I'm trying

>> 7.22.2008

I try to reduce the amount of stuff that comes into the house, partly for environmental reasons and partly for "I can't stand clutter" reasons. If you've ever seen my desk at work, you know the second reason is true.

I've been successful in my ongoing quest to keep excess bags out of the pantry, with one exception: Target. Back to that in a second.

I'm shopping more and more often at a small, local grocery store that gives me credit for reusing its bags or bringing my own, and I've been very good about keeping bags in the car. If I can't go there, I'll patronize a place with self-checkouts, so I can easily use my bags or keep the number used to the bare minimum (no, the milk doesn't need its very own sack, or any for that matter).

Which brings us back to Target, where each trip yields a minimum of five fresh plastic choking hazards. It's kind of stressing me out; I've even (don't tell) gone to Wal-Mart lately, because they have self-checkouts.

Here's a summary of my last three Target trips:

1. Told cashier to fill the bags up, that I didn't care if they were heavy, and the fewer the better. He understood and was doing great until he plopped the last single item into its own bag.

2. Gave cashier number 2 same instructions as cashier number 1. Looked down to deal with credit card machine. Looked up to discover that she double-bagged everything, because the bags would be too heavy and break otherwise. Hardly. Thanks for the concern, but it's not necessary.

3. Decided to try a new tactic: bring my own bags. I brought two canvas totes and handed them to the cashier. I figured, since they sell their own totes, no problem. Now, while I could have gotten my whole order into these bags, she packed them lightly, to say the least. Then, having "run out of room," she started using plastic sacks. The final blow came when she not only bagged my iced tea, which didn't need a bag at all, but double-bagged it. Argh!

I realize there are bigger problems in the world, but this is my current annoyance. Thanks for listening.


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