There’s a rumor going around this small community that is disturbing. And, although here things happen at a much slower pace than in large urban centers, rumors travel at warp speed. And the latest rumor is that the B&Y Store, and the Magnate Store and the other Store are no longer giving out bags for purchases.
Now of course for ‘shock value’ none of the messengers of said rumors elaborate enough to say, that ‘yes, there will be bags available at a price if customers don’t bring their own’. That part of the story would water down too severely the intensity of such a shocking rumor.
So the original rumor, without the above qualifier, put me in a state of angst, and in that angst I remain. First, it was so shocking and unbelievable that I would cater to a business and then have to leave my purchases behind with no means to carry them to my car. The whole situation puts me in mind of stumbling on a lush blueberry patch in some backwoods retreat without a pickin’ pail. You cup your apron, and pick. You pick into your hat. And then you remove your high-top rubber boots and fill them because rubber boots hold a heck of a lot of berries. Still, the biggest and best berries are left behind.
So I think you can easily see how the rumor is so unsettling. I am both shocked and wounded. Isn't it enough that I am already paying deposits on milk cartons, juice cartons, and bottles, some of which have recycling value, and some of which don’t?
Of course I’m annoyed. We’re talking fixed income, here. Just getting what I need takes strategic budget planning without having to puzzle over which containers are refundable and the added cost of bags. The whole turn-around is a process so convoluted that I begin to question if it is a good thing or simply a circuitous way of attaching hidden taxes on food and other necessities? A strong argument cannot even be made that containers cost money for the retailer. I don’t put my car gas in a container, but I still pay an added fee for that as well.
And refundable containers hardly seems like a good thing when the drive to the recycling depot costs me more for gas than any costs I manage to recover?
So now, with this latest rumor, I begin to seriously fear that boxes and bags are becoming extinct. I truly fear they are going the same way as the unicorn and the woolly mammoth. Or tough men with macho gauchos and chest hair?
I knew it would eventually come to this, but still I was so unprepared. The last time Elder Daughter moved was a few years ago. That day, the day we were packing up all her stuff, ED scouted the downtown-area for boxes-to-be-had-for-the-asking from various stores. That is how moving has always been done. But there were no boxes to be had.
So that is when I began to realize that cardboard boxes were becoming extinct. When ED returned a few hours later with nothing but a couple of packages of large plastic garbage bags.
Truly, it is easier to pick blueberries in rubber boots than safely pack breakables and china in plastic bags. Still we did the best we could but it was one of the more difficult things I have ever done. And so, since then I treat boxes as things of value. Slicing them carefully along taped lines, folding them flat, and stashing them behind a craft table in my basement. Then afraid to use them because whatever came in those boxes, if it needs repair, or is flawed, cannot be returned to the retailer without the original box! And furthermore I don’t want to be the cruel heartless person that dispensed with the last of the cardboard box species.
But now bags? What the hell?
Always my one security is that no matter how much life may change one stable aside from food, shelter, and clothing, would be bag and box containers. Without them, whoever coined the phrase ‘thinking outside of the box’ was ahead of their time…a prophet, so to speak.
What we fail to realize is that a world without boxes and bags impacts on more than just the physical. Without the philosophy of the limits of containers, be it boxes or bags, humankind has no mental context for that notion in our consciousness that there are limits to how we think and act.
And without it, the whole world is going awry. Limits of containment, so plainly illustrated by the use of boxes and bags, are no longer understood. And so with that mental perception missing—without boxes (or bags), generations evolve that can only think outside the box, even the violent and criminal-minded and it is not good. That causes me concern as well.
But my bigger concern, as a hoarder, is how can I live with all my ‘things’ without anything to put my ‘things’ in. I didn’t save all those cloth scraps, canvas, buttons, tape, and lace, to sew bags with and then have nothing to put in them.
Bags and boxes sustain me and facilitate my everyday life. That statement does not mean that I am a villain. I do so understand environment. I recycle everything --- E-V-E-Y-T-H-I-N-G, but this ‘really good thing that I do’ cannot continue if I have neither a bag, or a box, to put my ‘things’ in!