No Hope in Reusable Grocery Bags

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.

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Cats/Dogs, Hope, Smiles and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to No Hope in Reusable Grocery Bags

  1. Pingback: Eureaka! It Works. « Before Morning Breaks

  2. Les Riles says:

    Oh you are oh so wrong!
    Barb, we still have some “gettin’ to know each other” to go! I will have you know that we are the proud owners (and USERS) of no less than 20 or 25 reusable grocery bags. Wal-Mart Deluxe. One dolla apiece. What fits in them? Three plastic bags worth of groceries! You won’t find me giving China credit for much these days, but did you know that plastic bags are now BANNED from use there? Yup. The government laid down the law. I’m not sure if I can put a link in a WordPress comment, but let me try… check out China’s savings. If there’s no link here as you read this, go to and search for “china’s plastic bag ban will save” and the top article that comes up will be the one. Wait until you see what they save, just wait! (No, don’t wait, go take a peek now, and come back.) Here’s a quote from the Wall Street Journal, It’s estimated that 3 billion plastic bags are used each day in China, where the discarded bags are known as “white pollution.”

    But I digress… We did forget bags in the car though, and at home as well. That’s how we wound up with 20-25 of them. If we forgot the 3 or 4 that we had, well, shame on us, we just bought 3 or 4 more. (Let’s face it, how many times are you going to forget, once or twice? Wrong!) Anyway, after we had about 8 in each car, (we used to have 3 cars, now down to 2, thankfully,) we finally started remembering them. Now we neatly fold a bunch of them and put them back into one of the bags. Such fun. The only thing that still goes in plastic bags is nasty meat. Well, not nasty as in uneatable, just, you know, yucky from blood and guts and stuff. (I’m 90% vegetarian, don’t really like touching meat, or having chicken stuff dripping in a bag, eww!) Anyway, bags…

    Yup, Barb, Les & Iris use ‘em alright. Now let me see if I can get Iris away from her studying. (2 more weeks of training on her new job, she’s really working hard!)

    I’ll write more soon. I know for sure what ONE of my challenges is going to be: Going Sun Up to Sun Down without turning on this machine! ~ Les


  3. Lisa Nowak says:

    I saw that notice on the shopping cart corral too. It’s not big or prominent enough. They need to post it on the door of the store.

    I have the same problem you do remembering. And I doubt I’d remember to sit on them if I can’t remember to take them into the store. What are you supposed to do, just leave them on your seat all the time and ride around on them everywhere you go?


  4. Barb says:

    Rose, I once thought about paying those young people who carry your groceries to the car, to run out and get my bags. (Yes, I have hot-footted it out to get my own bags, but I’m getting really ticked at them and thought somebody else might fetch them for me.)

    Nope. They’ll graciously carry groceries TO your vehicle, but retrieving reusable bags is your own darn business. POOH!


  5. Barb says:

    Let us know when you post the instructions to crocheting with plastic bags, so I can link to you.


  6. digipicsphotography says:

    ROFL! Don’t bother with those eco bags. 😀 Just use plastic. Besides you can make wonderful crochet tote bags and rugs and placemats out of all the plastic bags you collect from the store.


  7. Roxie says:

    A couple of times I ran back out to the car while DH stood in line with the grocery cart. You get in the habit eventually. You’re the only person I have ever heard of who stood in the rain to bag her own groceries. What a hero you are!


  8. This is so funny, especially since I experience the same thing! I am always leaving my bags either in the car or on the table by the front door!! When they actually accompany me to the store ( but stay safely in the car) I am feeling a little pleased as it is like winning the first leg of a race. But I never reach the finish line most times. Usually they wait for me in the car, and when the bag boy goes to load my plastic bags filled with groceries in the back of my vehicle, he sees the cloth ones and I swear there is a grin on his face.
    I always say “I forgot to take them in,” like I am apologizing for it. Sigh! Yes, and I am sure many women and men go through the same thing. Those darn bags will outlast us as they hardly get used!!!!


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