It seems as though there are several handbag-carrying types. We have a friend here at English Retreads who carries everything she needs in her wallet, but carries a bag because… well, we really don’t know why, but she does and ends up filling it with anything that comes to hand on her kitchen counter to fill it up, so that it doesn’t look empty. She has a very cool stash of unexpected things that would guarantee her a place on the old Price is Right.
I am a pedestrian, and I end up carrying all kinds of things around town with me, just in case, even though I would prefer to travel light and carry a cute bag. So although I wish I were the small bag type, I’m not. I need something the size of a small duffle that I can sling over my shoulder because of course I need both hands free to dig into the murky depths to find whatever I need (usually my wallet) that has managed to vanish into the chaos within.
Some of you know what I mean. The following is a not-so-short summary of what travels with me on any given day.
There are the necessities: wallet, sunglasses, phone, keys, business cards, a little cosmetics case and an iPod. Then there are the almost-necessities that I guess I could live without, but would end up missing or mooching off someone else if they weren’t at hand: mints or gum, tissues, lip gloss, hand lotion, a pen and a little notebook to write down all of those details that I can’t keep in my head (directions, the name of a recommended restaurant, phone numbers, store hours and grocery lists).
Then there are the items that I am willing to carry because they act as a sort of security blanket—the just in case kinds of things that I might need. An extra layer, a sweater or a scarf, to ensure that I don’t end up shivering like a Chihuahua or cutting short any fun I might find because of the crazy temperature swings that can happen here in the mountains. A library book, in case I find myself waiting for a friend, a bus or at a coffee shop with some time to sit and read. A smallish knitting project for the same reasons; I am kind of crafty and I’ve found that I can better tolerate endless lines (at the post office or the DMV) with a project in my hands. A digital camera, to capture the details of my life to share with my peeps living at sea level on the East Coast. And last but certainly not least, a water bottle and a snack, just because.
It’s a lot. I can fill a Large Model T Tote so fast, you’d never know that I want to be a small bag type. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been carrying around one of our new Bentley Luxe prototypes, and even though a laptop is not among the list above, I find that with all the pockets and compartments (12!), I can not only fit everything, but I can find it! While I have not done any formal timed studies, I feel like I’m not holding up lines at the checkout searching, searching, searching for my wallet while making lame small talk and ineffective apologies. I can grab my sunglasses without putting my bag down on the nearest flat surface to swirl all of the contents around with both hands, squinting in the glare.
I wish I were the small cute handbag girl. I’m not. And that’s not going to change. But with the right bag, (for me, it’s really the right number of pockets) things can change for the better.