I look up and see my mom waving tall and beckoning me toward her with big, clownish hand movements that make 14-year-old me want to sprint in the opposite direction and change my name.
She embarrasses me like this every day when she picks me up from school, but at least at Costco, her favorite store and my favorite place to come to with her, tall ceilings and an overabundance of mega-sized Tampax Pearl boxes mute her voice.
In fact, all of Costco's most offensive, headache-inducing qualities -- the lazy crashing of carts, the obnoxious shouting of floor personnel, the noisy chatter of the food court -- work together to harmoniously blend my mother's accented voice into the club's unintelligible white noise. It's the one public space I can talk to my mom without feeling the immigrant shame of conversing in my Asian Parseltongue.
I love this place.
She calls out my Korean name again, as if I could have missed her tribal call the first time around.
"Do you want some granola bars?" she yells at me, and to the greater shopping populace, the question echoing into the cavernous, Hot Pocket-lined abyss. "I know you get hungry after your track-and-field workouts, and you don't like the leftovers your brother eats."