To Bag or Not to Bag?

When we went to Disney World nine years ago, I wore a fanny pack into the park. Excuse me….a belly bag. It was convenient at the time. It held our tickets, my camera, a change purse full of money and a bottle of sun screen. Over the past nine years it has proven to be SO convenient that I never went back to using anything else. Oh sure, I carry a back pack that generally holds everything I need for school…lesson plans, papers to be corrected, hand lotion, camera, lunch, water bottle, paper plates, craft supplies…and generally my belly bag. Carrying everything in a back pack saved me from the infamous purse snatcher who unknowingly trip trapped through several halls in my old school taking money and check books and credit cards from every purse he/she could find….twice. Who would think of looking in a backpack when they were actively searching for…purses?

But I came home from New York City carrying a purse. A $19 purse I picked up at Meijer on my way to the airport. It was a practical decision actually. You are only allowed a carry on bag and a purse for the plane. The purse holds more. More room for a cell phone. M&Ms. Tissues. An apple. People Magazine. I seriously expected to ditch the purse again when I got home. Seriously. It bothers me to have the straps keep falling off my shoulder. But I never – ever – anticipated the excitement I would create by having this faux leather black bag.

“Hey, Mom…..I LIKE the purse!” she said. “Mom has a purse?” he said. “Hey, Hon…are your keys in your purse?” “I hear your phone ringing in your purse.” “Did you put the mail in your purse?” “Do you have any gum in your purse?” Yes…I do. Along with a cell phone, a wallet, a leopard print change purse, a hairbrush, antibacterial lotion, new school pictures, my Playbill, my key ring, school id badge, flash drives, my camera, cough drops, TicTacs, band aids, sticky notes, ink pens, two Sharpies, pony tail holders and an empty 16 oz. cranberry juice cocktail bottle. It holds a LOT more than the belly bag. And that is not always a good thing.

I had my belly bag contents down to a science. The wallet (a gift from a student several years ago…bless him) took the most room. Pens and pencils nestled in the bottom with several cough drops. The cell phone fit on one end and the digital camera on the other. The leopard print change purse could be tucked in front of the wallet. Tissues and several band aids were stuffed into the front pocket. Concise. Organized. Perfect. And cause for much less ‘excitement.’ But I decided to maintain the purse for a while to see if I could make it work with my current lifestyle. All told, it’s actually been kind of aggravating thus far.

Can’t tell you how many calls I have missed on my cell phone digging through the dang purse to find it. Pens never seem to be in the pocket you thought you left them in. One cough drop has already wormed it’s way out of it’s wrapper and adhered itself to a band aid. My camera has some mysterious scratches on the lens. Fortunately most of them rubbed off. I’ve lost a cover to one of my flash drves. TicTacs have spilled and roll around the bottom pretending to be solidified lint. And pennies are everywhere already. Everywhere.

So, I am left with a dilemma. To bag or not to bag? What is the big deal? Is there something more ‘normal’ about carrying a purse? More…adult? Something that makes me like all the other moms and wives out there? Eh…I can deal with falling straps if it makes my family happy. And the first time someone tries dipping in for money…or check books or credit cards…I can whack ’em with the purse. Right?

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One Comment on “To Bag or Not to Bag?”

  1. Miranda Says:

    Because I am a student I don’t usually carry a purse. But when I’m not at school, I carry a small “messenger bag.” It’s something I can sling over the neck/shoulder and not worry about the straps falling, because it is one big strap.


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