Monday, March 28, 2005

bag lady

At this risk of sounding very "Sex and the City," I've noticed there are accessory essentials for every smart New York city woman who works in an office. You need a good bag. And by bag, I mean Marc Jacobs or Balenciaga. Since I can't even afford Coach, I'm somewhat at a loss in this department. Nevertheless, I would need about eight chic bags to carry around all my stuff. Maybe that's a conservative estimate.

Try as I may, I always end up shlepping around a million things. My AP American history teacher in high school summed it up: "LeBlanc, you're a bag lady!" For the sake of my long-suffering shoulders, I've tried to pare down to the essentials. I no longer carry around knitting projects (arm warmers, sweaters, hats, scarves), or a thick Clairefontaine notebook which serves as my journal. But I still tend to carry the past 3 week's "New Yorkers" along with whatever random magazines I pick up at work and a book or two. I always carry my moleskine planner, cell phone, metrocard, etc.

However, as soon as you develop better habits, other necessities waltz into your life. Now it seems like I end up carrying around a change of clothing because work is either too cold or (like today) too stuffy and sometimes I crash in Morningside Heights with the beau. I rely upon canvas bags from Labyrinth Books and my devoted Herve Chapelier sacs which I bought in Paris many moons ago when I knew them as Parisian diaper bags rather than Ivy League lady sachels. All of these items are Woolite washable. That's a good thing because I often toss in my coffee travel tumbler which I foolishly believe is empty.

Don't fool yourself. Coffee cups are never empty. Sooner or later, everything I own is touched by caffeine.

I'd like to think that there will come a day when I'll have an office where I can hang up a blazer in a closet, shelves for the magazines and novels and a kitchen nook for bottomless mugs of tea and coffee. I'd like to not snort at the mention of a clutch purse. Til then, I carry my personal office on my back. Is there room to stash some Advil?

8 Comments:

Blogger R J Keefe said...

Ah, yute. How I remember carrying around desert-island essentials, never knowing for how long I'd be washed up on foreign shores. This was in Houston, where I didn't have a car and depended on the public transport, such as it was.

Now, of course, I never go out at all. But never!

Mon Mar 28, 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Ms. NOLA said...

I have always had a deep fear of boredom which is why I tend to carry around two books. If it's the end of the world and I'm stuck underground on a Q train, I better have a second book to read when I finish the first.

Mon Mar 28, 08:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I empathize fully.
In my bag:
2 books
1 capoeira songbook
1 folder full of random documents for the INS
1 folder full of random other papers
wallet
coinpurse
planner from 2004 that still has a list of books I plan to buy on the last page and for that reason I still haul it around
1 tiny notebook
1 slightly larger notebook
cell phone
chapstick

No advil.
ha!

Tue Mar 29, 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger R J Keefe said...

May I say that I hate - hate - coinpurses. The coins that accumulate in my pocket go into a little silver bowl at home, and I would never dream of looking through them to make exact change. Please give your coins to homeless people. Don't hold up checkout lines looking for pennies!

Aaargh!

Tue Mar 29, 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Ms. NOLA said...

OK. Today I have reduced to:
a binder full of free lance work
one notebook
hardback book
umbrella
discman
book of cds
small bag of easter chocolates
cell phone
wallet
planner
metrocard
assorted lip balms/glosses
hand lotion
keys
pens

Tue Mar 29, 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Ms. NOLA said...

OK. Today I have reduced to:
a binder full of free lance work
one notebook
hardback book
umbrella
discman
book of cds
small bag of easter chocolates
cell phone
wallet
planner
metrocard
assorted lip balms/glosses
hand lotion
keys
pens

Tue Mar 29, 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Nerb said...

My right shoulder sags. I have not only been psychologically scarred from being the geek with the big bag in high school, but have been physically deformed as a result of it. Doctors determined that my right shoulder slumps.

To be honest, bags drive me crazy. Nothing stays folded. Everything gets dusty and they never seem to have what I want which is usually something to write with. I can have a hundred magazines and books, but if I don't have a pen to make comments with I might as well be blind.

As a result, my bags are filled with pens and pencils which inevitable break and result in me pulling out ink-stained fingers. A fingerprint is not really the way I want to leave my mark.

Tue Mar 29, 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger R J Keefe said...

One word: Filofax. Mate for life.

Tue Mar 29, 09:43:00 PM  

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