Friday, March 04, 2005

I remember riding in the baby seat of grocery carts. I suspect I did until Meg came along, and then she had rights to it. I remember twisting around to try see where we were going and trying to reach things that I wasn't supposed to. But in general I was pretty happy there. Safely sitting in my designated area, just being the little kid in the shopping cart.
Then I graduated to the actual cart. There I would sit happy to be getting a ride. Looking out through the metal mesh. Until, at last I would get kicked out to make room for groceries that couldn't walk, like I apparently could.
I kept riding in the cart, even when I was old enough to climb in myself, although I'm sure I caused my Mom to grasp hard at the cart sometimes.
Eventually I was either forbidden or shamed into staying out of the cart. By then I was old enough to sit crosslegged, feeling Mom's opinion at her daughter still riding in the cart, and thinking that the strangers I was watching probably thought I was too old.
I then started climbing on the end and riding backwards. That was fun. You could hop on and off at any stop or anything that caught your attention. By then, I had siblings at all other stages of cart riding. I kept on with this as long as I could. Even after I had to shift my weight so as not to make the cart nose downwards. Mom would get tired of extra weight making the front swing funny and would make me get off, where I would stay for all of a few minutes.
By time I was really too old an heavy for this we started shopping at a warehouse. Here we would take a pilgrimage once month. Dad would push a massive blue flat and load it with massive boxes of rice, flour, and other things big families can't grow and go through quickly. We would perch happily on the flat, and then the boxes, until there were just too many squishables to continue. I would survey the store, pretended I was Veronica Lodge in her father's cellar and able to choose anything she wanted to eat. The massive boxes of chocolate bars and huge containers of juice. Forget the fact that Veronica would never touch any of it in fear of sabotaging her diet. Eventually, as the oldest, I would be the first one to have to get off, and actually walk around the store until I would whine about my feet hurting.
Nobody will push me in grocery carts any more. Instead, I take my own, run across the parking lot, or down a near empty aisle, and then jump on coasting for as far as I can. I suspect this is the last phase of a grocery cart riding history, and by time I outgrow this my free rides in grocery carts will be ended forever.

No comments: