About Katie: Having arrived in time for the Great (?) Depression, WWII, and all other 20th century problems, I am endowed with long and varied memories. Writing classes have long been my home away from home. Other people's stories are fascinating, and sharing is growth at its best. Hope you seniors will join me with your stories. Try it. You'll like it.
I've just spent too much time attempting to control my "recycled materials." Not those flimsy bags you get at the grocery store, that sometimes fall apart before you get home. Actually, they come in handy getting rid of other residue, including what the dog does. I thought I was the only one with that problem. Turns out, as I recently learned, I'm not alone. So I fail to understand the present hysteria about grocery bags.
I'm talking about plastic containers of greater strength. The ones they put fruit and tomatoes in. They call them "clamshells." I fail to understand what they have in common with seafood, but that's not my problem. I just lost thirty minutes cutting up the ones cluttering my countertop. Two had strawberries, one had tiny tomatoes, and two have been in my way long enough for me to forget what they originally contained. I suppose at my age I can't blame the forgetting on the clamshell. The sore fingers caused by my kitchen scissors, I do resent. Those things are tough, and whether you put them in a recycle pile or cut them up and sneak them into your garbage, they have to go somewhere.
That's not my only complaint. There was a time when you went to the butcher at your favorite store for a nice steak. You looked in his refrigerated case, pointed to a tasty looking morsel, and asked him to weigh it. He removed it from the case, placed it on a clean piece of waxed paper, and dropped it on his scale. He then told you the price, and showed you your choice. Both sides of it. If the bone was too big on the back side, you could shake your head "no" and he returned it to his show case. You then pointed to another choice, which he cheerfully lifted, and went through the whole routine again. Butchers were evidently trained in those days to be patient souls.
Today one has many choices in open cases. They are backed by styrofoam, a different type of plastic, with a curved lip to keep the blood from spilling. This isn't really necessary as another piece of plastic with paper backing is lying under your steak, along with the big bone you never saw. The whole thing is then wrapped in clear plastic, letting you see what you are getting. Half of it anyway. All of this is very acceptable in today's society...until you have to get rid of the plastic, the price of which has been added to your steak. Enjoy!
Catalogs! Where do all these people get my name? My mailbox has limited space. But almost daily it is filled to capacity by superfluous paper, not at my request. I didn't invite these paper pushers into my life. But here they are, in abundance. Think of the trees that could be saved if they let customers come to them.
More irritating, they show wanton disregard for the use of my name and address. In a day when we all worry about the wrong people getting information about us and making improper use of it, we are faced with the need to protect ourselves.
One daily task, which I never used to have, is of great annoyance. Before throwing away half of my mailbox contents, I sit with my mail in my lap, and take the time to go through every page of every unwanted paper trash to cut my name out of it. I could be taking a walk for exercise. I could be baking cookies I shouldn't eat. I could be watching The View. Instead I'm cutting up paper. I can't let one page go by, for these devious advertisers sneak your personal information in a half dozen places throughout their ads.
Time is money. If I lose 20 minutes a day, cutting myself out of ads, I have wasted 120 minutes a week. That's two hours. In fifty-two weeks, that's 6,230 minutes. Over five hundred hours. Somebody owes me!
I really don't mind ads in newspapers. I expect them, even enjoy them. And sometimes make use of them. But gee whiz! Isn't there a limit?
I suppose I must add that my postal worker son-in-law tells me all this is necessary to support and maintain our postal system. He would point out that my extensive use of e-mail has reduced their revenue, and it's all my fault.
My daughter is making spending money by sewing and selling cloth grocery bags.