The great thing about handbags is that no matter how much weight you gain or lose, they always fit. This is why I love bags and have more of them than I am willing to admit in a column or a court of law.
As obsessions go, it is a relatively harmless one. The only down side is moving all my stuff from one bag to another. In an effort to simplify the process, I got one of those big inserts that is essentially a bag within a bag so I can just pull the contents of my bag out in one fell swoop. But even with that, I still manage to lose track of things from time to time. The issue is actually less one of having multiple bags and more to do with the fact that no matter which bag I use, as soon as I move into it, it becomes a virtual black hole of bagdom.
It’s actually a good thing that I switch bags fairly frequently because if I used the same bag all the time, there are things in there that would be lost for years. I have found the usual suspects, such as lone earrings, missing safe deposit box keys and errant change. But I have also discovered other things that I didn’t ever even recall putting in there, including such questionable items as an egg timer, a tooth (not mine), the neighbor’s cat (just seeing if you are paying attention) and a fake rubber fly. I’m pretty sure if the Feds ever decided to step up their search for Jimmy Hoffa, they would most likely find him at the bottom of one of my bags.
Because things tend to disappear in my bag, I have gotten into the habit of making sure I hang up my car keys the minute I walk into the house, lest I drop them into my bag and they get sucked into a tunnel and out the other side of the universe or into John Malkovich’s head.
I was sure I had done this the day I came home from the supermarket. But when I went to retrieve my keys from their hanging place so I could drop off the kids at school, the keys weren’t there. I knew I hadn’t put them in my bag, because I never put them in my bag, so I went to check the car to see if I left them in the ignition.
Then I looked in the pocket of my jacket.
Then I checked the bathroom.
Now I was starting to freak out. The kids had to be at the school in 10 minutes and there was no time to walk there and no keys to be found.
I took a breath and thought for a minute. Since the only place I hadn’t actually checked was my bag, I figured I had nothing to lose. Rather than fish around in the black hole, I grabbed the bag and dumped the contents onto the floor. Out came my wallet, sunglasses, makeup bag, a couple of pens, and… a package of bologna.
Blinking in confusion at the bologna, I shook my head and then had a sudden realization.
I picked up the bologna and walked over to the fridge, opened the door and peered in.
Just then, my daughter appeared in the kitchen.
“Ready for school,” she said.
“Great,” I replied.
“What are we having for lunch?” she wondered.
I reached into the fridge and pulled something very unmeat-like out of the meat drawer.