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Bag Lady

By Mary Oves

I just reused a Ziploc bag. What am I becoming? Who am I? What’s next? A hairnet? Sensible shoes? Shuffleboard? Soft palatable foods?

It’s not like the Ziplock bag held cucumbers. No. I had used it to store leftover bacon for a recipe later in the week. So it was kind of greezy, and as I washed it out with soap and a sponge, I sort of hovered over myself, like in an out-of-body experience, watching myself pour soap in the bag, wash it and hang it to dry.

Floating Me: What the hell are you doing?

Terrestrial Me: Washing this Ziploc bag.

FM: Why?

TM: There’s nothing wrong with it; it can be used again.

FM: It’s filthy!

TM: A little soap and water, and I turn it inside out, let it dry, and good as new.

FM: But you have an entire box of them.

TM: So? They’re expensive! Are you paying the bills?

FM: No.

TM: Exactly. Must be nice, just floating around up there, never having to worry about anything except what you observe and judge.

FM: What’s next? Washing Solo cups and paper plates?

TM: For your information, I do wash Solo cups.

FM: Then why buy them? Just use the regular house glasses!

TM: Good point. You’re right, no more Solo cups.

FM: What about when the boys have friends over?

TM: Good point. You’re right, I’ll keep buying Solo cups. But I’ll wash them as I see fit.

FM: Well, you’re just plain embarrassing.

TM: Hey, Waste-Not Want-Not.

FM: (Watches as TM bustles around kitchen). Now, what are you doing?

TM: Putting away groceries (TM places the rubber hand around the asparagus into the junk drawer, avoiding FM’s gaze).

FM: (Stares). No, you did not.

TM: What?

FM: You just saved that produce rubber band?

TM: So?

FM: When will you ever use that again? You have 300 rubber bands in that drawer.

TM: You never know when it will come in handy.

FM: Like when there is a zombie apocalypse, and we all have to defend ourselves by shooting them with rubber bands?

TM: Jest if you will, but you never know.

FM: Let’s just make a sandwich, ok?

TM: Fine (grabs two ends from the empty whole grain loaf).

FM: Ends?!!! Ends?!!!

TM: I’ll flip them around, you’ll never know the difference!

FM: That’s the last straw.

TM: You need a straw? (Opens cabinet) I save these from fast food orders, I’ve got plenty.

FM: I’m outta here.

— Mary Oves

Mary Oves lives at the Jersey shore with her three sons: twins John and Dustin, 22, and Tommy, 18. Oves is a widow of four years and a professor of English at the local college. She is also one of the three grand prize winners of the 2022 A Hotel Room of One's Own: The Erma Bombeck | Anna Lefler Humorist-in-Residence Program. She devotes all of her spare time to travel and working on her blog,

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