If you asked my husband that question, he’d answer with a resounding “GEEK!”
Ryan has put up with a lot of my new ideas for living. He’s all gung-ho about getting rid of plastic, he’s willing to recycle and compost, and he’s truly excited about gardening this year. But when I break out my reusable cloth bags to go grocery shopping, he steps a little farther away from me, as though he doesn’t quite want to be seen with me.
I didn’t notice Ryan’s reaction until I asked him to go to the grocery store and pick up a few things. I hung the bags on the back door knob and mentioned as he was walking out that they were there. He said okay and good bye, but when I went to the kitchen I noticed the bags were still there, dangling from the knob. When he returned home, his arms were loaded down with about seventy-three plastic bags. (One item in each bag. Sigh.) I asked him why he hadn’t taken the bags. He claimed he forgot.
The next time he ran to the store alone, I put the bags in the car. Somehow, he still managed to forget to take them into the store. Finally I asked him why he kept forgetting, and he admitted that he didn’t like to use them because it felt ‘dorky.’ Yes, saving the planet is so incredibly dorky.
A few weeks ago, we were going out to dinner with his parents. He walked into the kitchen just in time to see me slipping a collapsible Tupperware bowl into my diaper bag.
“What’s that for?” he asked, horrified.
“In case I have any leftovers,” I answered.
“Uh-uh. No way. If you take that, I’m not going with you.”
I was completely perplexed. I have really never cared what people think about me. If they think I’m a nerd for bringing my own container from home instead of using their earth-killing styrofoam boxes, so be it. I agreed to leave the bowl at home, but when Ryan’s back was turned, I slipped it back into my bag. The entire thing was a moot point anyway, as I am a giant pig and finished my entire dinner, negating the need for my dorky bowl.
I must mention that I have never seen anyone in our small Midwestern town using a reusable bag. No one else babywears, either, and I have yet to meet another cloth diaperer. Although I do wish that more people would jump on the green bandwagon around here, I really don’t mind being the different one. My local stores all recognize me mainly as the crazy lady with the baby strapped to her chest and carrying the cloth bags. In fact, the last time I went to the store just for a few items, I ran in just carrying Alice, and the cashier asked in a disappointed voice, “Aw, did she outgrow the papoose?”
My hope is that people will see that there is actually a different way of doing things. We have a choice in so many things, but these options are kind of hard to find out about sometimes. I’m thankful that I have learned so much in the past few months. My mind has been opened to new possibilities and ideas, and it just keeps on growing. I would love to spread these new ideas to others in my little town on the prairie!