23 November 2009

Lost in the supermarket: Is this really necessary?

Today was something of a supermarket high holy day for me, as butter, flour, AND ice cream were all on sale. My children have been feeling deprived lately because we've had an ice cream drought. I only buy ice cream when it is on sale, and the brands we like have not been on sale for a while, so they have HAD TO GO WITHOUT.

And so I found myself at the register with four sacks of flour, three containers of ice cream, and eight pounds of butter.

If you go into Whole Foods without your bags you have a few options, none of them good. You can hold your head high as your cashier loads your groceries into paper sacks, consoling yourself that you really are a good person because you compost not only your food scraps, but also your dryer lint. You can pony up for a new canvas bag. Or you can do the WALK OF SHAME to your car to retrieve your bags, thereby pissing off everyone on line behind you.

If you go into any other supermarket with your own bags, it's another story entirely, because although they make all the right noises, they really don't encourage BYO. And so you are subjected to shame for messing with the baggers' finely tuned system. I empathize; it is annoying for them, but it sure does make it easier for me when I get home, and I don't have to figure out where to stow all those bags, or feel guilty that I put the paper sacks right in the recycling, instead of repurposing them for book covers, which no one seems to use anymore, or crafting with my kids, for which I have no patience.

And so I found myself in Shoprite with my canvas sacks, and a flummoxed bagger who tried very hard to remain professional.

When I arrived home to unpack my groceries, I found each bag of flour and container of ice cream individually placed in plastic bags within my canvas bags, like a set of Matrushka dolls.

Touché, bagger, I thought, grateful that she tired of this before she got to the butter.   

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