I know some of you come here for your zen moment. And I apologize in advance that it’s not going to happen with this posting. If you need a positive moment, maybe you should go over to Laid Off Now What? Les is the most upbeat guy I know in the face of unemployment, but even the subject of reusable bags might knock him down.
Now I admit, reusable bags save a lot of plastic trees and real trees too. I have 7 fiber bags and one nice plastic-coated one that I won at a “Sustainable Environment” show at the convention center. I won it by knowing how much compost a pound of worms could process in a day. (Don’t hold your breath waiting for me to tell you, because I forgot. It was multiple choice and I happened to guess correctly.) But the point is….I’m interested in doing my environmental share in case you were thinking that I’m a complete eco-slob.
The problem with those dratted reusable bags is that they make my blood pressure spike. My shopping trips begin as pleasant strolls through the aisles matching coupons to things that I need. Then I reach the check out and wait in line, and just when it’s MY turn. I remember those STOOOPID bags are still in the car.
“Paper or plastic?” the checker asks. Oooooh the guilt. Then then the irritation. What is this….the 50th time I’ve forgotten those bags?
“Just throw it all back in the cart. I’ll bag it standing at my trunk,” I reply.
Well, that was a lousy idea. Besides standing in the rain, getting wet, most of the people in the parking lot thought that I’d probably stolen a basket of groceries and wheeled it directly to my car.
I used to lament loudly over my bag-dementia. Folks with me in the check-out line had lots of suggestions. Like a frantic victim looking for a cure. I’ve tried most of them:
- put them in your purse. (They’re huge. This only works if I’m carrying a gym bag as a purse.)
- put them in the front seat with you. (Nope. They blend in with all my other front seat essentials: Kleenex, Chapstick, mints, notebook, pens)
- set them on your dashboard. (I’m not a race car driver, but not even a hula doll with a suction cup will stay on my dashboard.)
- “I sit on them,” one overly eco-confident shopper bragged to me. (Well sitting on those scratchy little buggers would tick me off even more. I’m already kicking the pens, notebooks and sliding hula doll back into the car so I can close the door, now I have to fight with bags, too?
No way. Those bags have more evasive moves than Chuck Norris. They know when to collapse and go limp so you can’t stuff anything in them. They know when to take a dive and roll their contents under seats. They lure you with their roominess and then laugh when you can’t tote them with 18 pounds of kittly litter in them. Those bags are clever adversaries.
So I resolved there’s no hope for this situation—until last week. Last Tuesday, I ambled across the parking lot and a sign over one of the cart “corrals” read: DID YOU REMEMBER YOUR BAGS?
Hot dog! Now that’s what I call a public service announcement. I grabbed a bag out of the front-seat rubble and shopped with the smugness that sustainability experts must experience—until I arrived at the check stand.
Somewhere in my aisle meanderings, I’d laid my bag down.
Who knows where?
I hate those bags.