Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Excessive Baggage

I noticed upon moving to this fair, fair city last July that most of the women on the streets carry multiple bags around with them: A standard purse, a tote bag (usually Longchamp or Herve Chapelier) and in addition to those bags, some even sport carrier bag from some shop (Citarella or Ann Taylor if you’re common folk, Tiffany or Hermes if you’re posh).

What the hell are they carrying in there? I used to wonder, watching them swish along as I hurried down Third Avenue toward my office. Whatever it is, I’m never going to carry that many bags around with me.

I was so innocent then!

Though I've managed to avoid the Longchamp/Chapelier clique, today I realized that I too, have joined the bag-carrying masses. It wasn't a conscious decision on my part. It happened gradually. An extra bag here for a lunch or change of clothes--an extra bag there for a manuscript or a change of shoes.

No big deal, right?

But this morning, as I jostled my no-name bags for position on a corner of Third Avenue amongst the Longchamps and Chapeliers, I realized that I was carrying no fewer than FOUR BAGS with me.

I had my everyday handbag, which contains the usual suspects—wallet, metrocard, cell phone, lip gloss, emergency tampon, etc. I had my $2 ratty-ass black tote, which contained my work ID card, a partial manuscript, a legal pad, some spare change, and my umbrella. I had a carrier bag from Anthropologie, in which I had shoved my work shoes, which were wrapped in a plastic grocery store bag (this is a shield of sorts, preventing my shoe stench from wafting out all around me, as I have very stinky feet). And finally, nestled on top of my shoe bag was another plastic bag in which I’d wrapped my lunch.

There were bags hanging from my shoulders, my forearms, and my wrists.

I’m a bag lady! Sure, I’m prepared for just about any situation, rain or shine, but every step I take is puncutated by the sound of rustling plastic, paper, and canvas.

I must downsize. I must formulate a plan. I must stop the madness.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same here! I have my purse, my lunch bag and my computer case. It's awful!

12:18 PM  
Blogger Lisa Ann said...

The reality is that if you drove to work you wouldn't need a million jillion bags because you would just throw everything in the car. So your bags are esentially your back seat. That you have to carry around. Think of it as a badge of honor. You're officially a NY'er now.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Paperback Writer said...

Oh, my. I never thought of it that way. I'm very good about having one bag and one bag only. Course, sometimes the size of the bag fluctuates...

1:49 PM  
Blogger Me said...

Bags bags bags...I love me my bags! Except when they get so cumbersome n plentiful that my carefully laid out wardrobe gets hidden. But honestly, I don't know how you New York women look so chic carrying all those bags. Here in smalltownamerica, we get cars to put in the extra bags.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've got to get a canvas bag from the Strand... they're the best and you can fit shoes and lunch in them!

7:32 PM  
Anonymous drea said...

you know you're okay until you've moved on to the back pack on wheels, then you're in trouble.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Special K said...

Just get one bigassed bag. I did.

It works!

10:21 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

I seem to remember the girl I used to carpool with having multiple bags on her arms on any given day. I remember because I myself had multiple bags on each arm most days, and because I always thought the two of us must look quite the pair, sidling up to work loaded down like we were moving in. Good times, good times.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous DiWriter said...

I was just contemplating this the other day. I've recently started carrying a slightly less fabulous, but bigger bag to work. (It's a Tribeca tote from Le Sportsac)

Holds all the necessesities, lunch, books, papers and the occasional pair of shoes.

But I'm still of the "leave the shoes at work" school of thought.

11:14 AM  
Blogger BridalBeer said...

I think the higher bag:woman ratio in NY is because in NY a large portion of the day is spent just walking. So it's all the stuff that would have been stuffed into a car, which have to be carried around. As an extreme example,think of how luggage-heavy the hobos are.

5:40 AM  
Blogger BridalBeer said...

I now realize this is exactly what Lisa Ann said. I thought I was writing some fresh analysis:-(

5:41 AM  
Anonymous Andrea Norville said...

I got out of my car this morning and said out loud "oh my god i'm a bag lady"

by the way..i'm addicted to your blog. :)

12:02 PM  

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