When I go to the store, I’ve got business to take care of. I want to get what I need and get out in the least amount of time possible, because I loathe screwing around while shopping. Example – back when my brother and I were much younger, we went Christmas shopping together at North Park Mall. We knew what we needed to get and wanted to get out of the mall as fast as possible. This was in the time before the internet so you HAD to go someplace to shop, you couldn’t do it like I do – at work.
So, armed to the teeth with cash, we prepped our strategy. We parked, infiltrated the horde, shopped and were done in 20 minutes. It was glorious. All of our shopping was done in less than half and hour.
Now that I’m older and have a child, it’s not so easy. You’ve got to get your kid buckled into his seat, drive to the store, get him out of his seat, do the child-sized steps to the front door of the store, get in the cart, then shop. But along the way you’ll have to stop and look at things, or get out of the cart to play with things, and if you don’t do that then beware the wrath of your child and the disapproving looks from others as your child totally flips out. I NEVER make it back from the store in less than half an hour anymore.
And it used to be that when you got to the store, at least when I was single, you could look kinda cool and in charge of the situation, like, “Hmm, these cantaloupes aren’t quite ripe” or “My God, this bread is moldy.” But now that you’re the dad that’s all gone, and mostly because of one thing that can render the flipping out portion of the above paragraph moot.
It’s the car cart. It’s not just a plain ol’ shopping cart, it’s a shopping cart that has a little “car” on the front of it that your kids can sit in and “drive”. It also has seat belts, which can keep your kids anchored as if they were a weed in your front yard. They can keep themselves occupied with the steering wheel and, hopefully for you, not notice the toy aisle that you’re speeding past when they’re looking at something else.
But the big problem with the car cart is that you look like a complete dork pushing it. You have no ability to be cool when you are pushing a child in a car cart. The car cart negates all coolness that you may exude from your testosterone-squirting pores. It renders you a nerd.
And God help you if you can’t get the one that your child wants, because, you know, after that first time that your child sees the car cart, he will have his favorite, and if someone is already using that blue whale car cart your screwed. Prepare for meltdown, my friend. Chernobyl would seem like a nice night out with your wife. Not getting the right cart could be the Apocalypse. Without the car cart, my friend, you might as well commit hari kari.
But you still look like a dork.