My head was briefly turned the other day by a beautiful leather messenger bag. It was a dull green, made of soft, supple leather. It had an across-the-chest strap, which I like because it's easy to walk fast and free when you don't worry about a purse sliding off your shoulder. And it had appealing and mysterious little zippers and compartments and pockets--for sunglasses, and a camera, and, oh, I don't know, all kinds of things.
It was made by HoBo International, and it was $250, marked down several times to $99.
I do not need a new bag, but still I slid the strap over my head, adjusted it across my chest, looked at myself in the mirror.
The thing was huge! It was enormous! It must have been more than a foot wide by two feet long. Maybe three. It hung down by my knees. This is ridiculous. I can't buy this, butter-soft leather and bargain price or not. What in the world would I put in it?
I hung it back up with a twinge of regret. That leather was very soft. And for some reason, I'm attracted to bags, even though I don't normally carry very much stuff around. In my purse, I have credit cards, my ID badge, some Chapstick, and a ballpoint pen. Sometimes, I have a little money. When I'm traveling, I need something slightly bigger--I need room for sunglasses and my little camera. That's about it.
All of those things would fit easily in the bottom of the HoBo bag, rattling around in the dark, with plenty of room to spare for--for what? A laptop? A raincoat? Several hardcover books? A smallish dog? What do people carry in these things?
The whole way back to work, I noticed women and their purses. Women, for the most part, carry gigantic purses. Some women carry two. Whatever for?
I passed two men carrying computer bags, but that was it; just two. Men, for the most part, carry nothing at all. They get to walk free, untrammeled, arms swinging. Women, meanwhile, are weighed down, lugging bags that pull their shoulder down, or that dangle from their hand, or that hang from the crook of their elbow, like the Queen.
What is in these bags? What is it that we carry around so possessively and insistently? What is is that we think we can't do without? What's in your bag? (And please tell me it's not this:)
7 hours ago