Saturday, January 14, 2006

Brown Baggin' It

Friday was payday, and so that meant a trip to the grocery was in order so as to make sure the pantry and refrigerator got stocked before I spent all my cash at the mall or bar.

I've heard of liquid diet before, but I'd have to say the FDA has yet to come out with a Barley and Hops food pyramid. I'd guess two weeks of living on beer (or liquor or wine for that matter) would do nothing but wreak havoc on my latest challenge.


Friday morning I tooled around Cincinnati's best grocery store for singles in a cart with an effed up wheel. I had just wrapped up a week on my regularly scheduled graveyard shift, so it's safe to admit I was probably looking like anything but fresh as a daisy. The town's ladies who lunch were starting their mornings in their Burberry barncoats and Chanel handbags looking for organic cheeses and fresh artisan bread. Me? I just wanted some Campbell's Soup at Hand and Handi Snacks puddings.

I checked out with my, oh, hundred dollars in groceries and was a bit bewildered when asked the requisite "Paper or plastic?"

I don't get that question asked when I scan my groceries myself. Usually I just dump whatever schlocky magazine and few perishables I have in one of those plastic bag carousels.

I made it home with my five full paper bags of stuff and was instantly lured back to memories of my childhood.

We were a paper family growing up. I don't even think plastic was an option back in the late 70s and 80s. My mom is one of those tight fisted chicks who would rather save a buck on garbage bags and spend it Talbots, so we always used those paper bags as the liners in our kitchen trash can. Whomever nabbed the undesirable task of moving it to the garage usually encountered a greasy, smelly stained bag with little remnants of egg white, olive oil or cooking grease seeping through the sack like a badge of honor.

As I got older, I relied on those brown paper bags to cover my junior high and high school text books. It was a task I loathed, covering those damn books. And in typical Kate fashion, I'd always be in a mad dash late Sunday night, scurrying around to take care of business before school the next morning. My mom normally tucked these bags between the refrigerator and the wall, nevermind that it was probably the greatest fire hazard in the house.

Sometimes we'd run out of bags, and so good old Dad would make a trip to the store to buy some gratuitous groceries just so I'd have some bags on hand.

Later on I got creative with my book coverings, trying everything from wall paper to aluminum foil, but in those early days, it was all about brown paper bags and it's vast canvas for writing and drawing little hearts, rainbows and other things typical of a girl in grade school.

I piled up my brown paper bags after my big Friday shopping trip, and even put one in the trash can for old times sake.

But nothing smelly or greasy is going in there.

I don't take out my trash as often as Mom and Dad did, and I don't want to stink the place up.

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