A friend and I met to shop at Costco together Tuesday afternoon, and since we were both starving, and we weren't done talking, we decided to get a hot dog and soda. We headed for that little area that Costco's carved out on the way to the exit that has small white plastic tables and red attached benches, all crammed close together. This was a new experience for me. Usually I just get the hot dog and split.
The place was packed, with a line of full shopping carts patiently parked nearby, as shoppers sat elbow to elbow eating and drinking and hanging out. The place was noisy with multiple conversations. I was struck by how it felt like a family-style restaurant, since strangers were compelled to share tables with strangers.
My friend and I asked two women if we could please share their table, so they moved their purses from the empty side of the table and said sure, we could join them. My friend and I had barely sat down before the oldest of the two (she just turned 80) asked right out of the blue whether my friend and I were Republicans or Democrats.
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