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Hold the Plastic, Please







The other day I was in an area supermarket, and when I came to the checkout I apologized to the young cashier for I had arrived empty-handed without my usual bags. 


Duh. I wasn’t on my game plan.


Quickly I pleaded some lame story about being from out of town and not planning to do much shopping in a supermarket. “It was a spontaneous visit.” 


There were expensive brie and crackers on the counter in front of me which a super verbal teenager had insisted that I sample at the cheese station. Of course, it didn’t take much persuasion from him with New Year’s Eve coming up and a bottle of champagne already chilling. That supermarket trained its employees in the art of a sale, and a gullible person like me was an excellent pushover.


Then there were the fresh scallops that I did plan to purchase if they were available. The supply at my home supermarket was not coming until late on "the Eve" too close for my comfort. 


The perky checker had heard that woeful tale from other shoppers before many times and smiled along with me all the while I averted my eyes to my inappropriate boots. I didn’t need them after all with the weather being much balmier than predicted. 


She pointed to the company bags for a small price, and I declined. “I don’t need more to add to my collection.” (Are there that many NY Giant fans in WNY other than myself that warrant logo bags and at a price higher than those from the Bills, a team that did make it into the playoffs)?


Sure, I keep a few in the trunk of various sizes from every grocery chain in the area. I even have vintage ones from the original Trader Joe’s in Southern California. 


Phooey on those bags.  They just didn’t remind me as I was leaving my car to reach in and get them. 


That force of habit is not quite set yet. It’s coming. I promise. I want to do my part. 


Ninety-five percent of the time I go to the grocery store with my cloth bags, and it has become a part of my routine. I found some washable plaid ones of different colors on Amazon, and they are perfect for me along with being easy to carry from the car into the house. 


When I was traveling through countries in Central America last winter, it was sad to see the plastic litter along the highways. It was way more than you would expect, too. I’m not judging here. I’m sure that people got into the convenience of the plastic bag mentality much later, and have yet to correct it. In the greater scheme of survival, it isn’t a high priority.  I can’t say for certain since I never got an answer from anyone. 


From now on I’ll keep an extra cloth bag in my purse for those occasions when it might come in handy. My daughter gifted me a small one last year and scolded me for not having it with me.