Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bag Lady

Have you ran into those "green" people at the grocery store? You know, the ones who bring their own reusable bags? The bags would be a lifesaver for me. Wanna know something that really stresses me out? What to do with all the grocery bags at home. Don't make fun. I neatly fold the paper ones and put them in their place under the sink. The plastic bags all get shoved inside one of their own and get placed somewhere else. But the problem- it doesn't take long before they're taking over and spilling into their neighbor's space. They multiply like nobody's business and I find myself in this anxious predicament of what to do with them. I feel guilty for just throwing them away but I have absolutely no chance of keeping up with them and using them. Supply and demand, baby. They're supplying a lot more than I'm demanding. The reusables would solve that small slice of anxiety. I actually have a few of those cute bags. In Santa Monica, some stores don't even have paper or plastic bags as an option; others have them to buy. But everywhere has the reusables for sale. (Sounds like an "inside job" if you ask me.) I've been in a predicament or two where my hand's been forced and I've bought one. Like the one time I was at JoAnn's with Deeter and Kaia, no stroller, and about 10 loose items. My pride was shoved in my back pocket and I shelled out my $1.99 so I wouldn't look like a circus act- a failing one at that- walking out the door, through the parking lot trying to hold my two kids and balance 10 random, odd-shaped craft items. The good news- the bag was adorable. And I think I would feel like a "designer shopper" if I took that thing to the grocery store with me. I'm sure it would be the talk of the store. But do you know what I think every time I see the reusable-bag shoppers?  It's always the same question.........."How in the world do they remember to bring those dang bags with them?" The amazement never tires and I've yet to interview one of these kind to satisfy my curiosity.

Last night I was planning out today. On my mental agenda- necessary for my very busy social calendar- I had mentally jotted down my 11:00 appointment with my girlfriends and our toddlers at Mickey Dee's Play House. That's right nothing but the best for our kids- McDonald's here we come. Now McD's is conveniently located near Target and those royal winter blue pants have been on my return list since the night I squeezed into them. This was perfect timing to take them back before lunch and while there I might as well pick up the produce that the fridge is lacking. Ooohhh, scratch that plan- the produce would be sitting in the car for way too long and the freshness would be sucked out of it. And that is when my heart skipped a beat and I was EXCITED. I had a cooler-type reusable bag that I picked up from Costco a good year ago and had yet to use at the grocery store. This was an impeccable debut opportunity. So I mentally noted to bring that produce-preserver with me.

Well this morning I was gathering, gathering, gathering, trying to get the crew out the door. I was ready to go and scrolling through my mental grocery list for the fifteenth time, making sure I still remembered the, oh 3 items on it. And I don't know what kicked into gear, but I finally stopped fighting that logical, responsible, organized voice inside of me, and I physically jotted down my list. And the last scribble was....fruits/veggies. Which triggered the plan from last night that surely wouldn't have been remembered til in the produce aisle, when there was no possibility of salvaging my missteps. That nagging voice......it might just be worth something. It saved my booty and got that bag into my car, which allowed me one-stop shopping for my health/beauty needs and produce, and then peace of mind while we frolicked away at McDonald's.

I'm convinced that the "green" people have reminders EVERYWHERE they look to make sure those bags get into the car. And then from the car to the store. And from the store to the bagger's hands. There are multiple opportunities for failure in this process. They must write down at the bottom of their grocery list- because surely these people are grocery list makers{which admittedly I usually am too}-, "BRING REUSABLE BAGS." And then on their front door a post-it, "BRING REUSABLE BAGS." And then another post-it on their steering wheel"BRING REUSABLE BAGS." And for good measure, they bring one to post on the grocery cart handle...."GIVE REUSABLE BAGS TO BAGGER."

That must be how they remember.

More words to live by for 2012.....PULL IT TOGETHER. Why do I refuse to write things down? Why do I insist on trusting my Alzheimer's to remember details that have the potential of making my life run smoother? I'm gonna take full responsibility for this one- I got no one to blame. And I'm not talking about just remembering to bring the reusable bags to the market. I long ago threw out the notion being that put together, as appealing as it is. I'm talking about all the other floating lists I have in my head that need to make it to paper. {you know doctor appointments, dinners, meetings, volunteer days at school, etc} Although I still hold strong....I would be the best bag in the store if I ever were able to....pull it together.


  1. first off, the people that always have their reusable bags don't have kids. i can never remember mine either. second, i take my plastic bags to target to recycle them in one of their bins. except then we run into the reusable bag problem of remembering to bring large wad of plastic bags to target. the overflow constantly stresses me out too. ok, so you need to download the grocery list app on your iphone. it has been a life saver for me. i never forget my list and can add something to it whenever i think of it. and i think you just inspired me to have Siri remind me to bring my reusable bag.

  2. As one of those "green" people (converted :) I would suggest buying about 5 or 6 and putting them in the front seat of your car where you would normally throw down your purse. That way when you go to retrieve your purse BAM there they are. Depending on the store you get them from...some have a fold up a tote option so many can actually fit into your purse. I am beyond overjoyed to hear that some stores don't even have paper or plastic anymore. I wish they would do that up here. We are such a wasteful society it really makes me sick sometimes. Maybe forcing people to buy the reusable bags is the only way to go. You can do it. It just takes practice. I have a million of them and will seriously mail them to you if you don't want to buy them. They aren't glamorous or anything just black Ralph's canvas but oh well.

  3. Hey! I have a kid and remember Missy! haha!

  4. I do have kids and pretty much always remember my grocery bags (except for Target. For some reason I never remember them at Target.) It's habit now and I love them. I have a bunch more storage space in the cupboard that used to be packed with ridiculous plastic bags and it takes half as long to get groceries out of the car. Instead of a million plastic bags that are stretching and ripping, I bring in 6 or 8 sturdy well packed bags, unload, and the bags go right back out to the car. I'm a believer, can you tell? P.S. Gay, I'm loving all the blogging!

  5. I am a reusable bag user and have been for 3 or 4 years. I pretty much only take them to the grocery store because i do need some plastic bags for poopie diapers :)
    I keep my bags on a hook right by the door to my garage. They are the last thing i grab as i go out the door. With the addition of the 3rd kid...i usually grab them after i have pulled out into the driveway...i run back in. I then put them in the passenger seat and put them on my shoulder with my purse as i get out of the car.
    I love them! It is so much more efficient! It is best to find BIG bags. I only use 4 bags because if they are packed well you can fit a TON of groceries and 4 stuffed bags is about all the grocery cart can fit.
    Whole Foods has big, usually really cute bags for sale.

    i am a list maker...but i often don't bring the list with me! ugh!

  6. I've been found out. Clearly it's not the kids it's because I hate all things green and love collecting those plastic bags and then chucking them all in the trash. Dang, must remember to not blame my wasteful ways on the kids anymore

  7. I really wasn't looking for this out of this post, but I think I'm convinced to start using them. I love the idea of only bringing a few bags inside instead of 15. And them no headache w what to do w all the bags. Ur a convincing bunch!


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