Monday, April 19, 2010

Shopping Cart Hell

Ok, I know this may not be an explicit food blog post, but we all have to eat and where do we get a lot of our staples? At the grocery store, right? I know, I know…lots of you out there utilize farmers’ markets and CSA’s and try to eat and shop locally, but you can’t get cat food and toilet paper from a local farm stand, right?

I enjoy grocery shopping. Be it at a farm market, grocery store, big box store or Chinatown or Little Italy. It is fun and exciting thinking of things to make or discovering a fruit or vegetable in season that I’ve missed for nearly a year or finding that obscure ingredient I just have to try.

However, there is one thing that really gets me and I have to get this off my chest. Forgive me for taking my soapbox out!

I am such a stickler for taking my shopping carts back to the storefront or the cart return and fume when I have to move a cart to park my car or see them strewn all over the parking lot. I push that cart through puddles, rain, snow and around vehicles in reverse just to put it somewhere safe.

My car is 14 years old and I purchased her new in 1996. For her age, she’s a wondrous vehicle, but has dings all over her. I’ve noticed dents on her as early as when she was two or three years old and I know its from parking lots where people are just plain lazy about putting carts away. Just because I have an older car and she has a few dents and dings doesn’t mean I value her any less than someone who spends $80,000 on the Mercedes parked next to me.

About three weeks ago Joanne and I pulled into a parking lot and she always backs in, so her door was next to the driver’s door of the car next to her. Two women were coming out and saw us back in. They were putting bags and kids in their car. The driver finished up and was able to simply pull forward since nobody was parked in front of her.

She took the cart and placed it between her car and ours right at Joanne’s door and started to get into her car and just happened to look over at us. I made a motion and with the windows up said, “Don’t even tell me your going to just leave that cart there,” and she realized Joanne wouldn’t be able to get out!

The woman backed out of her car door, turned around and took the cart over to the cart return, shaking her head.

I was nearly flabbergasted by the lack of common courtesy and thinking she could just leave the cart there without thinking about the consequences for others.

Was it me? Was I being unreasonable to expect her to complete her shopping experience by not leaving the cart right next to our car?

It is this sort of behavior that makes grocery shopping a very unpleasant experience. What do you think? Do you put your cart in a safe place? Do you have the same issues as I do and do you have any stories to share?

If you are a cart-leaver…sorry for the rampage. Oh, wait…no, I’m not. I ask that you change your evil ways and help us all save our cars from the dings of shopping cart hell!


  1. Had to comment on this one. Yes, I DO return my cart, either to the store or the cart corral. I mean, how HARD is it, really? I mean, you've just spent the past hour or so walking all through the store; will a few more steps to properly place your cart kill you?

    I'm with you, Rose: I don't apologize one bit for thinking lazy people who don't properly return their carts deserve every dirty look and diatribe they get!

  2. I'm with you Rose and Mary. I always take the cart back to the store or the corral. Does that make us goodie-two-shoes? Bravo, we need more of that.
    Think about that Advil TV commercial where the woman decides to take one Advil box instead of 6 Tylenol...then just leaves her basket on the floor in the drug store isle. Hey, just let someone else clean up after you, right?

  3. When I was a kid my mother always had one of us kids take the shopping cart back to the corral after we'd loaded the car with our purchases. It's just common courtesy to put things away when you're finished with them, and that extends to shopping carts.

  4. I'm with you folks on returning carts. I even tend to grab one to take into the store from the parking lot when I arrive.
    There's a commercial I just hate on TV where a woman looking at boxes of pills decides on one and then just leaves the rest on the floor for some clerk to clean up. Why is this okay with anyone?

  5. What a great rampage!!!!!! I am in total agreement. I also make sure I return carts and try to be one of the people that intercepts the cart that the thoughtful people are returning.....I just love it when someone stops me halfway to my cart staging and says "I will take that for you," as they proceed to begin their shopping.