And Finding The Right Bag
“This box is huge!” I thought when I saw it sitting at our front door. This was in the days before Amazon, before it was normal to have a large box delivered to the door.
Inside was my very first real briefcase, for my very first real job. Not my first job . . . I’d been working since I was thirteen. My first job was selling newspaper subscriptions door to door. Can you even imagine? We would never allow our kids to do that today. My next jobs were at various restaurants and retail stores. Minimum wage, thankless jobs, that may have taught me the value of earning money and what it meant to serve the public—both good lessons—but not what I considered to be real jobs.
This briefcase was for my first office job. Every day I would wear panty hose—it was required—with a starched shirt, a cute skirt, and matching pumps . . . and I would carry my beautiful new briefcase. The briefcase was maroon leather with brass fittings on the handles and a shoulder strap. They say that clothes make the man, but a briefcase made this woman. It made me feel very professional—I belonged in that office!
The selection of just the right bag or case is important. My next important bag was the diaper bag I selected was when my first child was born. This bag was an incredible example of functional design. There was a pocket for anything you might need when leaving the house with your baby, and many things you would never need, but packed just in case. The diaper bag was also a status symbol. When you found yourself among other moms and babies, having the right diaper bag was important so you could show what a good mom you were.
Looking back, perhaps a first important bag that was also a status symbol was the backpack. When the kids started school, I selected their backpacks. Picking them out was quick and easy; I got whatever cartoon or character I thought was cute. When they reached middle school, my kids fired me from this job. From the sixth grade on, their backpacks were a reflection of their style, hobbies, and interests. This was certainly not a selection that could be made by Mom.
All of this bag choosing and carrying can be exhausting! We don’t need to carry a briefcase anymore. All our files are in the cloud. We can work from anywhere at any time . . . Aren’t we lucky? However, there’s still one bag that most of us carry everyday—and that’s the purse.
Having just the right purse can mean months of searching and spending hundreds of dollars. A friend once told me that your purse should never be bigger than your head. I find this advice difficult to follow. I still carry a paper calendar as a back up to the digital calendar on my phone. I like to have Tylenol, hand sanitizer, and a nail file with me at all times, . . . you never know. I guess I’ve never lost the diaper bag mentality—carrying many items just in case. Not much can fit into a small purse. Besides, when it’s that small it is so easy to forget it and leave it sitting at the checkout counter or in the shopping cart. No, a small purse isn’t for me.
With great effort, I’m attempting to perfect carrying only my car keys, credit card, and lipstick when leaving the house. I have friends that are able to do it! I find it nearly impossible! That’s because women’s clothing lacks the one essential quality to make this possible . . . POCKETS!