out. We quickly gave up and began despondently grazing among the sample booths.