Thursday, September 22, 2011

Another job hazard of motherhood

For the last six months or so, this is what the tote I take to work has looked like. The lining, in case you can't quite make it out, is completely falling apart. There are threads hanging everywhere. If I tried to donate it to The Salvation Army, they would not take it.

"I think you need to fix that," said my friend Danielle a few months ago when I sat down on the train and placed my bag on the floor. I nodded. I thought about finding a bag repair place. Never did.

And so it goes: Another thing I haven't gotten around to doing. Along with the countless photos on my computer I have yet to make into prints. And the new books I want to order for the kids. And the baby gift I have to get for a friend. And the potted plant that needs more soil. And the burned out lightbulb in the playroom that needs replacing. And the friends I owe calls. And the new glasses I should order because my current ones are held together on one side with Scotch tape. And the school t-shirt form I only thought I filled out. And the bucket of shells I collected on our Captiva, Florida trip two years ago that I was going to make something with. And the pile of winter clothes that need to go into storage but, hey, here comes winter again!

And the Ironman Triathlon I want to complete!

He, he. Not on my list of the 29,351 things I need to do.

The work bag is getting particularly ridiculous, though. I'm at the point where I clutch it tightly to my body when I walk into the office building and ride the elevator. If I go to an event and someone says, "Would you like to put your bag down?" I'm all "No thanks!" It's become the black hole of my life; I've thrown stuff into the bag and thought that I'd lost it, only to realize that it had fallen into the no-man's zone between the lining and the leather.

It would not surprise me if one of these days, some kindly woman hands me a buck as I sit on the subway, bag in my lap.

Did I mention that I have a brand new tote sitting in my bedroom closet? Bought at a Coach outlet store. Classic brown. Good stuff. But using it would entail transferring all the crap in my bag to the new one. Another thing to do! Noooooooooooo!!!

I suppose I'll get around to dealing with my bag before retirement. Meanwhile, if you happen to meet up with me, please just smile and don't look into my bag.


  1. Ha Ha...Meanwhile I obsessively change my handbags but walk around in old stained sweatpants and workout tops. You have no time to change over your bag and I just can't get it together to buy real clothes or wear the ones I have....of course my to do list is so very long as well. But Ironman-triathalon not so much even in jest.

  2. Wow! Change to the new bag! Take the time and do it. You've earned it, if I had one of those I'd have switched in a heartbeat. I carry my "purse plus" crap around in one of those recycling reuseable grocery bags (it doesn't say COACH on it, either, hee hee). It is black, though, so it goes with most of my outfits (which consist of uniforms at my jobs, more or less)!

  3. love this. and i think you need this post to be your inspiration to switch the bag and post a photo of you and your new snazzy couldn't-possibly-be-down-on-her-luck bag.

    in solidarity i will finally go get the haircut that hasn't managed to make it to the top of my to do list though i've needed one for ages!

  4. I was going to say, I sell bags! I can hook a sistah up. But you already have a cute replacement. Take 5 minutes and change it out. That is your homework tonight. And then you have to show photographic evidence. See what happens when you blog such things???

  5. Losing something in the lining of a bag was totally a plot point on Sex & The City! Of course, her bag was some sort of vintage clutch and she lost a diamond necklace, but still, you're in good fictional company.

  6. Switch those handbags, girl! I understand where you're coming from because I am a master procrastinator with certain things, but come on, now, admit it: that poor, broken tote needs to be put out of its misery! ^_^

  7. too cute! You're in NYC where both torn between glam/fast/high fashion (home city of Kate Spade!!) vs eco-fashion/sustainability chic ! @myclossette and Design Sponge to the rescue!

    pamper time! stat!

    hugs to you,

    @cubbieberry on Twitter

  8. Because I will always take the easy way out, when given the opportunity, tonight I opted to clean out a desk drawer instead of changing over to new bag. Sorry to report. But feeling inspired by your encouragement! Tomorrow? Weekend? For my 50th birthday?

