The single-use plastic bag ban begins in New Jersey on May 4. It will be the strictest in the nation.

Because when New Jersey politicians decide to inconvenience and annoy us, they don’t hold back. I’ve been slowly buying the reusable bags offered for sale at grocery stores the past two weeks in an attempt to accept my fate.

Sunday however was the first day I actually used them. I figured ‘well, it’s coming in ten days. Let’s see how irritating this will be.’

I needed just some things, not an entire week’s worth of food for four kids, so it was manageable to check myself out at a self-service station.

Good first way to try these I’m-going-to-save-the-planet bags without a cashier flinging rung up items at me like a “Fast and Furious” quarter mile.

Now, I hadn’t brought bags with me in my car. I didn’t plan ahead.

I just bought three large reusable bags at ShopRite along with about $120 of items.

Oh, and by the way, the bags for sale there that day were not exactly manly.

Take a look.

Jeff Deminski photo
Jeff Deminski photo

Come on ShopRite, this is fine for the ladies, but don’t you sell any bags with George Thorogood lyrics or skulls and crossbones or something?

I digress.

I rung up the oversized, save-the-marine-life-from-evil-microplastic bags first and opened them up on the space provided by the dwindling supply of plastic bags.

I was expecting them to be clunky and flop over but was pleased to see they held an open shape well.

I rang through my order filling the bags and, sure, you can get a lot more items in these than the smaller evil plastic bags.

But, at the same time, I kept picturing my dog’s anxious face as he thought about his daily walks and what we were going to use to…you know.

He doesn’t say much, but I know he’s been concerned. Truth is I still don’t have an answer for him.

As I loaded these eco warrior effeminate flowery bags into my SUV I thought about the small trash cans at home and what I was going to do about those.

As I unpacked things and put them away in my kitchen, I thought about how my son with autism has a weekly bag of produce his ABA teacher wants sent in separate from his lunch, that is to be kept there in the school’s fridge.

I wondered how I’m going to send it. If I send it in one of these sissy looking Claude Monet bags I probably wouldn’t get it back again.

Once done, I put the empty reusable bags on the table and reminded myself to bring them back to my car so I’ll be prepared to stop at any store.

It’s been two days. They’re still on the table.

I just keep forgetting. Which is exactly what I worried most about this stupid bag ban, that I’d often forget to put bags back in the car — then realize I need some things on the way home from work.

Maybe I should have gotten into the routine a long time ago.
Maybe I should have moved to a better state before the bag ban started.
Maybe I should have learned to juggle years ago so I could transport a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, 6 yogurts, a dozen eggs and some grapes without a bag.

But as always, I didn’t plan ahead.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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