Imagine How Long-Winded I’d Be if Something Were To Actually Happen

Yesterday my bag, my purse, I guess, if you want to call it that, but it was made of canvas and sort of a dingy grey, it was involved in an accident at work and I had to throw it away.

I am not so wasteful as all that. I do not have disposable clothing. I wash and wash and wash those cups for toddlers called “Take and toss.” They are not called “take and wash.” At any rate. The accident happened thusly:

8:30 am: I put my bag on the floor under my desk
8:45 am: I am kicking at things under my desk because there is no room for my feet. Things under my desk include: my computer, the giant box my new boots came in, three pairs of shoes, four spare toner cartridges, one box of binders from 2005, a garbage can and a paper box full of recycling.
8:50 am: I notice that my bag is black, as though it had been coal-mining.
8:51 am: I realize that one of the spare toner cartridges had a “used toner” receptacle balanced upon it, a receptacle full of used toner and whose lid was not secured. I determine that toxic toner dust is what is coating my bag and partial contents.
8:53 am: I remove all salvageable items from my bag and pile them on my desk which is about as crowded as the area beneath my desk. I throw bag away. I wash my hands.

This is the second purse-like object to die on me since I have gone back to work.

I will spare you details but I never used to carry a purse – I always used a satchel or backpack-type object to ferry around my junk. My satchel, in green canvas, was slung across my shoulders for years, as was its successor, Satchel 2: now with more polyester! But one day on maternity leave I went to Superstore and I found this bag (the recently deceased bag A) for $20 and I was drawn to it. It was cylindrical and had two patch pockets on the outside. It was a shoulder bag. I could put tons of stuff in it. I used it as my “out with the baby in the stroller but I don’t want to take the whole diaper backpack full of junk so I am going to take this bag, which is sort of like a purse but also holds two diapers and a zippered bag of wipes, spare socks and an apple” bag.

When I went back to work, I carried bag A and then one day I went to Superstore and they had more purses that appealed to me so I bought another; a heavy felted wool bag with a shoulder strap and handles. It held more junk. I called it my stewardess bag because it had that bowling ball bag shape to it (and that reminds me of stewardesses why? because of the ’70s?). I liked that bag a lot but then one day the zipper broke, in part because I had put way too much stuff in it. That was fine, I still carried it but then one day, when I got to work and reached in to take out my lip balm or something, everything was floating on an inch-high tide of cranberry juice because the lid had not been properly secured to the bottle.

I could not wash the bag, as it would likely have disintegrated, so I threw it out and went back to bag A, even though bag A by then was even grubbier and less pleasing to me being as I had carried bag B for a while and seen how the other half lives. Bag-wise.

Yesterday I carried my worldly possessions home in a sparkly-penguin-adorned Christmas gift bag that I found in my desk drawer at work. It’s amazing how much junk I piled into that old bag. I really ought to stop doing that.

Today I went to Value Village for a replacement bag because if I am going to wreck bags at this rate I do not want to pay even $20 for them. (Yes, all you Coach & Prada lovers can go read some other ‘blog now.)

Value Village, bless its little stinky heart, had a fine, fine selection of purse-like objects, many of them designer knock-offs. But the purse I chose has no label, save its “genuine leather / made in India” tag. It is well-worn but not torn or stained. Just broken in. It sits comfortably on my shoulder. Its zipper works. And it is metallic gold. I looked at it sideways (it was in the electronic goods section of the store) and asked, will this bag invite disaster? and the answer was a resounding no, this bag will inflict pain on those around it and none shall dare assault it. For $5.99, that’s a hell of a deal.

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