Grocery Shopping in One Bag

life, shopping

Checkout attendants, I’m sorry I’m that asshole who brings one cloth grocery bag for a six-bag shopping cart purchase. Just like I am convinced I can sausage my way into a smaller size, I am convinced that my groceries will fit into one bag. They never do. They don’t even come close.

Without fail, every time I step into a Ralph’s or a Trader Joe’s (and God forbid a Wholefoods, where I have the terrifying possibility, and high likelihood, of spending my entire paycheck’s worth of disposable income on organic fruit and rare cheeses in twenty minutes), I walk out with more that I planned to buy. I have high hopes as I exit my car. I bring one, at most two, cloth grocery bags. Because I only need to buy the seven items on my grocery list. Never mind the fact that my self-control is non-existent and as my eyes scan the aisles, I convince myself that yes I do need that frozen pie crust. You never know when you’ll have the urge or the need to whip up a cherry pie. Cause you know, it’s almost August so Thanksgiving is just around the corner!

So here I am with a bursting shopping cart and my two puny shopping bags that will barely be able to house a quarter of my purchases. And yet I insist, because I am environmentally-responsible (not really) and because I have a little bit of pride (a shitload) that all of it will fit into the two bags that I brought (it will not come close to fitting). And I rationalize, “Just put the eggs on top” as if that will free up space in any measurable way.

As I watch the bagger transform into a magician as she stuffs fifty items into one bag, I feel confident that this will work out. That is, until I spy the conveyer belt which still has a mile of food items on it. And it doesn’t help matters that the second of my two bags houses Michael’s 300-gallon Kroger-brand peanut butter and not much else. Because nothing else can fit in a bag that is holding a swimming-pool’s worth of peanut butter. But I can’t really judge because I see my six bottles of Wilson’s Creek Almond Champagne coming down the conveyer belt.

And I know my assholiness doesn’t stop at the number of grocery bags I bring with me. So I must also apologize for mixing my croissants with my donuts and shoving all pastries into one pastry bag. I know it’s not helpful when I say “oh, there are just three pastries in there” when they happen to each be a different kind of pastry with a different price. And the cashier has to root through the bag to figure out what I actually selected, because again, my helpful exclamation of “I have one savory and two sweet” is as useful as Kim Kardashian is to humanity.

But can I vent a little here? Can we just agree that nectarines and peaches are basically the same fruit except one is smooth and one is fuzzy? Why can’t they be the same price? Why can’t I just put them in the same bag and tell you I have eight necta-peaches and we call it a day? And while we’re on the topic of different members of the same fruit family, I have to rant about apples. I cannot tell the difference between a Gala, a Fuji, a Braeburn, and a McIntosh. What do I have in that bag? I have apples, dammit. And they should all be the same price.

Now that I’m on a roll, I must confess a grocery-shopping transgression. Sometimes the devil on my shoulder rears his ugly head and persuades me to put the organic tomatoes into the regular plastic bag rather than the organic green one. And then I surreptitiously go through self-checkout and punch in regular tomatoes into the checkout screen. This is the kind of high-stakes life that I lead. I’m a suburban gangsta.

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