Thursday, March 21, 2019

Cart Etiquette

Funny how ubiquitous shopping carriages have become.
Their original homes used to be grocery stores, but then they spread their horizons wider and emigrated to home supply stores, and then big box stores, and now to women’s department stores.

          Retailers knew a good thing when they saw one. A woman laboring under the weight of five dresses may not reach for a sixth, but give her a shopping cart and all bets are off.

          On the down side, though, who in a grocery store has not ground their teeth as two people (yes, probably women) park their carriage in the middle of aisle for a chat when all you want to do is pick up that loaf of bread and get home.

          And practically every time I go to TJMaxx or Marshals and begin cruising the rows of ladies’ clothing I hit a roadblock. Some women must think that once an item is in their cart, it’s as though they’ve paid for it, and must guard it at all costs. They push their 4 foot vehicle with them down those narrow rows, rows that barely accommodate two people, never mind a carriage, blocking off all access for anyone else.

          In Target the other day, I encountered the elusive Covert Cart Stealer. You’ve had this happen to you at least once, I’ll bet. You choose your cart, put an item or two in it, duck down an aisle, and return to find your cart gone, taken by someone too bone-lazy to walk to the front of the store and get their own.

          Except this time I caught him in the act.

          I had already filled my cart with an umbrella (somehow I’ve lost my old friend, an umbrella that carried me through 20 years of teaching), and two large and unwieldy boogie boards for incoming grandboys.  Rather than push my carriage around with me, I wandered back to the beach toys, only to return and catch a middle-aged man placing my items on a nearby display.

          “That’s my carriage you’re taking.”

          He jumped, put them back, and at least had the grace to look shame-faced as he scuttled off.


  1. I have not encountered cart stealers...but have accidentally put my stuff in the wrong cart in my rush to get shopping done. I do ask people to move (politely) if they are blocking the aisle.

  2. Good on you for catching the guy in the act. Oh yes, I have had mine stolen. The sad part is that you have to go back to get the things that you had all ready found. Thankful for the small carts some stores offer that hold just enough and you don't mind pushing it so you don't leave it unattended.

  3. That's pretty lazy, when the effort to empty the cart was probably more than it would have been to walk to the front of the store for his own cart. Good on you for calling him out. Some people have gotten so rude!

  4. Good for you; caught him red handed and told him so!

  5. Glad you caught him :)
    I would always push my trolley around with me rather than risk someone walking off with it. Often enough with my achy legs I need something to lean on anyway.

  6. I've had that happen to me at Costco. Those huge carts don't look very full unless you're buying a lot of stuff. Glad you caught that guy! :-)

  7. Ha, got him! Well done for telling him and shaming him. Actually, these trolleys can be such a boon when shopping gets to be a burden. I usually keep a close eye on mine.

  8. Good for you! What is WRONG with people? Why couldn't he just go get an empty one?!

  9. I always seem to get the one with the squeeky wheel and no one ever wants that one:)

  10. Bad boy caught in the act. But women parking carts wherever is a thing that I have observed.


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