I am about to surrender myself to another concession of old age—I am purchasing a personal shopping cart.
It’s either that or death by a dozen dairy products.
Actually, it wouldn’t be death by dairy product alone. Veggies, fruit, pickles, peanut butter, sandwich meat, whole wheat bread and Orville Redenbacher’s Pup Up Bowl popcorn are also conspiring to take me to the other side of life.
I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic, but you don’t realize how close you are to checking out until you’ve lugged $46.33 worth of groceries six short city blocks (largely uphill) and the trek leaves you wheezing—with gusts up to gasping—like grandpa’s 1950s Ford pickup. That was me on Wednesday.
I swear, the Big Bad Wolf didn’t huff and puff this much. My heart was racing faster than Secretariat down the stretch at the Kentucky Derby. And I had taken seven rest stops en route from the market to home.
So either I’m in worse shape than the Canadian dollar, or I need assistance with my errands.
“I could hear your breathing all the way down the hallway,” said Colleen, our building’s lovely admin lady who observed what was left of me as she walked toward her office. “You’ll have to get one of those pull carts.”
“No,” I replied weakly, my carcass slumped in a lobby chair, “I’ll (gasp) take a cab (gasp) next time (gasp). It’s (gasp) only $5 (gasp).”
Upon further review, however, I believe Colleen is on to something. Really, what’s preventing me from using a personal shopping cart to tote my goods home from the Market on Yates? I can think of just one thing—vanity.
Personal shopping carts are for old ladies, right? Seriously. Do you ever see a young guy or a young woman, or even an old man, strolling the streets with a personal shopping cart in tow? No. They are the province of white-haired, hunch-shouldered old ladies. Just like those little change purses full of nickels, dimes and pennies but no paper money.
I don’t want to be one of them. But guess what? I am one of them. I’m 66 years worth of old lady. I mean, once upon a time heavy breathing was a product of good sex. Now two ripe tomatoes, a jar of peanut butter, a bag of salad and a bunch of bananas in a plastic bag does it for me.
So I reckon I have two choices: Either I bulk up physically or I go to London Drugs and kick some tires on personal shopping carts.
I must confess that I have slipped into something of a sedentary lifestyle (I exercise about as often as the Pope skips mass) in the past year, thus working out is an option with much merit. Still, I’m taking the easy way out. I’m going for the shopping cart. Just call it my last gasp.