Monday, January 9, 2012

My Annihilated Grocery Cart

Outside of items related to my marriage, there are very few physical material possessions that I cherish and hold a sentimental value to. One of which are my popular Etnie shoes that I bought over seven years ago at an outlet mall with my nephew. Another, which met a glorious and trailblazing end yesterday, was my grocery cart.

My wife dumpster dove for this bad boy close to three years ago, and over time it’s kind of come to symbolize our frugal lifestyle. For starters we dumpster dove for it. But in our day to day in being without a vehicle going to fetch groceries, particularly when our cupboards are low, can at first glance appear to be a time consuming drag.

But for me the weekly grocery run has been crucial in forcing me to slow down and let my soul catch up with my body. Sure, I occasionally feel guilty when I occupy a seat up front on the bus and a geriatric slowly waddles on board. And yes, I’ve taken more than my fair shots when intentionally rolling over able bodied people’s feet when they refuse to move their hipster shoes from the path of my rolling cart. But I have heartily enjoyed the bus and train rides to and from Aldi. Some of my fondest memories over the past few years have been the peaceful transit rides back and forth from the grocer with my wife.

The rides are always peaceful, and even when have conversations about nothing, using the “grocery trip” to re-connect with my wife has been a blessing I look forward to every week. I can’t imagine the last four years in Chicago without these weekly trips J

But this cart has been through a good number of wars over the years. From snowstorms to heavy rainfall, to carrying heavy protein shakes and boxes upon boxes of groceries. On its final run our little cart that could valiantly carried its final set of groceries. As we made it off the bus four blocks from our apartment, its loosened screws really began to show their wear and tear, and I knew deep down inside this would be the last ride. We entered the hallway, the home stretch before reaching our apartment, and a loud *SNAP*  drew my attention to our little red cart and I instantly lunged down to hold it together, so that all of the contents would not fall out. Then, reminiscent of Forest Gump carrying Bubba, I reached down and with one arm continued to roll the cart, and with my shoulder held the groceries in tact within the busted cart so that they did not tumble all over the hallway of the building I live in. I made it to my apartment, and almost out of a sitcom, when I pulled the final bag of groceries from the cart, it literally imploded on itself. A legendary and fitting end for my wheeling hero, and left are big shoes to fill for a cart that will help me symbolically leave the cave, kill something and drag it home J

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