sea turtle dragging plastic

One Step Forward Two Steps Back – Our New Normal

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

One Step Forward Two Steps Back – Our New Normal


I write on various sites and some of the material is marketing products that help you lower your carbon footprint. Sometimes that feels like one step forward two steps back, in this prolonged pandemic.


There are many ways this can be done.


I have promoted products like bar shampoo/conditioners. For men and women. Oh and the luscious scents! And cheap, organic, boxed in cardboard – and no plastic bottles!


Glass or metal water bottles, most recently some with a UV C light on the lid, to sanitize your water.


A counter top or under the counter water filter – stop buying your water in bottles of any kind!


Hoping that one day the gigantic float in the ocean will be gone.


Yet recently I have bought a total of five hundred disposable plastic gloves, a couple of boxes of fold-over sandwich bags (in case I run out of gloves), and plastic wrap to shroud my keyboard and mouse with when I process mail.


See what I mean – one step forward two steps back?


I haven’t bought plastic wrap for years! I converted to glass food tubs, some with plastic tops. No more baggies for storing food away, then binning them.


No plastic shopping bags, as of years ago. 


So What’s Up Now?




You can’t bring your own shopping bags into the stores. Even though you keep them in the top of the shopping cart, which you have sprayed all over with your own sanitizer (the stores only spray the cart handle for you). Nope.


And I can see why as I shop and note the silent revolutionaries who won’t wear a mask, or gloves, and almost brush past you, an inch from touching.  I bet there is a shot gun racked in the back of their pick up cab. 


Sedona is transported involuntarily and suddenly to a pristine world. What’s not to like!


A world where the smell of fabric softener on the beach towel she is wrapped in initiates a hostile relationship. Twitter bullying she is used to. But this female antagonist is capable of taking her out – and she tries! 


Using and throwing away plastic products every day during this quarantine, makes me think of the scene in Sedona (working title) where she throws an expensive new party dress into a tree shredder in a fit of self pity. 


The snippet:

“Your best friend and your boyfriend are going to stay on a kibbutz for the entire summer and you are remaining here?” I never gave it another thought once I got what she (Mom) was hinting at. I mean, he always made it very clear that I was the love of his life – his soul mate! And besides, like I said, Trish’s family is sooooo Jewish and she’d stated her whole life she could never be romantically interested in a boy who wasn’t.

Well it seems Camden took care of that little Jewish detail. Not only did he convert to Judaism on the kibbutz over the summer, not only did they get engaged, but he got circumcised in Tel Aviv to seal the deal and didn’t know he was getting a serious infection when they boarded the plane to head home! Engaged! What the hell!

I sit stonily as Trish cries her heart out. Then Tag starts bawling. What else already! I feel like my pores are bleeding tears but my eyes are dry. Shouldn’t I be the one in wailing, sobbing distress? It is the love of my life near death!

Tag melting down! Really?                                                              

Trish doesn’t even notice – she is so lost in her own drama. Calm, sweet, loyal, methodical Trish… Who knew that she was really a scheming, selfish, self-centered bitch all along, just biding her time, waiting for her opportunity to trash my life! New name: Trash! 

“And if he dies it’s all your fault!” I want to scream at her, but my throat is as frozen as my tear ducts.   

He gags, then vomits into a nearby trashcan, shuddering and heaving. Am I going to puke next? Hello Sedona! No one cares! He wants HER!

They both want her!

I don’t exist!

Defiant, I head for Cam anyway, but Tag again pulls me back, face now red and puffy. “Don’t, Doni. Let’s go home.” 

Just as well I am in too much shock to like screw up and crash on the PCH. I drive on automatic brain function.

When I pull into our driveway, a tree-trimming team is chipping branches. I toss the fancy bag with the designer dress into the screaming mulching machine. Sequins and pearls bounce, flashing in the sunlight. Tree guys drop jaws.”


Sedona is aware there is lots of waste in her privileged life. It rankles her, this social survivor’s guilt.


I and my friends are not privileged people like Sedona is, living on the beach in Malibu CA.


We’re not justice warriors or tree huggers gazing out the tall windows of mansions or villas.


We’re Ordinary People who have stopped using plastic bags, disposable plastic tubs, who have switched to highly concentrated detergents, or – bar shampoos/conditioners in cardboard boxes.


I haven’t had so much plastic in my trash for a long time. 


I guess the focus should be to stay alive and well so we can catch up later.


I hope you all do, too.



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