I might not look like I have a lot to offer. I don’t make a lot of money. I share a home with three roommates and a number of rats. It’s true, some people have referred to me as “pathetic” and “a loser.” And when these harsh words are thrown my way I always say, “…But have you seen my collection of plastic bags?”
No, plastic bags aren’t a traditional indication of value. As far as I know, they aren’t a form of currency anywhere. But everyone knows that a true adult collects plastic bags as if they were gold, pilfering them at every possible opportunity, gaining self-confidence from watching the pile grow and grow. Here is my process:
I walk out of my local grocery store, four or five bags of food items in each hand. Sometimes I get an entire plastic bag just for one item, like eggs. Even better, sometimes I double bag. And the best: double bagging for one item (I call that ‘hitting the jackpot’).
Once at home I carefully separate the bags from the food, making sure no plastic gets torn. Next, each bag gets rolled into itself and then all those bag balls are placed into the Mega Bag. This special plastic bag remains in its original state and serves its original purpose: holding stuff. The Mega Bag lives in the cabinet under my sink.
Whenever people insult me or accidentally sit on me in the subway, I just imagine my bags; the different color plastics glistening and gleaming, the logos displaying the multitude of two stores I have visited, the Mega Bag, pregnant to the point of bursting. I think of my bags, and I stop feeling bad.
If the day should come that someone visits my home, I will lead them to the kitchen.
With a flourish, I’ll open the cabinet and show them my prize. Just one peek and they will understand: this is a woman who has her life together. She knows how to hoard and store grocery bags as well as the rest of them. And in that moment, they will want to be my friend.