Tracy Beckerman column: I got it all in the bag
Columns share an author’s personal perspective.
Someone once told me that God gave women handbags because he knew, of the two sexes, women would be the ones who would know what to put in the bags in case of an emergency. This probably started with the apples we stole from the Garden of Eden, but we won’t go there. This skill is especially true if you’re a mother … or a contestant on “Let’s Make a Deal.”
In terms of being a mother, some of your bag expertise is intuitive and some of it comes from experience. When my kids were little, I had the usual first aid items like band-aids, antiseptic wipes and anti-itch cream. Then there were the sensible things like tissues, safety pins and stain remover sticks. There were also food items for the occasional hunger-related meltdown, like gummy candies, cheddar fish and fruit roll ups. Lastly, I had the atypical things, like jars of slime, dead crickets and smelling salts (for me, when I saw the dead crickets in my bag).
Once your kids are older, your bag typically goes back to being your own. Oddly enough, though, while fewer things go in, more things come out. And when I say more, I mean, your money, which is not spent by you, but rather taken out of your wallet, under the darkness of night, by a teenager in desperate need of pizza.
At some point your kids move out and that is when you think you can just carry what you need in your bag.
But you’re wrong.
“Hey honey, can you put my wallet and keys in your bag,” said my husband as we got ready to leave to go to lunch. I happened to be carrying a smaller bag that day because I didn’t have all that much to put into it. It was a nice change from the piano-sized bag I usually carry to lug around all my stuff.
“Okay, but I don’t really have room for anything else,” I said, not wanting to change bags to accommodate his added things.
“No problem,” he said.
As we got to the door, though, he stopped.
“Oh, I forgot my sunglasses.”
“But it’s not sunny,” I argued
“It may be later,” he said, grabbing his sunglasses. “Can you put these in your bag?”
I narrowed my eyes and took his glasses, stuffing them into my already overstuffed bag with my own wallet, my own keys, my own sunglasses, and all the other things I brought along all in case of such things as a fingernail catastrophe, freak hail storm, or floss crisis.
“Also, I’m almost out of juice on my phone,” he added. “Can you stick this charger in your bag?” He handed me a portable charger the size of the phone itself.
I found one last side pocket in my bag with just enough room left for his charger, and stuck it in. My small bag was now bulging and weighed double what it had when we started. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing because the next time my husband asked me to carry something, my bag would pack a greater punch when I hit him with it.
“You know what,” he said, “I think I should bring some suntan lotion, too. Can you fit that in your bag?”
At this point, I really wasn’t sure what was going to explode first - my bag or my head.
“No,” I said firmly. “The bag is full.”
“Can you bring a bigger bag?” he asked.
“I certainly can,” I replied, grabbing a larger bag from the closet.
“And you can carry it.”
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