To the people behind the registers of our favorite stores, please don't take personally our anger and frustration at having to pay for bags.

It's not directed at you, although you're the ones who have to deal with the curses, diatribes, and looks of disbelief. We all knew it was coming. For over a year, we've known that it wouldn't be long before single-use plastic bags would be removed from the stores. Many of us tried to get in the habit of taking our reusable bags with us, whenever we went shopping. And, even though we were often seen stopping on our trek into the store to spin around and retrieve the bags forgotten in our cars, we did pretty well.

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But then the pandemic hit and we got out of the habit. We got used to walking in empty-handed before exiting with carts full of those handy small-trash-can-liner plastic bags. During the past year, the walk-of-shame back to our vehicles before entering the store was to grab a face covering, not a pile of reusable bags.

Now that the plastic bag ban is in effect, we're seeing our friends' reactions all over social media, like some who take selfies walking out of stores with their arms overflowing with groceries because they refuse to pay for another bag. I've heard the terse comments from other shoppers because they forgot their own bags and have to pay a few cents for one of yours.

Through it all, I've seen you - the cashiers - being patient. Keeping those smiles on your faces, even while your eyes tell the real story. It's not your fault. You don't make the rules. You'd rather bring back the bags and shut these people up.

Know that at least one shopper sympathizes with what you're going through. People don't like change, even when it's for the better. You've just been through a year of dealing with these same people getting angry over having to wear face coverings and socially distance themselves in line. Now, they have something new to gripe about.

We'll get over it. Or, at the very least, we'll get tired of complaining about it. In the meantime, we appreciate you.

Signed,

A Caring Consumer

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