Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.
I used to shop at Food 4 Less. The biggest draw was cheaper baby formula. The biggest pain in the neck was trying to bag my own stuff with two toddlers and an infant. After a couple of years, I was done. The bags were ridiculously flimsy. Even when I double-bagged, items would fall right through. It got to the point where I would only put a single box of cereal or container of sour cream in each double-bag. Frustrated, I took my business to Dominick's.
Dominick's was more expensive, but I discovered that if I only shopped the sales, I was spending about the same as I was at Food 4 Less. Dominick's offered warm lighting, organized & spacious aisles, and most important of all: baggers. I felt like a queen. The stress of trying to keep my kids in check, locate my coupons and credit card, and bag my own groceries all at the same time was gone.
Life couldn't be any better.
Yet during my last 15 visits, I noticed the store was dramatically decreasing baggers. Sometimes there were two. More often, there was just one. And then last week, there was not a single bagger to be found. In what felt like a sneaky and gradual lowering of expectations, people had just gotten accustomed to bagging their own stuff.
I was guilty of this, too. But then I decided to take a stand. After all, this wasn't Food 4 Less! There was an unspoken contract between Dominick's and me. It involved paying a bit more for milk while the store re-loaded my 15 boxes of Caprisun into the cart.
There was only one bagger working the day I staged my demonstration. Each of the check-out lanes was at least 3 people deep. The cashier seemed perplexed as my scanned groceries piled up. I did nothing to prepare them for their journey home in my minivan. I fought the overwhelming urge to handle it myself, but I stood there, waiting.
"I'd like a bagger," I told her.
The cashier smiled. Behind me, the long line of moms rolled its eyes, sighed dramatically, and switched lanes.
I waited an awkward 5 minutes while the cashier paged a bagger. We made small talk about the White Sox and Fig Newtons. Finally, the store manager came over and bagged my stuff.
The cashier smiled again, far more broadly this time. Then she winked at me.
I do not know if my little one-mom protest had anything to do with it, but the next time I went to the store, the bagger was already there as I approached the check-out. I looked around and noticed there were several more baggers than usual.
Sure it wasn't Tiananmen Square, but for a big sissy like me, it was as close to being a rebel as I have ever come.
Unless of course you consider my staunch refusal to buy over-priced wrapping paper during CPS' big fundraising blitz. But the price of that stuff? It's criminal.