Finally getting a handle on thingsI’ve decided that whoever came up with the idea of putting handles on bags was a genius. Since I’ve started commuting to work, I’ve especially gained an appreciation for bags with handles. Especially the sturdy ones. Because every day, it seems I drag anywhere from two to six out the door with me.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
I’ve decided that whoever came up with the idea of putting handles on bags was a genius.
Since I’ve started commuting to work, I’ve especially gained an appreciation for bags with handles. Especially the sturdy ones. Because every day, it seems I drag anywhere from two to six out the door with me.
I noticed my reliance on bags with handles last year, before moving to St. Paul. I’d go to see The Beau. I’d bring my purse –- one of the most standard bags with handles –- and a duffle bag. The size of the duffle bag depended on the time of the year. I’d use the smaller, red one for spring and summer stuff, but winter books required the bigger black duffle bag.
I recall being pretty impressed when grocery stores came out with handles on their brown paper bags. Granted, the handles often break, but I give them credit for trying. I used to live on the second floor of an apartment building, on the complete opposite end from the elevator. Juggling bags while not missing a step and falling on my face was easier said than done. So you can about imagine how excited I was when I got to use grocery bags with handles for the first time. Granted, I was already living in my townhome and I had an attached garage with a door that opened straight into the kitchen. Still, you get my point.
Bags with handles come in handy, too. Most people probably don’t think too much about them, but have you ever seen the line at the University of St. Thomas booth in the education building at the Minnesota State Fair? People go out of their way to get there before the top of the hour because UST only hands out so many of these nice purple canvas tote bags per hour. And at the state fair, you definitely need a bag with handles to hold all the goodies you’ll pick up during the day.
My brother and sister-in-law are parents to 3-year-old twins Joe and Emma. My sister-in-law joined the Mothers of Multiples organization before they were born so she could participate in the bi-annual garage sales they offer. There, she found fantastic, XXL-plastic coated canvas bags with handles. She bought an extra for me. We both bring them out for Black Friday. Guess what we’re asked most often?
“Where’d you get that great bag?”
I’m pretty sure people think about bags with handles more often than they realize. Like when they go to the farmer’s market or take a trip to the library. Something with handles is always helpful. And these days, in this use-it-again world, lots of stores are selling durable, sturdy bags with handles that can be used for all kinds of things. It’s beautiful.
And so is the case every morning when I leave for work. Usually I’ve got at least three bags with handles -– purse, computer bag and lunch bag. I’ll add on depending on the day. There’s a bag for all of my Farmington American Legion Auxiliary stuff, there’s another bag for all of my Third District ALA stuff. I’ve expanded from one bag to two for all of my paperwork for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum at the state fair, and of course there is my camera bag. Those duffle bags come out once in a while, too, if I’ve got some kind of evening function happening in town and I can’t just run home to change.
They make my life so much easier. Just Monday morning, I pulled up in front of my office and looked over at the pile of bags in the front seat. It was a medium-bag day: purse, canvas camera bag, computer bag, lunch bag. I’d been able to sling three of the four over my shoulder before leaving my house, but finagling them over my shoulder in the car is a bit trickier. I managed, though, because I didn’t really want to make a second trip.
See what I mean? Some might argue the Internet or even sliced bread were the greatest things ever invented, but not me. In a time when I have so many things going on at once, at least I can claim I have a handle on it. It’s in the bag.