My life has changed dramatically over the past several years. I can definitively say that I have settled down. This aspect of my life comes with no regrets, though it is interesting to reflect on what I now focus on. My life is pretty plain. I like to watch the puddles gather raiiiin… Or is that Blind Melon who thinks this? I can’t remember.
Rather than planning my husband’s and my next epic travel adventure, I now think more about the day to day activities to do with my child. We plan trips to the library to attend music classes. We go for walks to the park on nice days, where “we” check out the gravel on the way, as well as any puddles that may have formed (Blind Melon had the right idea, it seems!). We run errands during the day to see new faces & to get a change of scenery.
Each of these activities usually brings a lot of happiness. Things can go wrong. My kid can have an I’m Too WhatHaveYou to Do This meltdown. The weather might not cooperate. Etcetera. I try to go with the flow when these quirks happen. Unfortunately, there are some exceptions that seem to just get under my skin.
My biggest pet peeve with these outings? It’s when people leave their grocery carts out after shopping and do not return them to the corral.
I venture out to the store with my child and make my best effort to drop off the cart in a safe place. This effort has always resulted in success for me. I park my car as close as possible to a cart station, and then I make what seems impossible for some happen. Perhaps I simply possess super powers?
This seems ridiculous to have to mention, though it must escape some as to why it’s important to not recklessly abandon carts in the parking lot, so here goes. Free range carts can damage cars. Parking spaces are no longer available to future shoppers, as these spaces are claimed by the carts. And, if you just don’t give a poo about other people, then keep in mind that someone has to put away the carts. The wages that the cart returners are paid is included in the prices you pay for groceries. If they have to pay for more work to be done, then we’re all paying for that.
I just don’t get it. As a parent, it’s easy to rationalize why I would be a special circumstance and wouldn’t have to be hassled to return my cart. And yet I don’t go the lazy route out of respect for other parents…and non-parents. No one wants to deal with that nuisance. Who could possibly be leaving out all these carts?
Back when we had cable, I saw a commercial where an insurance company agent disappeared into thin air mid-conversation because they were needed by a customer. Does this actually happen, and do their cars and groceries go with?
Another theory I have is that we’re experiencing the movie The Happening, except instead of nature taking over, it’s grocery carts. (If you haven’t seen The Happening, I recommend it. It’s intended to be scary but is pretty funny!) If this is true, then no one is at fault here. Those carts just do their own thing when no one is looking.
Genuinely, I appreciate that there are scenarios where, despite pushing a cart around a store for however long and wheeling it to one’s car, one cannot take another step to take the cart back. For instance, I was 8+ months pregnant and waddling through the store. My discomfort got worse as I waddled, and I wasn’t sure if I could manage many more steps. I made it happen, although I probably could’ve done without those additional steps.
The challenge is that people seem to regard the abandoning as the standard procedure. I would love if there was a gang of grandmas who patrolled parking lots, inquiring people as to why they were leaving the carts behind. A mother’s guilt can go a long way, even if it’s not your own mother. If people have a good enough reason to abandon a cart, then the troop of Grandmas could help by returning the carts; otherwise, they could pile on that guilt!
And, if it does turn out that the shopping carts are moving on their own accord “The Happening-style”, then I’d like to know at which stores this occurs so I can avoid them like the plague. Please & thank you.