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I’ll Never Leave Your Pizza Burning

March 10, 2010

My current beast of burden bag

Ahhh, the beast of burden bag. I have always loved me a big ass MEEMAW hand bag. Scratch that – I’ve always loved me a big ass purse of any style. My clutches approximate the dimensions of catalog envelopes and my everyday bags often cause strangers and loved ones to ask if I’m on my way to country for a weekend at cozy, under-siege-by-Laura-Ashley Bed & Breakfast.

what I'm currently carting around in my bag

I’ll be the first to admit I take my bag inspiration from walkers of the evening streets. And when I use the adjective “hooker” it is with great reverence. Not because I have anything meaningful to contribute to the discourse centering around agency as it relates to sex work or seek to misappropriate an experience of those warriors of the fur chubby. I just think many elements of their style – namely their accessories – service the needs of my lifestyle. Oh yes, that was very much intended.

Now, I know our ladies of the eve are much more Y2K and business casual these days, so really my inspiration is more 70s in nature and was chiefly framed by endless viewings of TV cop shows. It’s doubtful fur chubbies have been raged with any conviction or irony free since – oh – about 1978. But the big ass MacGyver bag is timeless.

My first Bueno - circa 2002 - Big Blue

Seriously, you can’t keep me away from any bag that is shiny, pairs well with seasoned citizen cruisewear or is roomy enough for a family of five. And I’m not one of those people who has a big Olsen bag and holds up checkout lines trying to find stuff and in the process pulls out items ranging from a tube of KY to a spatula with gum wrappers and lint stuck to it. Oh no. I’m one of those bag-inside-a-bag people. I have no idea why I have to cart around all that stuff; I only know I wouldn’t know what to do with a modest sized handbag. Thankfully, since we’re all going green, I can always pretend I’m carrying around a suitcase so I won’t kill more planet by carting off my bargains in a store bag. I’ll save my obsession with reusable TJMaxx/HomeGoods $.99 shopping bags for another day.

Buenolicious collection.

When I walk into TJMaxx – or any store selling bags – I head straight for the luggage/computer tote section. If there’s anything worth spending my five cents on – cause you know I’m allergic to full priced items – it’ll be in that section. TJ/Marshall’s/AJ Wright never let me down. They always have something fun and usually ridiculous and almost always made by a company called Bueno. I tell you what, Bueno might not know how to do websites, but they certainly have mastered the art of liberating cash from my wallet in fifteen dollar increments.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2010 9:33 am

    Hilarious. Al makes fun of my gigantic purses all the time. HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND.

  2. March 10, 2010 10:01 am

    I didn’t used to understand, but at some point the stuff I carry around outgrew my pockets and began to spill over into my murse messenger bag. I’m frankly envious of the choices in style and price point available for women’s bags.

  3. March 10, 2010 10:46 am

    I tried to wean myself off of bags once — my bear was about to move in with me, and I was madly cleaning up, pretending that I washed dishes and vacuumed like a real person, and didn’t own two or three full closets of Too Much Shit, or a room that was actually a carpet full of bags.

    It was a poor decision. The bear picked me up from my bus stop one day, gave me a once-over, and asked me what I did to keep from getting bored on the bus ride to work. I told him I always had a book or two with me. It was a trap question; he gave my fluffy coat a stink-eye, and asked how many books I had on me right now. I had to get into the backseat before I had maneuvering room to pull them all out. Turns out, I had twelve, stuffed into pockets and things that I am pretty sure were not designed to be pockets, which would account for why I looked like a box creature.

    “What if one of them bores me?” I tried to explain. “And then what if I didn’t want to read the next one? And what if the other one doesn’t fit my mood? Then I would just be sitting on the bus with NOTHING TO READ.” He made a grumpy face, drove me to REI, and bought me a big fat messenger bag that holds about 20 books. In exchange, I let him hide his D&D books in there when he doesn’t want company to know that he’s a geek.

    Bags: educational, relationship-strengthening, nerd-facilitating. Bags.

  4. hsofia permalink
    March 10, 2010 12:28 pm

    I love this post. Since having my baby, I have been mostly purse-less because I’ve got to carry this kid and all of her stuff around (sigh). But now that she’s walking and pooping only twice a day, she doesn’t need umpteen bottles of milk and diapers and wipes and rattly toys and a change of clothes and washcloths ALL the time. I can leave those things in the car. Which means I can carry some kind of cool bag with me! So I am on the lookout for this spring/summer. This post has given me some ideas.

  5. March 10, 2010 12:33 pm

    Wow hsofia, I think it was a diaper bag (which had to be a tasteful solid navy blue, rather than something with babies and balloons and storks floating all over if I was going to carry it) that first broke me into using a murse messenger bag. I missed being able to tote around extra stuff like a camera and a few snacks for later.

