Be the change you want to see in the world

We all have our triggers; those little things that cause us to feel like raging against the machine, those issues that have our blood pressure soaring and our heart rates pumping. In my case, this is seeing shopping carts left carelessly in the parking lot. Extra steam for carts left carelessly when the corral is right there, such as in the Costco parking lot. This enrages me no end; people who are too lazy to take those extra few steps to return their carts, instead causing inconvenience for other shoppers and extra work for the store staff.

But be the change you want to see, right? If there is something wrong in the world, start by changing yourself. The man in the mirror, etcetera. So a few weeks ago, I felt the rage when I was at the Co-Op and saw carts scattered randomly around the parking lot. I took one with me to do my shopping. My friend Alice (HI ALICE) calls this Shopping Cart Karma; if you take a cart back to the store, you will have a good shopping experience. I did, in fact, have a good shopping experience – a cashier opened up a new line and I was the first in the line – and so after I took my groceries to the car I decided to ramp up my karma, and I took back four other carts to the corral. I even caught an elderly man in the act of pushing his cart to the side of his parking stall; I plastered a crazy-lady smile on my face and said, possibly a bit too loudly, “I’ll take that for you!” I walked through the parking lot with a train of carts, which is actually much, much harder than it looks, especially in the snow.

This act of cart-returning has yielded great grocery shopping experiences ever since, which means that Alice is a genius. Yesterday I went to Costco and not only were there brilliant deals – I got a life-changing dish rack, for example – but the fellow who packed my cart was, quite literally, the single greatest cart packer ever. That man knew what he was doing. He created layers, the boxes he used were perfectly leveled so they were ergonomically easy to remove from the cart, and all spare spaces were filled with various dry goods. I was so impressed I complimented him three times and also commented about it to the people who checked my carts as I left the store. I was one step away from screaming “Congratulations, Costco, on such an upstanding employee! This man deserves a plaque!” That may have been overkill, though.

I bought so many things that it took a solid forty-five minutes to bring everything in from the car and put everything away. I walked up and down the stairs so many times that I regretted not carrying my phone with me; my stair climbing stats would have been through the roof. Alas. My life-changing dish rack, though. This is probably a sad commentary on my housewifery, but it is a thing of beauty. I actually had to rearrange my kitchen countertops because of this item, which turned out to be for the best. The kids came home and actually oooed and aahhhhed a little about it. I have a VERY FANCY BEAUTIFUL DISH RACK AND I LOVE IT.

Speaking of fancy things, today is Fancy Day at school. Fancy Day. Here’s your one chance, Fancy, don’t let me down. It’s a Spirit Day, meaning the kids get points for participating; in this case, it means that students are supposed to dress “fancy”. Not to be all gender-specific, but this seems like a much more girl-centric Spirit Day than others. My children went to school in jeans, t-shirts, and button up shirts, which is their definition of “very fancy”. Hopefully they get points for that.

Believe me, I’m not complaining. Fancy Day is far better than Dress As Your Favourite Story Book Character Day or Dress As What You Want To Be When You Grow Up Day, both of which are ridiculous, in my opinion. How many of us have story book character costumes at our disposal? Certainly not me. And while I found it hilarious that one of my friend’s sons wore regular clothes and said he was dressing up as a stay-at-home dad, in general that day is not easy to come up with a costume idea either. Besides, one of my sons wants to be an engineer and the other wants to be a commodity trader, and the clothing choices for both of those are really up for interpretation.

The next Spirit Day is Wear Your Toque Inside Day which at first struck me as lame and “we’ve run out of ideas”. But on further reflection, I believe that it is in lieu of Crazy Hat Day, one of my most-loathed days. Why must we make hats crazy? So I acquiesce to Wear Your Toque Inside Day, which will cause me absolutely zero extra effort and which has the added benefit of keeping kids warm, unlike Crazy Hat Day, when children are likely to wear sombreros or giant Cat-in-the-Hat creations or fascinators in whipping wind and blizzard conditions. All hail Wear Your Toque Inside Day!

