Never Surrender

One day last week I heard Never Surrender twice, on two separate radio stations. Twice in one day! I felt like it was a sign, a sign that I shouldn’t let a little uncertainty bring me down, and that no one can take away my right to fight.

Because I am fighting the power, the power that seems to be conspiring to turn parking lots into chaos and cesspools of disarray. I pulled into Costco for a quick, but somehow expensive, trip. Right in front of me was a cart left all on its own.


The cart corral is literally twenty steps away, OMG.

My extreme 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 for my own use in the store. Upon returning to my car, this was the scene:



So that felt a bit deflating, but I guess it’s like the story of the kid throwing the starfish back into the ocean; maybe one person can’t save every starfish/ cart, but one person made a difference to that particular starfish/ cart. Or something.

I know, there are many, many other causes to get worked up about, but apparently random carts left in the parking lot is MY cause.

In other, semi-interesting news, I am only a few weeks away from not being the chair of the School Council/ Parent Association! I know! I can’t believe it either! Four years, and I am definitely feeling DONE. When the mere thought of creating JUST ONE MORE AGENDA is completely deflating, it’s time to pass the torch. My husband thinks it will only be a matter of time before I start chairing something else, but I don’t think so. I need to stay strong. And never surrender.

Speaking of songs that get stuck in my head for days on end, I’ve had First Kiss by Kid Rock going through my head since Saturday. It is now Tuesday. That is a lot of Kid Rock. The shameful thing is that I really do love that song, in all its cheesy glory; it reminds me of my teen years in the best possible way. I turn the stereo up and roll the windows dowwwwwwnnnnn…

Not even Billy Joel can squeeze First Kiss out of my brain. I was in the lineup at Walmart, with my glamourous basket full of eight items or less, including three different kinds of seasonal allergy medication, mascara, and cleanser for the kitchen sink. (Digression: the variety of things that people buy at Walmart is astounding, and the examination of their baskets and carts could be an entire social experiment. Or perhaps a still-life piece of art depicting the many limbs of modern life.) The Longest Time by Billy Joel came over the speakers, and I found myself at first humming, then singing under my breath. I know! It’s terrible, but I cannot seem to stop myself. Then, I realized that I was not alone in my song: both the cashier, and a man behind me in line, riding one of those Walmart scooters, were also “whoa-ooh-ooh-ooh”-ing along. It felt like a bringing-together moment, in the Walmart lineup, not unlike the time I found myself in a duet with an elderly man in the liquor store, singing Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

Taking back stranded shopping carts and singing with strangers; it seems to be my master plan for peace and happiness. That, or a sign that I’m losing my mind, I’m not really sure which.


  1. I am helpless in the face of certain Billy Joel songs. For example: the first time one of Oldest’s friends stayed over, friend was in the living room playing our piano while I was in the kitchen doing dishes. He busts out Piano Man. Oldest was about 10 at the time. I knew he would likely be embarrassed if I burst into song, but I literally could not help myself. First I hummed along quietly, than sang quietly, by the chorus, I was singing loudly. At that point, even Oldest joined in. Luckily friend did not seem phased in the slightest. And that’s one reason I will always like that particular friend of Oldest 😉

  2. I often see shopping carts in the creek near our house. Talk about disheartening. My last sing-aloud-in-public moment was Lucinda Williams’ “Metal Firecracker.” I can’t not sing, “All I ask, don’t tell anybody the secrets, don’t tell anybody the secrets I told you.”

  3. Billy Joel, I love him so. How can you not sing along? HOW??

  4. I used to roll my eyes at people who were singing along in the grocery store and now I CAN’T STOP MYSELF. And I don’t even care. This, more than anything, must mean that I am finally ‘of a certain age’. I had an annoying trip to my CPAP supplier this week where things went wrong meaning I have to go BACK, which is doubly aggravating because since I was there I shopped at the Food Basics nearby which is one of the most disheartening, depressing and infuriating experiences EVER.

  5. I love this post. I was reminded to come back and comment because I share your #cartkarma practice and was grocery shopping this morning, so …

    Also, I make it a regular practice to sing in public with strangers. 🙂 I mean, if the store doesn’t want me to sing then they need to stop playing songs.

    My best experience may have been belting out a Billy Joel tune with a great big guy wearing a Captain Kirk shirt in a Comic Store in Ottawa during Free Comic Book Day a few years ago.

    I love it when people surprise me!

    Further to Hannah’s point, because BILLY JOEL! How could we *not* sing?

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