Tote this!

I am not a bag lady.

Wait, that didn’t come out right. Let me rephrase:

I’m not a fan of the Bag.

Otherwise known as a Purse, Clutch, Tote, Handbag, Shoulder Bag, among many other names and forms, the Bag is a sack that carries miscellaneous items that supposedly cannot be left at home, and do not fit in the standard garment pocket. It is typically a female accessory and is often considered absolutely essential to the female wardrobe. A whole designer industry revolves around the bag, and a whole subculture of bag connoisseurs dedicate their souls to the “perfect bag“.

(Before going on with the point of this post, let me first say, WTF? The perfect bag? $5000 dollar designer bags the size of a cigarette pack? What’s so bloody important that it HAS to go with you wherever you go? And as for the tiny bags, are those for real, or just accessories, carrying nothing but lint? Again, WTF?)

Now, don’t get me wrong; I do own a few bags, one of which you can see here. I also have an “artist tote” from Derwent, which I never use. I have a blue canvas celtic-knotwork printed bag, which I love, but never use. I have a small black silk clutch-like thing, which I also never use, and I have this bag that my knitterly awesome big sis knitted for me, which totally rocks, and which I use for the other half of the year when I get sick of the brown bag.

And of course, there’s the camera bag, the grocery bags, pen and marker tote, and the damn makeup bag, which, not incidentally, I also never use.

That’s my problem with bags. I never use them. They end up cluttering my closet and my car, carrying within their voluminous depths more clutter. Paper, receipts, pens, lip balm, sketchbooks, batteries, and sometimes makeup. Never the important stuff: wallet–back pocket, or in the glove box; keys–hooked on my beltloop and tucked into my jeans, or stashed in my coat pocket; and cellphone–clipped on my waistband. If ever I feel like I cannot leave the house without my sketchbook or writing pad in tow (and this is frequently), I will stuff them into my bag, and then leave on the car seat, never to be used. Whenever I go to Boston or New York, I purposefully leave my bag behind–because I know I will not use anything within it. So why would I carry an extra 5 or 10 pounds of dead weight all over a concrete city? I just end up with a sore shoulder for my troubles.

And the idea of carrying a “cute” bag just as an accessory to “complete” my outfit and “complement” my “adorable” shoes…I’m sorry, but that’s just ridiculous.

My arms and my hands can be better used for more important things such as holding my boyfriend’s hand as we walk. Pointing out nifty sights. Swinging at my sides and keeping me balanced when I walk–as nature intended.

That reminds me: god, how I hate stilettos.


17 thoughts on “Tote this!

  1. I’m with ou one this. I won one purse that is just big enough to carry cash and credit cards. But even that soemtimes feels like a burden, and I stick my driver’s license and a credit card in my back pocket and clip my keys to my belt loop. I don’t get the whole purse thing. Or the whole high heel pointy toed shoe thing.

  2. I have to have a bag that I can stash my knitting in, since I always have it with me. Otherwise, meh. Everything else I need (wallet, keys, phone) is preferably stuffed into my pockets. Those things are hard to find at the bottom of a purse anyway.

  3. I have the same problem with boxes. I love them, but I never use them. I can’t buy boxes, even if I need them because then I’ll buy too many.

    I never use my sketchbook.

  4. I have never really felt grown up enough for bags, although I do own a few of the shoulder type so I won’t have to carry my wallet in my hands. And I cannot and will not do tall shoes even though I could use the extra height.

    Those knitted items are beautiful!

  5. I have a weakness, a true weakness for an adorable bag. Mind you, $5000 is just too much. But, unusual, interesting patterns and colors always stop me in my tracks. I don’t usually carry designer bags though. Once they hit the stores I can afford, they are out of season. I go for local made boutique bags and super cheap Chinatown knock offs.

    Sorry, I probably just bored you to tears.

  6. i’m with you on the stilletos. TOTALLY with you.

    but i do love bags. i just can’t resist a really adorable purse 🙂

  7. I’m kind of with you on the bag thing – I rarely find handbags I actually like and think most are horribly overpriced. But I live and die for stilettos…


  8. I love finding really cute, cheap purses and am always on the hunt for the perfect bag (which in my mind can cost no more than $40 or it isn’t truly the pefect one). I like them to be cute and a little crazy and it seems I like them fairly large too. I hate having anything in my hands and am afraid of forgetting things so a purse I can stuff just about anything is perfect for me. And I love shoes too. Not necessarily stilettos, but I do like heels.

  9. I carry my backpack most of the time, a must when going to school. But I have a weakness for anything in chinese silk. And they’ve got to be small because I will fill it till it breaks my shoulder.

  10. I have a bag. I’m pretty much never without one. If only because I need to have a book with me at all times or I tend to get really anxious. Which is utterly ridiculous. Basically, my bag is used for a book or two, a journal, multiple pens and assorted other crap I rarely use. I really need to get over it.

  11. Rachel, I am totally digging this post. I am a bag whore….backpacks, briefcases and portfolios. I detest purses. I don’t know why. Too girly, maybe?

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