I am so embarrassed.
I didn’t want to do it.
I was under the influence of that dreadful condition… being nice.
Let me explain.
First of all, to understand how completely hypocritical I felt, you have to read my rant: Return Your Cart Here ~ or ~ People Irritate Me – Chapter2. I have publicly scolded people for their inconsiderate cart abandonment.
There I was, in the Publix parking lot. I’d just finished my little bit of shopping. Now, since you know I’m all about trying to be greener I was feeling rather proud of myself because I’d even remembered to grab my canvas bags out of the truck. This, in itself, was not an easy task. They were in the covered bed of the truck when I got to the store. They’d slid all the way up and I had to climb up in the truck. I was on my way home from work so I was wearing a skirt and heels. And it was windy. I had to boost myself up on the rather high tailgate (I’m short), then scoootch back, then lean back while holding my skirt down with one hand and reaching for the bags with the other.
Oh, hell, don’t bother.
Here’s what it looked like:
See? Not easy.
I went in and I looked at the organic produce. I didn’t need any of the produce they had that was organic but I did look at it. I did buy a non-organic cucumber because I like a cucumber garnish for my Hendricks martinis and I usually have cucumber as one of my snacks. I’m wandering, aren’t I? Do you see what’s happening here? I hate being hypocritical and I was and I’m just delaying the inevitable confession of my hypocrisy. And yes, it is inevitable. I’m a recovering Catholic and once you’ve learned how to confess you just can’t stop yourself.
I put the few things I needed in my cart, including my non-recombinant bovine growth hormone milk. I didn’t buy the organic milk. I was going to because that was my plan and I do like a good plan. They just didn’t have it in gallon size containers. More containers = less green, right? Plus, while I was blocking up the aisle, debating the merits of organic plus more packaging versus non-organic with less packaging, I noticed something in small print on the non-organic, Publix brand milk: No bovine growth hormones. Seriously. Store-brand milk with no hormones! Score! I’m still planning on trying some organic milk, it’s just going to have to wait until I can buy it a gallon at a time.
I was so pleased to see that the lady in front of me in the check-out line was also using canvas bags. I think the lady behind us was feeling guilty. She didn’t have canvas.
Usually, at Publix, a bagger person brings your groceries to your car and then returns the cart to the store. This eliminates the whole “return your cart” issue. Last night, there wasn’t a bagger person available so I got to bag my own groceries. Really, I’d prefer to bag them myself all the time because, well, because, um. Look. It’s like this. I know the best way to bag my groceries. I do.
I was just about to detail my OCD bagging tendencies but I think we all know that I’m just trying to keep from telling about how and why I left my cart in the parking lot. Besides, that can be a fun little story for another day.
I bagged my own groceries and wheeled my cart out to the truck. I was just getting ready to walk back to the store to return my cart when some (probably very nice) lady in a mini-van pulled up to my parking spot. It was a nice spot. It was pretty close to the store and the weather was getting worse and I could see why she’d want my spot. She rolled down her window, leaned out and said, “I’ll return that cart for you.”
“Great! Thanks!” I said, on the outside.
“But, but, I can’t leave the cart in the parking lot! I just can’t!” I said, on the inside.
I really had a problem with this. Yes, I know. I’m a dork but let me explain.
She would know that she’d taken responsibility for the cart. I’d know that she was taking responsibility for the cart. (Of course, I was planning on watching her in my rear view mirror and if she didn’t take that cart in, I was going to drive back around and give her a good scolding.) It’s just that anyone else watching would not know that Mini-van Mom and I had an agreement about the care and returning of the cart. It’s not that I care (that much) about what people think about me, either. It’s that someone watching might not be a regular returner. Seeing another person not returning their cart could nudge them right off the return-the-cart fence onto the “everybody leaves their cart” side.
THAT IS NOT A GOOD SIDE!
Still, what was I supposed to do? I had to leave the cart. There just wasn’t another good solution. I carefully positioned the cart so it wouldn’t roll into someone’s car and I got into the truck. Just as I was about to back up, a bagger person walked by. He was heading back to the store. He saw and retrieved my cart.
You have no idea. Well, if you read my rant, you have an idea but, really, the actual shame was horrible.
He’ll probably not remember the inconsiderate woman in the big, honkin’, gas-guzzling truck who just lazily (not really!) left her cart in the lot. My concern was more that it might have colored his whole customer attitude for the rest of the evening. The ripple effect. He might have been testy with customers for the rest of the evening because his perception of the customer had been unjustifiably tainted by my cart abandonment.
I should probably get a hobby.