  6. March 10, 2010 2:24 pm

    I love that, in the picture of the items from yo bag (that’s how we say it down here in Texas), they are arranged in near-perfect orthographic alignment.

  7. March 10, 2010 2:40 pm

    You say, “I have no idea why I have to cart around all that stuff; I only know I wouldn’t know what to do with a modest sized handbag.”
    My big bag and it’s contents are my security blanket. I have to cart around all that stuff just in case. Just in case I need a kleenex, or lip chap, or sun screen, or hand lotion/sanitizer, or to jot down a note, or have something to read, or put my hair back, or, or, or….
    I say, “Be prepared. Have a giant bag.” And have one in every color to go with all your outfits. That goes with out saying. Your collection looks pretty awesome.
    Also, Snarky, as a organization buff, I’m not surprised that your handbag is organized within an inch of it’s life. I like the Purseket, and also use those mesh zipper bags to keep things tidy.
    Purses and bags are the perfect satisfying intersection of fashion and a certain type of small, private-space organizing and curating. Yummy!

  8. March 10, 2010 3:07 pm

    @Kate – Same with my babbycakes. When we go to TJMaxx he tries to pick out bags he thinks I would like. He can’t figure out the magic formula or what’s in the secret sauce! I used to feel so self conscious carrying a suitcase, but thankfully those Olsen girls made it trendy. Now people don’t think I’m a thief, but an Olsen wannabe with my big bag and oversized Erma Bombeck sunglasses. I’m not sure if this is a better assumption.

    @Redlami – Yeah, I wish everyone had the freedom to carry purses. They are totally fun. And i’m not talking those gentlemen’s handbag thingies that are useful as a chicken in rollerskates.

    @Harriet J – You are such a goddess. I hide archie comics for my mom (who has to have them ALL THE TIME) when we’re together because she always carries such a tiny purse. She’s big purse demographic now, yet doesn’t wear the cruisewear, tell kids to get the fuck off her lawn or wear her specs on a chain. She’s missing out. And I haven’t forgotten you and I am digging myself out a serious feast of freelancing. I owe you many things and I am generally NOT a terrible fairygodsnarky.

    @hsofia – oooh you could do a big bag like mine and do the bag-inside-the-bag thing to keep your things and kid things accessible yet separate.

    @MinervaK – I am so weird about my stacking/arranging habits. I do that with everything. Also I’m a terrible photographer so I try to cram as many things as possible to spare others multiple bad snaps.

  9. March 10, 2010 5:13 pm

    Aw, no, you don’t owe me a dang thing, and I’m too busy to even breathe, much less get persnickety about the extra work you haven’t sent me yet.

    Pre-press announcement: 1) I’m switching over to a real domain name, with different websitin’ abilitiez, of which I know nothing; 2) I’m putting together the structure for a collaborative book; 3) I’m going to start allowing guest posts only from people who do not have blogs already, as a way to get practice for the collaborative book and draw out some unheard voices. #3 requires A LOT of coaching, education, long conversations, editing, hand-holding, and a little bit of foot-stomping boundary-setting. #1 requires a lot of cursing and whining at my bear, and, god, I haven’t even gotten started on #2 yet. So I am busy up to my gills from now till the forseeable future, and have nothing but good vibes for you and the state of your gills.

  10. hsofia permalink
    March 11, 2010 1:06 am

    @Aleesahn – Ohemgee.I need a purseket. This also makes the switching bags thing much easier! NEEEEEEED.

  11. March 11, 2010 10:09 pm

    @hsofia- I’m a sucker for organizational products, purses, and stationary. While cooing over some delicious Japanese office folders a few years ago one of my friends and I decided that the unifying theme of our obsessions is- POCKETS. Finding the perfect little holder/pouch/pocket for a given item is like crack. This applies to drawer dividers, fashion bags, and envelopes. Maybe we were stretching, but it makes sense to me. Anyway- I feel you about the Purseket. Essentially, finding that was finding the holly grail of pocket worship.
    Sigh.
    I love mine.
    It’s red. 🙂

  12. March 11, 2010 10:22 pm

    I say, “Be prepared. Have a giant bag.” And have one in every color to go with all your outfits. That goes with out saying. Your collection looks pretty awesome.
    Also, Snarky, as a organization buff, I’m not surprised that your handbag is organized within an inch of it’s life. I like the Purseket, and also use those mesh zipper bags to keep things tidy.
    Purses and bags are the perfect satisfying intersection of fashion and a certain type of small, private-space organizing and curating. Yummy!

    I loved this! It made my day.

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