Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

The MacClay Leather company makes a variety of splendid objects.  I’d originally wandered by the booth to consider whether there might be lighter briefcase than the one I typically carry, or something that might be the right size to carry some writing essentials for a new writing gig.

Word is the person who really saw the potential in the smaller bags, pointing out that one not only had room for wallet and journal, but even had a compartment for holding a water bottle, and didn’t I always need to have my menthwasser handy?

She had a point.

Mr. MacClay was pleased — he had noticed that women were carrying water bottles, and thought that if he designed a bag that clearly was meant to carry them, they might sell. [He was clever about other things — he had cardboard models of tablet computers and notebooks to show what objects fit best into which of his products.]

I was pleased — the world is way too full of objects that seem totally divorced [that is not the right word, really, because that implies that at some point in the past there had actually been any relationship at all] from practicality, and yet here was a Thing that could Solve Problems.  But it took a bit of convincing for me to get it — I am not accustomed to finding non-food things I actually want to purchase…. [Anyone who’s been with me to traditional shopping venues knows that I can become a stressy hypoglycemic wreck by the end of a trip just from the mental burden of all the things I DO NOT WANT.]

So I have the creature, and it is remarkably handy. But I’m not used to it yet.  Not owning a purse very often in past decades means I find myself sometimes still calculating the assorted small objects I need to have close to hand while running errands or commuting, bobbling the things in my hands and actually saying out loud “You know, it would be really cool to have… like having a …like a bigger pocket, but sturdy, so I could carry all this….”

Word just looks at me with infinite patience.  I am grateful for her forebearance…. and for Mr. MacClay’s attention to detail.


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Let’s see :

  • Full moon
  • Incoming hurricane
  • Anniversaries of loss and change
  • All Hallow’s Eve and the Day of the Dead
  • Balky heating system
  • Seasonal benign paroxysmal vertigo

But no, none of these things say “Coming Apocalypse” quite as strongly as “I’ve voluntarily gone to three malls in the last 36 hours and bought clothing in each one.”

Just thought I should share this with you….

[Recommended musical selection:  “Good Night Moon” by Shivaree]

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Yes, this is going to be a kvetchy post. The “in my day, there was one payphone and one on-campus phone per hall and we all managed to survive” kind of post. If this seems too alien, go play at Target for the next few minutes…they will have more than enough STUFF to make the first semester of college more about consuming objects than about acquiring knowledge and learning to self-actualize.

Here’s what got packed on a typical late August day when I was in college:

Clothing, shoes, bedding, books, pens, pencils, ink, a few gewgaws, some weather-appropriate outerwear…..a back pillow, an extra lamp, a 32K Tandy 100 laptop, miniature disk drive and a dot-matrix printer.

Oh, and an indestructible philodendron known as “That Damn Plant”.

That was it. I didn’t think this way of living was especially spartan. Most of the time, my heart was in the classrooms, not my dorm room.

One year, I did share a room with someone who liked color coordination in general and the color lavender in particular, so we had a rug, pretty curtains, and a few other niceties. Another year I shared a room with someone who was very fond of movie posters, which meant that occasionally Harrison Ford would detach from the wall and fall on me. I just found that irritating and inconvenient; I realize many other women would have had a different opinion; some have told me so at length.

By the time I got to graduate school, where I lived in a small attic apartment, I’d acquired a few more things to put on walls [mostly free posters from library conferences], and several dozen yards of Christmas lights to brighten the low ceiling. Friends would send bits of shiny wrapping paper, and that would go up on the walls, too.

Apparently, left to my own devices, I create a small jackdaw’s nest of paperwork, writing implements, and small sparkly objects. [ I’m very lucky to have found a similarly inclined spouse.]

I don’t know what my current students do, left to their own devices. But I hope that they can focus on the essentials, and not on the decor — many of them, I know, are working multiple jobs in order to get themselves through school. They shouldn’t be burdened with “needing” the perfect objects in order to impress complete strangers.

Then again, how many of us preferred the frosting to the cake when we were younger?

Musical cue: “Back to College”, Act II, Avenue Q

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