In December, the school was collecting socks and toiletry items for the Drop-In Centre, and tied in Funky Sock Day. Everyone wear your funky socks! I assumed they meant “funkily decorated” and not “unwashed for weeks” and so I asked the kids what they wanted to do. Mark took a pair of light grey socks and drew smiley faces all over it with a marker. Jake looked at me, and looked at his socks, and said “I really think my socks are funky enough. I mean, they have a blue stripe on them so…” he trailed off and I nodded in agreement. As someone who only has plain black socks, I am fully in support of a blue stripe counting as funky and different.


  1. I think it’s only fair that you show us your fancy rack.


    That didn’t come out the way I wanted it to.

    Meanwhile, YAY cart karma! It’s a thing! 😀

    You are a very good human.

  2. You KNOW I have feelings about Crazy Hat Day, especially at our school, which has had what amounts to a two-year-long lice outbreak and WHY ARE YOU IDIOTS ENCOURAGING THE SHARING OF HATS???

    My 6 year old told me a kid in his class wore a hat his mom made. She sewed socks to the holes in a pair of underwear, and ribbons all over it, and a balloon on top, and he wore it like a hat. I don’t know what insane corner of Pinterest she found that on but no, school, I am not sending my child to get educated while wearing a pair of underwear on his head. Not until university, anyway.

  3. Yay for Shopping Cart Karma!

    Lol at peady’s first sentence. SHOW US YOUR RACK!

    I had to google “toque” because even though I knew it was a hat even before the context clues of “crazy hat day,” I didn’t know what kind of hat. I was picturing a beret, which seemed odd for kids, so the reality made more sense. A much better name for a knitted hat than what people call them here–“beanie” or “toboggan” (isn’t that actually a type of sled?)

    And Hannah, UNDERWEAR as a HAT? WTAF? I can’t imagine how the teacher was supposed to keep the boys’ attention!

  4. I am the last person to criticize someone for being excited about getting a new dish rack. I nearly came unglued when we got a new toaster oven last month. When using it I still get a small thrill: LOOK, it’s actually toasting things instead of taking 10 minutes to warm up and then lightly browning!!!!

    I hate dress up days of all kinds because my kids usually fail to tell me about them until the last minute and I have no costume-type things just laying around the house. Making sure my kids have costumes for Halloween seems to be a monumental effort, just random costume days? No thanks. Bah.

  5. I think the kids at J’s school mismatch their socks for crazy sock day. We had the dress-up-as-a-book-character day, too, and I can’t remember what J decided to be but then she forgot to wear it and I forgot to remind her and it was all Very Sad. There was not one but two Fancy Nancies at our bus stop that morning. I assume as the book sale lady you must be familiar with Fancy Nancy.

  6. smothermother says

    I agree, your fancy rack must been exhibited for all of us interwebbie peeps to see. 🙂

  7. Another vote to see the rack! I already have rack envy, imagining its glory. 🙂

  8. I can vouch firsthand for Nicole’s outstanding rack. And I went to Storage Solutions a couple of weeks ago and got some inside-the-cupboard-door racks and a pretty box to hold blankets that had me VERY EXCITED, so I totally get you. I’m also a costume curmudgeon, but I’ve enjoyed the reminder that when Eve was three to five or so, she’d hold her fists up for a fight and yell “Put up your toques!” instead of ‘dukes’.


  1. […] to Costco.” I have discovered the key to non-frustrating Costco trips – other than Shopping Cart Karma – and that is to go more frequently for fewer things. Of course, this would not be feasible if I […]

  2. […] dislike of this phenomenon of “just leaving your cart wherever you feel like it” is well documented, but I decided to employ Alice’s (HI ALICE) Shopping Cart Karma mentality, and took the cart […]

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