There are very few things I remember from my Intro to Psychology class - and, frankly, college in general, despite my teetotaling teenage lifestyle. I remember that my professor had two dachsunds, which he featured frequently in his pioneering use of PowerPoint. And one of the only Psychology-related facts I recall is from an experiment conducted using popcorn. While telling the subjects they were testing something else, they gave them popcorn buckets of various sizes. What they learned was that, the more popcorn someone was given, the more they ate. Even among those reporting the same starting level of hunger, the people who were given bigger buckets ended up eating greater amounts.
This experiment popped into my frontal lobe as we were breaking in the new Costco card this past weekend. As we piled four gallons of orange juice and two infant-sized bottles of syrup into the cart, it occurred to me that we were falling directly into the giant popcorn bucket. We tried to restrain ourselves and only buy the items we go through frequently, but there's no getting around the fact that, once you have a really large amount of something, you can't help but consume it more quickly. I'm using a giant glob of shampoo at a time, mostly because the 2-lb. bottle is so unwieldy I can barely hold it in one hand. We're doing laundry around the clock just to get the VW Beetle of a Tide box out of our traffic pattern. We seem to be putting Mexican cheese on everything we cook, just because the Wisconsin-sized bag is in the way of all other food in the fridge.
So even though I know we'll go through fourteen pounds of bacon, I'm plagued by the knowledge that we'll go through it even faster when it's just sitting there in front of us, flaunting its abundance of smoky porcine goodness. It just can't be helped. It's science. All I can hope to do is confine myself to the products we really need. Like that 40-gallon barrel of popcorn.