I am unloading groceries and pause to clutch what may be the last guilty pleasure on Earth: a box of reclosable plastic bags.
If it was just one box, I could live with the guilt. But I have them all the adorable snack bag, the convenient sandwich bag, the workhorse quart-size bag, the "I've-got-the-lettuce!" gallon bag, the small Baggies that quietly tuck and fold and the old standby food storage bags that close with a simple twist tie.
You think I haven't tried telling myself that all this plastic is wrong? You think I don't want to go green?
I know that socially responsible people do not use plastic bags these days. Socially responsible people use nylon mesh bags that snag on your fingernails, burlap bags that leave a red rash streaking down your arm, or they recycle old pillow cases used for trick or treating when they were 6.
You think I don't want to be part of the club? I've tried to turn my back on those alluring plastic bags. I have declared that each box will be my last box. And then it's just one more. And one more after that. And one more after that.
Don't tell me I can live without them. Have you tried freezing sliced strawberries in a paper lunch sack or taken a hike with trail mix wrapped in foil?
Veggie sticks cry for plastic bags. So do cookies, crackers, cheese cubes, stamps, coupons, old keys, receipts, fresh herbs, frosting, loose change, leftover salad, computer cords and warranty booklets.
Here's the beauty of the reclosable plastic: From the same box of bags you can marinade a chicken or bag a pair of heels you have no intention of wearing again. That's versatility.
Who can leave home without a small arsenal of plastic? You need the big zipper-seal bag to hold wet swimsuits, grocery store plastic bags to hold the garbage you make in the car, snack bags filled with Cheerios for the kids and pretzels for the driver, another bag with first aid supplies, and a double-sealed bag in the glove box filled with salt, pepper, ketchup and mustard, should there be a sudden global condiment shortage.
I do have the clarity of mind to see that not every contribution made by the plastic bag has been wonderful.
Because of plastic bags, dog owners have to follow their pets around picking up doggie doo off the ground. That would not happen if we were still relying on wax paper.
Were it not for plastic bags protecting newspapers from the rain and snow, we would still have front porches and papers would be delivered by kids on bikes.
And yet, as that great patriot Mrs. Patrick Henry said, "Give me Ziplocs or give me death."
It is just a matter of time before plastic bags become a banned substance, a hazard to our health, a threat to the environment. I'll be the one planting yard signs that say, "You can have my plastic bags when you can pry them from my cold, dead hands."
Refusing to surrender my Ziplocs, I will be locked away one day, along with the last few remaining smokers, people who refuse to use those curled light bulbs and those still driving SUVs.
If you come to visit, I'd appreciate a metal file.
Bring it in a Ziploc, will you?