Lori Borgman: I broke my own rule

I broke my own rule and took my husband to Costco to do some heavy lifting. It was a big package trip: toilet paper, paper towels, coffee in cannisters the size of bank vaults and chicken breasts requiring a forklift.

As we pulled into the parking lot, I calmly said, “When you throw cookies into a grocery cart at Kroger, it’s maybe $4. When you throw cookies into a cart at Costco, it’s more like $40. That’s how people rack up $500 tabs.”

He looked at me with an understanding nod.

Maybe he had reformed. Maybe he was no longer an impulse-driven (“Yes! A 12-pack of croissants!”) shopper (“Yes! Industrial size bags of potato chips!”).

He grabs a cart, I flash my ID and we enter the store. I take 10 steps and realize he is not with me. I look over my shoulder. He is behind me, gesturing wildly, both arms flailing and yelling, “Look up! Look up!”

An enormous bright yellow 30-foot inflatable waterslide is dangling from the ceiling.

“We need this!” he shouts.

“You and I do not need a water slide,” I say.

“The grandkids need it. The old waterslide is shot. This is great!”

“It’s $200,” I gasp.

“Can you think of a better way to spend $200?”

Actually, I couldn’t. And it did look fun. And they’re all growing so fast.

Maybe when they’re all grown up and scattered to parts unknown, he and I can inflate the water slide and play “Remember When.”

Then he let loose with the closer: “It’s cheaper than golf!”

I’ve been hearing the golf line a lot lately.

We were going out for lunch on our anniversary, and he suggested a high-end steak house. I wasn’t sure about dropping that kind of money on an anniversary that didn’t end with a five or a zero.

“It cheaper than golf!” he said.

We had steak.

I was looking at vacuums online and mentioned they are expensive. He looked over my shoulder and said, “They’re cheaper than golf.”

He doesn’t golf. I don’t golf. The few times we tried golf, neither of us were any good at it — and it was clear we’d never get good at it. I can’t even do well at putt-putt golf.

Neither of us have the faintest idea what golf costs. So, I looked it up.

One answer said, “Golf costs one-third of your discretionary income.”

Another answer said, “Take what you have in the bank down to zero and that’s what it costs to golf.”

Maybe everything is cheaper than golf.

Another answer said if you bought used starter clubs at Goodwill, paid a sunset rate for time on a crummy putting green, found an old golf bag, wore old golf shirts and found golf balls for 50 cents a pop, you could get started for a couple hundred dollars.

Guess who has a $200 razzle dazzle big-time wow factor waterslide for the backyard?

The man was right. A 30-foot inflatable waterslide is cheaper than golf.

Too bad we’re both over the weight limit for the waterslide (ages 5-12).

Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Reach her at [email protected].