Bag Lady

After weeks of painfully dragging around a reusable grocery bag for my workday goods, I decided last night that it was time to buy an actual bag. And here is the one I purchased:

I found it in the second store we visited. The first store didn’t have much selection, despite being a purse and luggage store. The best they carried was a black backpack and a giant purple purse, neither of which really thrilled me. The backpack made me look like a 16-year-old and the monster purple purse…was odd and not really me. So we went to The Bay and found the perfect one! It’s got all sorts of pockets and separators and comes with a cute little gorilla keychain. As you can see in the picture above.

Mobile storage has always been an issue for me-When I was in school, my mother used to pick up my backpack off the floor, grunt and exclaim:

“What the hell have you got in here? Rocks? This will kill your back!”

So, as I got older, I switched to a variety of purses, totes and those black cloth bags they used to sell everywhere. But everything seems to cause muscle strain. You might be thinking that I’m carrying too much, but honestly, I only carry the essentials*, so it’s bizarre how heavy these things get after only a few items.

Before buying this bag, I considered purchasing one of those trolley ones on wheels, since you don’t have to carry it on your back. But those things must be a nightmare in the winter and are probably awkward on a packed bus. (Plus, combined with my fanny pack will probably result in more ‘old lady’ teasing from my adorable, yet smartass husband. LOL)

So my question to you guys is: What do you carry to work each day? Does your bag(s) cause you back pain? If so, what have you done to fix the issue?

*The “essentials” for me are my lunch, sunscreen, makeup, snacks, a small sketch pad, pencil case and book. My commute is an hour long, I need snacks and art materials to keep me occupied.*

19 thoughts on “Bag Lady

  1. Fame Throwa

    I use something like a beach bag. It’s canvas and was a freebie at one of Mr. Chatty’s conferences.

    I needed something with one giant pocket to hold the MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF FOOD I cart with me each day. (I eat pretty much all of my daily food before 3pm each day.) There’s 1 small pocket on the outside, which I use for my security badge.

    Then I lug my purse and often my laptop backpack. Fortunately I drive to work so dragging 3 bags around is only a burden for a few minutes (although I still take the 3 flights of stairs up to my floor each day).

    Short of using a full-sized suitcase, I think I’m doing the best I can with the situation.

  2. writerdood

    I’d really like to carry my stuff in a dimensional pocket residing outside the fabric of reality, but I don’t know how to arrange that. I suppose I could just “say” that’s where my stuff is, and that I have no access to it, but that I can imagine anything I need and not have it at will!

  3. Pauline Post author

    Fame throwa-Driving to work definitely cuts down on the strain, but it sounds like you’ve got your hands full with all those bags! But if you need it, you need it right?
    Writerdood-Yep, that sounds like a perfect system. LOL. Y’know what scientists should work on? Teleportation. Like on Star Trek. Think of how much this would cut back on gridlock! 😉
    Mindfulmerchant-Cool! You have good taste!

  4. XUP

    I can’t seem to let go of the backpack. I DO feel like I should have outgrown it by now, but I walk a good distance to and from work every day and I just can”t deal with a big bag full of stuff slung over my shoulder. I have a lot of stuff in my backpack. It’s good and sturdy and easy to carry unless I really cram it full — which happens too often.

  5. Robin

    I love messenger bags. I have high standards for them and have yet to find the perfect one. It has to be a certain size with just the right amount of pockets, I like lots of little compartments. I have a lot of demands…clearly…

  6. pinklea

    I used a backpack for many years, but now have a messenger bag. Although it holds all the same stuff and is much more organized than the backpack ever was, its slimmer design means that I can’t fit my lunchbag or water bottle into it. Fortunately, my lunchbag has an exterior pouch for the water bottle, but I still have to carry the bag separately.
    What I’d like is the same messenger bag but slightly bigger so my lunchbag/water bottle fits inside it. I’m not sure it exists … sigh.

  7. Kate

    I carried a backpack until I was about 25 — I felt silly wearing it due to my age and it was straining my neck so much that I was getting pretty severe headaches. Ever since then I’ve been carrying the same style of Vera Bradley bags. I have three in different patterns. They have six pockets inside to keep things organized (I can always find my keys and phone!), plus enough room to fit all my other crap plus a book.

  8. Pauline Post author

    XUP-Us women have a lot of essentials to lug around!
    Robin-LOL. Me too!
    Pinklea-The selection for bags seems so limited doesn’t it? It’s hard to find the perfect one!
    Kate-I carried a backpack to work for awhile too, but also found it strained my neck, which is odd since you would think it would be easier on your back.

  9. Sadako

    I really like your bag taste. It’s hard to find a good one, I know, but when you get a good one, it’s a great feeling! It’s like *your* bag.

    I had an AWESOME just before. Too bad it’s the one that got stolen. 😦

  10. Lynn

    Love your new bag! So pretty. I’m a total handbag junkie.

    Shannon at A Crafty Mom’s Blog recently posted about her new bag. It’s from Etsy and it can transform from a shoulder bag to a backpack and back again instantly (there are sliding metal rings that change the configuration of the straps). I just saw it in person last week and it’s gorgeous and just the right size. You can have leather put on the bottom as an option to make it tougher for the bus.

    Here’s the link:

  11. coffee with julie

    I’ve been contemplating the same “bag issues.” I have a bad neck, which will then spur on headaches if I antagonize it. But, I’m also a lover of style and find it hard to wear a backpack with my workwear. It doesn’t look right or feel right for me.

    I’m not sure if it will help you since you look like you’ve found a great solution, but this is what I’ve been contemplating:

    1. Le Sports Sac. Remember these? When I was travelling, I found one of these stores in Hawaii. The Japanese men and women were flocking into there, depsite the seemingly crazy prices. But I did buy one and have been using it as a diaper bag ever since. It is lightweight, washes easy and you can pick a pattern to suit your style. So now I’m considering picking one up for my work bag.

    2. My mom swears by the Ameribag:

  12. meanie

    i’ve been thinking about going back to my backpack, even though i feel 13 when i have i ton.
    i carry my wallet, keys, lunch and reading material for the bus. oh, and my bag usually houses about 13 stray lipsticks.

  13. Pauline Post author

    Pinklea-Thank you for the award!
    Lynn-That reversible bag is such a cool idea! I wish I saw it sooner, but maybe I’ll buy one later on.:)
    Coffee with Julie-I’ve never heard of Le Sport Sac, but I like the variety of designs on the bags and different types of bags you can get.
    Meanie-This might be good for you:

  14. Get Off My lawn

    Backpack. Always. Until… I figured out how to not commute. I walk to work in less than five minutes. No stuff to carry.

  15. Pauline Post author

    Wendi-Absolutely. You wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry. 😉
    Get off my lawn-I hope someday to live within walking distance of my work. That would be nice!

  16. Blueberry

    I love a backpack but hate using one that’s big enough to hold everything I carry (and some stores where I like to shop will make you turn over your backpack at the door) – so I just carry a med-sized purse plus (on workdays) a big lunch bag and CDs in a carrier. A little old-fashioned, not hooked on the iPod. I choose practicality over looks in a purse – it needs to withstand the elements without looking trashed, and can’t be made from animals. 🙂

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