I don't think I'll ever get used to it. I put all of my purchases on the counter. The cashier rings them up. Then there's a pause. I'm waiting. The cashier is staring. I stare back dumbfounded. The cashier is smiling. I smile back.
Has the next step been forgotten? Has the cashier fallen asleep standing up? Am I in some weird Twilight Zone time warp? Has the world stopped spinning? Am I on Candid Camera? Am I being punked?
"Ma'am, do you need a bag?"
HUH? Duh? Of COURSE I need a bag! Do you SEE all of this stuff you just rang up? Am I supposed to carry it out of here in my skirt? Can I borrow a cart? (I say all of that in my head of course. Mommy always said, "Be polite" and it kinda stuck.) Is the cashier REALLY asking me if I need a bag?
Oh. My bad.
I live in DC. Bags cost 5 cents. I will probably need more than one. There are never any large bags that will preclude me from looking like I need a hand.
"Uh, yes. Yes. I need bags. Thank you. I totally forgot where I lived. All of that shopping in Maryland and Virginia where a bag just goes along with the shopping experience has me spoiled."
That Potomac and Chesapeake Bay had better start looking like the Caribbean very soon.