Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Things that Don't Change the World (but stress me out)

So, I have written before about my slightly scary obsession with the work bag.  Being a chaplain and a priest is a complicated life.  The hospital is not my only working life.  Sometimes, I have to bring my computer with me.  Sometimes, I have to have meetings with people who are In Charge and who Make Decisions About Important Stuff.  Usually, I need at least a few papers on certain projects.  So essentially, I had to find a bag that could fit, potentially, my slim organizer with its project files, a small clutch or wristlet, a prayerbook and/or communion supplies or a chaplain stole, and often a computer. 

I thought I'd found bag nirvana with this.

Notice the pockets?  My pager and various work IDs and keys all live in the pockets. I haven't forgotten my ID in years, versus life before the bag when I regularly went to work without some various work implement.  I'm ADHD, people.  Never changing my bag is one of my most-loved coping mechanisms.  Random conversation changes and hyperfocusing is just a bonus. 

Sadly, after several years of carrying it every single day to every work environment known to mankind, it was looking distinctly worse for the wear.  I mean, it's gone on airplanes, trains, and automobiles.  It practically has its own favorite coffee drink at coffee shops, and let's not even start on the libraries.  It has done every overnight with me, every church service, every meeting.  When the sidewalls broke down, I slit the lining and inserted mesh to restiffen them. I re-stitched the strap when it first split. 

And then, over the last few months, I'd gotten a consistent set of comments like "Wow, you must use that bag a lot."  Or, "Did you know the stiching is coming undone right here?"  Or, "Must be time for a new bag!  You've had that one for, what, ever?" Or, "Sweetie, what's all that white stuff on the straps?"  (Answer: the inner stitching.  The straps were imploding.)

And I had to face the fact that my beloved bag was being beat to death before mine eyes.  The zippers that couldn't stay zipped up anymore.  The stretched out pocket.  The unraveled straps.  The dingy shade of some of the green lining. 

So I searched high and I searched wide and I obsessed.  I really love Rainebrooke, but the one I love, the Tuscan, is just too rich for my blood right now  And probably too big, at 18 inches.  So finally, I settled on this one from Mobile Edge.  I found a good sale.  It's a little bigger than my old bag and I am not in love with it.  I still think of maybe trading it in for this one.  I took the dumb cell phone pocket off, of course.

So that is my great Vagabond Trauma for this week.  My bag has died.  Long live the bag!

Now, like when you get a new puppy before your old dog has died, I have to break in the new bag and learn to open my heart to that idea that some other bag could also be decent and worthwhile.  Le sigh. 

(But if anyone wants to buy me the black tote with the burgundy straps, I promise to look at the two Mobile Edge totes, pick my favorite, and GIVE the other one to some fabulously deserving lady out there.  Bag Karma.  Because every working girl needs the perfect bag.  Otherwise, you end up like me, lying in bed on an ice storm day debating if you'll ever get up and go make breakfast, debating work bags.) 


Anonymous said...

My husband marvels at my bag obsession; I don't know what he will do if I bring home one more black bag. I think it is a priest/staying overnight at the hospital/office in a bag sort of thing.

The Vagabond Priest said...

Madgebaby, we gotta have it to survive. Otherwise, I'd be locked out of all my offices and would never have the right piece of paper with me when I needed it.

We with bag obsessions need to stick together. We'll call it a support group, but really, we'll just be comparing bags.

Miss Jenny said...

Oooh, very fancy! My bags aren't nearly that nice; in fact, I will use my LL Bean bag until it dies, which is unlikely, since they are so well made. I think your bag obsession stems from the fact that you are a closeted librarian :)