Bagging It

The other day, after making several purchases at one of the countless Duane Reades in this city (Duane Reade, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is to drugstores what Starbucks is to coffee shops) (are they called “coffee shops” anymore? or is everything a “caf&#233” now? can somebody help me out so I can sound as hip as I wanna be?), I snuck into a Rite-Aid to buy something Duane Reade just doesn’t carry (a top secret style of barrette, if you really must know). When the girl (yes, I do refer to a woman older than 17 as “the girl”) (that’s just the kind of girl I am) rang up my purchase, I told her, “I can just put it in the bag I already have,” indicating my plastic Duane Reade bag.
Instantly I thought I not only offended Rite-Aid but hurt its feelings. (That’s just the kind of anthropomorphaphile I am.) (Did I just make up a word, by the way?) I must confess I also felt a little dirty. Particularly dirty — some might say filthy — because I was putting a product that I have never found at Duane Reade into a bag proudly bearing its name rather than the proud name-bearing bag proffered by the Rite-Aid employee at the store that has the good taste to stock the item I went there specifically to buy.
“Perhaps I should accept the Rite-Aid bag,” I thought as the girl handed me the card of barrettes to place in the other drugstore’s bag. “I could put the barrettes in that bag and leave the other items in the Duane Reade bag, thus showing interested passersby that both drugstores carry items that a girl like me needs. And also not hurting the feelings of Rite-Aid, which, of course, is paramount!”
But in the end, I just stuck to my original choice and lumped everything together in the Duane Reade bag, and the barrettes, after the initial awkwardness of making new acquaintances, made themselves quite comfortable. And in some small way, I felt I’d made enormous strides toward uniting the world.