Holy warehouse club! If you love a bargain and live in Hunterdon County, your life changed Thursday morning. Dozens of shoppers were lined up before 8 am to be first inside for the official opening of the new Costco. Thousands made it out Wednesday evening for a preview and the parking lot was described as near capacity. There was even a ribbon cutting ceremony with Raritan Township Mayor Karen Gilbert on hand. "I was at the open house last night and saw people I haven't seen in years. This is a huge event for us. We want to welcome you to the Raritan Township and Flemington community," Gilbert said.

Okay lots of excitement, and I wish them well but that brings me to my point. I have a disability. I am apparently lacking a gene. Whatever gene is responsible for making people want to shop when a store is packed, I don't have it. It's not you, Costco, it's me. You see, I'm the guy who goes to a concert and follows the set lists to see if I can figure out the next to last song in the encore so that I can make a break for it early. I'm the guy who would much rather watch a football game on television than deal with the crowded stadium. If I were offered Super Bowl tickets for free, I'd most likely turn them down. So yeah, there's something wrong with me.

Now Costco is great. I'm a member and my wife and I have gone to the one in Bridgewater. Now that we happen to be moving to Hunterdon County, you can bet I'll be there a lot. But never, no matter what, would you find me there on a special grand opening when I'd be stuck in a slow moving crowd like something out of a zombie movie. It's too much for my anxieties. The same goes for next week. Malls will open on Thanksgiving Day and stores will open Black Friday at ungodly early hours. Door buster sales will abound. Invariably, customers will rush pallets and break protocol and tear at shrink wrap. In Michigan I knew someone who used to love going shopping at 4 am on Black Friday until a mob scrambling to grab whatever it was on sale in limited supply crushed her into a wall of shelves until she couldn't breathe. She ended up on the floor, semi-conscious with cuts, scrapes, and bruises.

Is that the norm? No. Most people will be just fine. That is if your definition of fine is spending a morning off you could have slept in dealing with long lines, parking wars, disappointing supplies, and rude people. They say it's the thrill of the hunt. The risk reward ratio. I don't know. I don't get it. Especially when so much is now available on the internet you can avoid brick and mortar stores altogether for holiday buying. For many shopping is a tactile experience that you can't get online. And it's a pleasure. For me shopping is a chore. Like I say, I'm lacking a gene. Maybe they could study me? I'll offer myself as a guinea pig in exchange for a 20% off coupon for Bed Bath and Beyond. But please, make it an online coupon only.

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