Behold, the Water Sherpa is coming!

February 19, 2008 at 10:53 am (My Daily Life) (, , , , )

It’s the little things in life that can turn an unbearable chore into something slightly more bearable. Behold, I introduce my salvation:

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I call myself the Water Sherpa because every weekend, I travel to Wal-mart and purchase 12 bottles of Key Lime flavored sparkling water for Tom. Sometimes he comes with me but his patience for lines is limited so mostly I go alone. If I’m lucky, he’ll drop me off at the door, but somehow, Sherpa-ing the water knowing he’s outside but not helping is worse.

Tom likes sparkling water and since it’s calorie free and technically water, I figure it’s good that he stays so hydrated. I could get these same sized bottles at Safeway, but the regular price is $0.75 on sale or $1.10 regular price. At Wal-mart, the everyday low price is $0.50. For a savings of over $6.00 per week, $25 per month, and $300.00 per year, I schlep my butt to Wal-mart.

I have to say, I hate Wal-mart. I’m sure it might be better on a weekday when it’s not so crowded, but on the weekend it’s terrible. It’s designed so terribly, you have to fight your way past the check-out counters to get to the food section and once you’re there, you can hardly maneuver because they’ve set up displays in the middle of the aisle. You need to get there early because the water is popular and likely to sell out, and God forbid you need to find an “Associate” to check the stock room.

I know this is an unfair stereotype and probably not true of every Wal-mart, but nearly every check-out person I’ve encountered seemed to have been exposed to heavy alcohol consumption, drug absorption, or both in the womb. Why do they have facial construction reminiscent of a Cro-Magnum creature? Why do they seem to be missing so many teeth? Why do I keep coming back to a store that only has 3 lanes open on a Saturday morning??????

Oh, right, $300 a year in savings on water. WATER. Behold, I am the Water Sherpa Woman!

When I was at Trader Joe’s this weekend (the polar opposite of a Wal-mart and the place I go to cleanse my soul), I noticed these cute reusable sacks designed to hold bottles of wine. I instantly thought about their practicality in terms of schlepping a dozen water bottles out of Wal-mart. After testing it with the widest bottle of wine I could find, I purchased two of these little beauties, all for the ridiculously low price of $1.98. I figured if they worked, it would be the best $2.00 I might spend in all of 2008. I might be so inclined to go back and purchase more for the eventual day in which the originals breakdown, if they live up to their promise. I wonder what the TJ’s checker thought when I purchased two bags, with a combined 12 wine bottle capacity, and no wine. 🙂

I brought them home and was so excited I almost made an immediate trip to Wal-mart. Then I took a deep breath and sat down until the feeling passed. Yesterday was my inaugural trip, and Tom came with me. Not because he was willing to share in the Sherpa duties but because we needed to vacate the house for a showing and it was someplace to go. Voila! The bags neatly and snugly held the water as promised, the handles were neither too long nor too short, and the bags stood upright in the back of the truck for the ride home. Gone are the days of putting three bottles in a double-plastic bag only to have them roll out all over the trunk, clanking around at every stoplight and requiring me to do a full-body layout to reach the farthest one from the trunk crevasse. No longer do I need to burden my body with four or more plastic bags full of bottles smacking me about the calves as I waddle to the car and hoist them into the trunk. I was neat, efficient and oh-so pleased.

I must say, I’ve been thinking more and more about purchasing some of the reusuable grocery sacks. Not because I feel the need to take Al Gore out to an environmentally friendly restaurant for a meal, but because each week I bring home so many of those plastic bags and then throw them in the trash and waste precious garbage can space – space that can better be used to empty some of the Tupperware Science Experiments currently living in my fridge. At less than a dollar each, if I purchase just one or two bags each time I visit the store, in just a short amount of time I’ll have what I need and then I can feel morally superior whenever I check out next to the young crack ‘ho with a baby on each hip and not enough food stamps to cover both the formula and the Venti Caramel Macchiato Frappuccino. Now I just need to find the grocery store with the prettiest bag. I don’t like the ones at Albertsons, they look cheap and don’t say “I’m a morally superior shopper”. Safeway has nice black ones with red lettering, but the ones from QFC are green and gold, quite a lovely color combination. I’ve ruled out the bags from TJ’s because even though they are a better value being the same price but bigger, I fear the larger size will be cumbersome and too heavy. Maybe I should get one or two of those for trips to Sam’s Club?

It’s all about the simple things in life, and just as having the right construction tool make a project easier, my little purchase has giving me new purpose on my weekend errand runs. I will Sherpa water with a lightness to my step and joy in my heart. And use my new ten-pound bags to knock smart-mouthed, ill-behaved children out of my way.

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