Today I donated 50+ DVDs to a bookstore. Getting the items to their destination required carrying them by hand. I had just the thing to fit all of them; a huge blue reusable bag. It looks similar to those tote bags used for retail shopping at grocery and convenience stores, except I got mine as a free gift from an organization I used to volunteer for that specialized in recycling.
I quickly realized after heading out onto the street that the bag drew a few curious looks from people who passed me. Was it the size of the bag? The contents stacked inside, with some of the illustrations on the DVDs in view? One of them was the 1963 film Cleopatra, a film I have never seen. At least half of the DVDs were in another language besides English.
None that I donated had explicit content on them, though I still remember when I was first selecting which ones to put in the bag and I picked up one that was NC-17, only I didn’t notice until I got a good look at the DVD cover. Yikes. Because of the awkwardness of that, I will say the DVDs weren’t mine and I just wanted to find an alternate method of disposing of them instead of letting them go straight to a landfill. I’m way too embarrassed to donate the NC-17 one, even though it’s in new condition so it’ll probably go to a facility that recycles DVDs and CDs.
The bag was around close to 10 pounds, I think. I’m not much of a heavy lifter but I thought I could manage since the walk to get on the subway was not very far. Or so I hoped. At times the bottom of the bag scrapped the pavement ever so slightly from how low I was holding up the strap, due to the weight being a strain on my hand. I hated going up steps because I needed to use both hands to hold the bag. It took a lot out of me. I tried not to care too much if people happened to look at me or took notice of what I was doing. Anxious? No. Uncomfortable? Yes. I got through it by reminding myself that all those people who saw me for such a brief instance would forget my face in the minutes after I was gone. Though I really don’t like how being on the receiving end of a stranger’s stare can seriously feel like it lasts for infinity.
What item(s) did you have with you that drew other people’s attention in public? What was your interpretation of their reactions?
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