I went to a movie last night. Unremarkable, if not for the fact that it’s the third movie in a week after about 9 months of abstinence as I am trying to catch up with Oscar season – I live in LA after all.

Hurrying from the movie theatre to my car, a man exits a supermarket clutching a paper bag, walks past me and, in a heavy Indian accent, ventures: “I bow to you. I can see how you stay so thin with those heels and that bag, no way you can put weight on”. Clearly not a pick-up line. Sliding into my car, I think the stranger might have a point. Not so much that dressing like a girl will keep you slim, although those heels do force you to tuck your tummy in if you want to keep your balance (at least I do, but I am not a professional 4 inch heel wearer). But my bag is indeed out of proportion with the rest of me.

My everyday companion is a leather messenger bag I bought many years ago and it has that worn look that makes some bags look as if they had an interesting life. It was purchased in a store in a mall that don’t exist anymore and I justify its size by reasoning that it’s my “work bag”. As if I carried any work in it. For knives and pastry tips, I have a proper knife bag and, with the advent of laptops, it’s not as if I have to move any paperwork to and fro (the lime green laptop bag is another kettle of fish).

When I got home, I emptied the contents of my trusted bag on the kitchen table. The main compartment spat out:

– wallet which, if opened, will reveal a world onto itself

– make up bag (mascara, eye pencil, two lip glosses, compact, eyeshadow, giant brush and hair bands)

–  deodorant stick

– hair brush

– tissues

– a loaf of gluten-free bread (before you start wondering, I had run out)

– half a bag of popcorn I sneaked into the theatre

– a dark chocolate and coconut bar, in case sweet cravings struck during the movie (I refuse to patronize concessions, one of my pet peeves)

– New York Times in its entirety

– toothbrush

The inner compartment further provided:

– a pencil

– two tampons

– a few Stevia packets

– some personal photos

The outside pocket also contained:

– car keys

– house keys

– a mangled note pad

– a pack of gum

– phone

– business cards, both mine and assorted people’s I met along the way.

While confronted with this pile of mostly junk, I realized why men oftentimes think we are crazy. They manage to go around with a few credit cards and a driver’s license in their back pocket while we are equipped to leave the country on the fly.

Food aside, I thought I could whittle down the contents to a more manageable load. Other than keys, money and phone, I don’t use most of those items – ever.

I wear little make up and don’t retouch it during the day – but what if an amazing invitation comes my way and I don’t have time to go home?

I hardly ever have coffee but then again, I might bump into somebody, order an espresso and really want my Stevia, which will be right there for the occasion.

I don’t remember using the deodorant in the past year (do they go bad?) but that kind of emergency needs to be factored in.

The NYT I didn’t get to read might relieve the boredom of waiting, for a friend or the light to change. Other people’s business cards could go – that was about it.

The bag size also allows for impromptu purchases, like the bread, that can easily be stashed away. So, there, my fellow shopper. I am wearing flat boots today – and if the bag helps me keep my weight in check, so much the better.

PS The movie was Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants”. Solid. As to George Clooney – amazing performance.



Filed under fashion, women's issues

2 responses to “THE MONSTER BAG

  1. ci

    I was a fan of big bags too, but then I realised how life could be lighter with a smaller one – and it’s a good reason to buy a new one!
    You could keep your leather bag for special occasions or weekends away from home. But trust me darling that man was 100% right on that bag proportions, especially compared to your body. Always wondered why you chose that size. As per all the reasoning on this topic you are too much of a sagoma my friend

  2. You know me…I like to live prepared

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