Yesterday we took our weekly pilgrimage to the grocery store. I wasn’t very excited about the trip because of the attitudes of my children, so I was trying to think of the easiest dinners to make to get us in and out of the store as quickly as possible with the least amount of items.
Both children were on their best behavior at the store, which makes the shopping experience much more manageable. There weren’t any bouts of begging or whining about getting snacks or treats. The worst I got was Kamryn saying, “I wish we could have some Otter Pops one day.” I assured her one day I would fork out the $1.99 and get her Otter Pops, but she needed to show me that she wasn’t going to have a complete and total meltdown over frivolous things.
We talked about what frivolous meant for awhile as I continued to grab and toss things into the cart at almost record speed. When I got to the front of the store, one of the cashiers even opened a new register for me – things went swimmingly.
I pushed my cart full of groceries and kids out to the car where I saw a woman about my age, an older woman who I assume was her mother, and a small child loading up the car next to mine. I couldn’t help but hear the frustration in the younger woman’s voice and thus perked my ears up so I could eavesdrop on their conversation.
I know, I know, that’s rude, but I wasn’t going to comment on anything they were saying and it’s not like I could really help but hear them especially when I was right next to them. Here is their conversation:
Woman: I don’t see why I have to pay for that.
Older Woman: You can bring your own bags.
Woman: Oh yeah, and what am I supposed to do? Leave them in my car and cart them everywhere I go?
Older Woman: Well, yes, that is what most people do.
Woman: But then I have to pay for those as well. I’m not doing that.
Older Woman: So you’ll pay each time you come to the store for paper bags, but you won’t pay one time and bring those bags back?
Woman: These people are supposed to be providing me a service and if I want paper instead of plastic, they should give it to me.
Older Woman: They do give it to you, they just make you pay.
Woman: It’s stupid.
Um, I disagree. You’re stupid. So the gist of the story is this: The woman wanted paper bags for her groceries, which are available at this particular store for a price (I think $.10 a piece) but this store also makes a point of promoting “being green” and rewarding you if you bring your own bags – as do most stores – so unless you want to pay or have your own bags, your crap is bagged in plastic. Apparently, “carting around” reusable bags was far too much of a hassle for this woman – you know with how heavy and cumbersome they can be.
I am by no means as green as I should be and I could do more things to reduce my carbon footprint, but as a reusable bag user, I can assure you that reusable bags are the easiest thing for me to do to help the environment.
After listening to this little back and forth between the woman and what I presume was her mother, she left her cart in the middle of the parking lot and drove off. People who don’t put their cart in the corral irritate the hell out of me. The corral was literally 20 feet away. Maybe less.
Maybe if she would take the 5 seconds it takes to put her cart away, she wouldn’t have to pay for those paper bags. The store has to pay someone to wrangle all of those runaway carts and put them away, afterall. I’m sure her mom was just beaming with pride.