Now, I can sort of see leaving your cart behind if you're at the back of the parking lot and the only shopping cart return receptacle is way the hell back at the front of the parking lot and the kids are crying and you have to pee and it's pouring down rain. But that usually isn't how it is. There's probably a shopping cart receptacle just a few parking stalls away from you. Maybe five, six, seven stalls at the most. But what if it was even ten spaces away?
Okay, let's think about this. The parking stalls are what, eight feet wide? So that's -- eight times ten -- eighty feet, right? So that's like, eighty steps each way for the average adult. Eighty steps. That might sound like a lot for the lazier of citizens, but I bet you would walk eighty feet for any reason and not really even realize it was eighty feet. You'd walk eighty feet for a latte, for an ice cream cone, for a drink at the bar. It's not that far.
But when it comes to shopping carts, people seem to think thirty or forty feet is just too far to push a cart to get it where it's supposed to be. I know... I know... stores send the baggers out to collect them all and bring them back to the door for our convenience. It just seems rude to me to leave them out flopping all over the parking lot (unless you really really have to pee and it's raining and the kids are screaming) rather than pushing them just a few -- even several -- parking stalls away.
But THIS GUY?!
WHAT. THE. HELL???
What? This guy couldn't go the additional THREE FEET to deposit the shopping cart back into the shopping cart receptacle that was RIGHT THERE??? They didn't see the sign that said, "Please Return Shopping Carts Here"? I mean... they said PLEASE! They weren't too feeble to tip the cart back and hook the wheels into the planter so that it wouldn't roll away, but they were too feeble to walk it around that little rail? "But the carts in the receptacle are all over the place" you say. Okay, how hard is it to push them all up and into each other? I'm not the shopping cart bagger kid, but I am (or at least try to be) considerate to my fellow shoppers.
I think that's what bugs me. Someone didn't give enough of a shit about their fellow shoppers to put their damn shopping cart where it frikkin' belonged. They were done with their shopping and wanted to get back to their own day regardless of any other people that might come to the store later and not be able to park all the way in, and/or they didn't give a crap that the kid that has to run out to grab the carts IN THE RAIN was going to have to spend more time in the rain because they didn't think past their own self.
Disclosure: My oldest daughter had an after school job at the grocery store down the hill from our house. She was the kid that had to run around the parking lot to collect the carts that others were too inconsiderate to return to the receptacles. She had to do that even if it was raining. Some days, when I would come down to pick her up, I'd find her soaking wet because she had been walking all over the parking lot collecting carts when the clouds opened up on her. Being a teenage girl, she thought more about looking cool than being prepared, and so would sometimes forego the bright yellow slicker if the rain wasn't falling right as she went out to gather the carts. Most days, she was lucky. Other days? Not so much. So maybe I'm more sensitive to people being inconsiderate in public because I was a mom of one of those bagger-slash-shopping-cart-wranglers, but I don't think so.
It's just rude behavior. Period.
Then yesterday, I saw considerate shopping cart behavior. I watched an older woman -- I wanna say like 70 something -- take her cart, hands and head shaking in that way that older folks start to shake, a good six spaces over to the shopping cart receptacle to return the cart that she had used to do her shopping. Then -- get this -- she walked all the way back!
IF A SEVENTY YEAR OLD SHAKY HANDS OLD LADY CAN RETURN HER CART, WE ALL CAN!
So, in this extremely busy shopping season, let's not forget to be considerate to our fellow shopper. Put your cart away... even if it's eighty feet each way. Let's face it... with all the food and desserts and egg nog we're about to consume, we could use the exercise.