There is a strange tradition at our house that requires great courage and strength. It’s called The One Way Trip Ticket.
Each time David and I, whether we’re together or not, come home from a shopping trip or something requiring unloading the car, we subconsciously invoke The One Way Trip Ticket Tradition.
The One Way Trip Ticket Tradition (or OWTTT) says that all items that need to be taken out of the car and brought into the house must be carried in by one load only. Period.
This was nearly impossible when stores used brown paper bags to house your groceries on the way home. Very few people, not even the courageous and strongman David, could handle it.
But then somebody came up with the plastic bag including the handy-dandy loops on each side of the bag for easy carrying. We all applauded that day when we were able to carry several bags at once. At that point, we were used to making several trips to the car, and so we continued to do that until…
Ta da! Somebody thought to hang the bags from both arms plus holding several bags in each hand, no matter how heavy they were.
And the OWTTT was born.
For my husband, it’s a challenge to live up to. For me, I’m just too lazy to go back out there.
I do everything possible to make one trip only. If I don’t handle this correctly, something may fall out of a bag, which negates the OWTTT completely, leaving me at the mercy of my husband, who always gets it all in one trip, and, in my opinion, is a bit too smug about it.
I’m not strong enough to hang the bags on my arms, so I try to grab all of them in my hands. My purse, which weighs a great deal more than any of the bags, hangs on my left arm after painfully plummeting down my shoulder just as I’m ready to move to the house. My shoulders slope terribly, but that’s another subject entirely.
Who needs weight-lifting exercises when you’ve got a 14-pound box of cat litter in one hand (by a little handle that’s about to cut your hand in two) and two gallons of tea and a half a gallon of milk in the other hand? If there are any bags that are light, I manage to hang them on my wrists, like other essentials we can’t do without (Snickerdoodles and jelly beans chief among them).
Once I get all the bags settled and ready to go, I have to close the car door. If I’ve been really smart, I have put them in the back seat of my car for the ride home. It’s harder to assemble the load once I get home, but I can easily bump the door closed with a little hip action.
What happens most of the time is that I put the bags in the back of the car (actually, it’s a small SUV) where the door opens up, not out. So now I’m standing there with all of my groceries perfectly situated for the journey to the house, looking at the door that is at least 2 feet over my head. G-r-r-r.
After a few moments of reflection (and a few choice words, if you know what I mean), I finally concede and carefully put the groceries on the right side of my body on the pavement so that I can reach up and pull the door down.
The OWTTT does not allow you to come back to the car just to close the door, so don’t even think about it.
I gather up my groceries again in just the right way and head for the house. It’s not a long journey at all. We have a relatively small front yard and the driveway is right there at the house. It gets long pretty quickly when I’m carrying 150 pounds of groceries, all precariously held in my hot, shaking hands.
I approach the two steps up to the front porch with trepidation. My knees, even the new one I got in December 2012, are already complaining that they can’t heft the groceries, my purse, and me up those stairs. Since the honor of the OWTTT is at stake, I order my knees to comply, which results in me drunkenly staggering and sometimes tripping up the steps. I have no idea what the neighbors think about this, but if they’re watching, I would advise them to look away at this point.
So I come lurching to the front door, which is just a few steps away from the stairs. Now it’s time to fight with the storm door. I always wrestle with that thing from the inside trying to get out with just my purse on my arm. Now I have to wrestle with it with my tea-and-milk carrying hand. Nope. Just can’t get it to open. I try with my 14-pound-cat-litter hand. Nope. I’m glad the “glass” in that door is something obviously made to withstand a woman trying to get in the house with her groceries, because I have yet to break it. It’s great to live in these modern times, isn’t it?
Again, I finally concede and this time put the cat litter down to open the door. I have to step back as the door opens out, because I’m short so I have to get close to the door in order to reach the handle. I have to be careful, or I will plummet to the sidewalk if I go back too far.
Next I come to the door of the house. The only way through that door is to unlock it. With a key. Which I forgot all about until that very moment. Which is in my purse. Which is on my left arm along with cat litter, Snickerdoodles, jelly beans, etc., etc.
This is where I always sigh deeply. Can life get any more unfair? I fear not as I put all that stuff down and start looking in my purse. Which is when I remember that I put my keys in my hand before I unloaded the car. Which are now embedded in my left palm from the weight of the cat litter.
After digging the keys out of my hand, I finally get the door open to find 3 cats, all wanting to go out. Except these are indoor cats and wouldn’t know what to do outside any more than a fish would know what to do out of his bowl. So as I’m trying to get my left-side groceries back in place to make the last leg of my trip, I’m watching the cats and threatening horrible things if they go out. They ignore my warnings and try anyway, which triggers a little jig on my part as I lift the groceries and put my foot out to block them at the same time.
And then I trip over the threshold and nearly fall into the house. But at least I’m in the house.
As I thankfully close the door, to my horror, I see a can of Del Monte diced tomatoes laying in the yard. I briefly think about going out there and snatching it up before anybody knows. Does the 5-second rule come into play here?
Oh, the heck with it. If I’m lucky, David will run over it with the lawn mower and never know the difference.