    I am somewhat heartened to know, Beth, that losing stuff in your bag's lining has a super-chic precedent!

  9. Funny post... I'm still smiling from the "Coach bag" paragraph. I loved that... not even a matter of getting a new bag or fixing the one you have, but simply transferring stuff over. Sounds like my life, too. I have a headache right now because of all the stuff I should be doing (but am obviously not, as I'm posting this comment). Thanks for a touch of (humorous) reality!

  10. I also have a list like that. But it's funny, I transfer bags all the time! The down side is that I'm never able to find that one lipstick or hairbrush I want because I inevitably left it in another bag!

  11. Hey Ellen,

    When you said that you "always take the easy way out", that's when I figured you have a Spend Out problem with the purse, and not a lack of time or organization.

    You move mountains to help your family. You got stem-cell therapy for Max. Isn't that still an experimental treatment? Easy? That's not you at all.

    Check out this link and I think you'll agree it's a Spend Out issue.

    Maybe it's time for you to Spend Out.


  12. I read that book, loved it, and clearly remember that chapter. Now that you mention it, I do tend to save good stuff I could be using. But you're wrong about one thing: I totally suffer from a lack of time. :)

  13. Hi Ellen,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my comment, and I'm glad you know the book already.

    "Did I mention that I have a brand new tote sitting in my bedroom closet? Bought at a Coach outlet store. Classic brown. Good stuff."

    You sound so excited about this purse. I bet it's really cute. It's not just brown, it's CLASSIC brown. It was from an outlet, so it was a good price.

    Of course you are busy, anyone can see that, and I'm sorry if my comment was unclear. What I meant is that for some people, time management and organzational skills really are a challenge, but you're not lacking in those areas. You're not lacking in work ethic, either. When the house flooded, I'm sure you were already a very busy woman, but you didn't complain about it. You just got busy making sure the damage was fixed.

    You're a person who gets things done. You're a real force for good in the world. If this isn't getting done, given that this is such a small task to begin with, perhaps it's not so much about the time it takes. (But maybe you already have changed purses...)

    The intention wasn't to bully you into doing something you don't want to do, but just to share an idea that has been helpful to me, and hopefully to encourage you. Knowing how practical mothers are, you probably only bought the purse in the first place because you told yourself you would use it so frequently, being that perfect, quintessential brown, and all? I don't think you'd buy a PURPLE purse from Coach, because it wouldn't go with everything as beautifully.

    Wishing you happiness

  14. This happens to me. I have purses that I wear with everything because it is too much work to switch from purse to purse. I do it when one breaks or every two years, whichever is first.

  15. i dont have a hand bag. I should I know but I don't. I do kind of have a diaper bag right now. I have that same pile of clothes btw...and an unending to do list too

  16. Glad I read through the comments.. I actually DO have a 'spend out' problem...and now that I've named it. I will solve it!

    Use your new bag by carrying both bags for two days (okay more if you need to). Every time you use something from your stuffed, old bag, put it back into the new bag. After a couple of days you will be using your new bag exclusively, and you'll realize the old one is filled with receipts from Target, crappy candy, shopping lists, other people's business cards and 16 lipsticks.

  17. i am EXACTLY the same way! I don't even buy new purses/bags because the thought of having to move all my crap is just too much. My sister use to give me her cast-offs but they just sat there in my closet ignored.I am the same way about cars...I will not by a new vehicle until I have to tow the current one to the dump.It is too full of important stuff i might need and I just won't take the time to clean it out. On the plus side i have had emergency lunch (can of soup, crackers and some applesauce) for a co-worker as well as a change of clothes for her toddler who was at daycare and in the midst of potty training.

  18. Not sure if you will ever see this. . . my two thoughts from this post

    1. The lining is ripped in my purse too!

    2. Shells--put in big glass vase. Viola! Finished. I have one and I add shells from each of our beach trips. If you're feeling frisky, you can do two vases, shells in between and then you can have flowers AND shells.

    3. No one gets their pictures printed any more.


Thanks for sharing!

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