Culture / Humour / Work

I have baggage…. literally.

Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed by the weight of your own stuff?

I feel like this sometimes. Most notably, on  my way to work in the mornings.

I’m not sure if it’s out of legitimate need- or because  in a past life I was some sort of hoarder or nomad, but I find I prepare for my days at work as if I am going on a cross-country hiking expedition.  Quite simply- I bring way too much STUFF.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

1. The Purse.

Like this, only not Chanel. Someday...

Like most women, I carry around a rather large and obtrusive purse. This thing (which approximates both the size and weight a 7 year old child) houses all of my little daily “necessities”: wallet,two blackberrys (you know, in case I want to call myself), “travel-size” make-up kit, several tubes of blistex, unmentionable lady items, hand cream, gum/mints, my notebook (for writing down brilliant thoughts like these ones), two iPods (ummm what if one dies??), approximately 600 pieces of loose change,  and finally- a large stack of receipts that I’m still counting on needing some day.

2. The Gym Bag

Y’all know working out is pretty much my #1 nemesis in life… but I just can’t seem to quit that shit…and so every day I load my (also extremely large) gym bag with my sneakers, workout clothes, more unmentionable lady items (I’m just gonna keep saying it, so you’re just gonna have to deal with it), and- since I’ve taken to working out at lunch time lately, a whole host of miniature shower products. Sometimes, when I’m using them, I pretend that I’m in a diorama of my own life…. except everything else, including me, is still regular size…..it’s not a very good one.

3. Food

If I’m feeling incredibly ambitious (which is never), I pack a lunch…but I almost always bring several pieces of fruit, various spillable snacks wrapped haphazardly in saran wrap.. and a bottle of water…. whose cap I proceed to tighten about 100 times in an OCD-like fashion to ensure it is not spilling on any of my electronics. It’s this whole thing.

4. Clothing

Because I am never 100% pleased with anything, I often find myself packing some type of “contingency” outfit each morning. A cardigan (in case mid-day my blazer feels too “corporate”), an extra pair of tights, an alternate necklace and/or earring choice… flats…let’s just say, should I be forced to spend several nights in a row at the office (which in my line of work, is not uncalled for), I would do it without ever having to repeat an outfit.

Together, this equals about 18 bags and 75lbs of excess luggage to carry each morning.  I’m pretty sure that if it weren’t for my designer coat I can’t afford (thanks Family!), everyone I encounter on the way to work would think I was homeless. But it doesn’t end there. Oh no- there are still a number of other hurdles to overcome.  

First, As my fellow Canucks can attest –  venturing outdoors during a Canadian winter requires an extensive “bundling up” process…heavy coat, boots, hat and mitts, etc.

But couple this with an intense physical load to carry, and about 5 minutes into your commute, you find yourself getting suddenly and unbearably hot. And as you feel the sweat seeping through your Banana Republic lightweight wool;  there’s nothing you can do but pray that you don’t have any 9am meetings, to leave adequate time for the tell-tale wet spots to dry.

Then, there’s the subway turnstyle. Every morning I have the same thought as I stare at this angry looking motherf**ker: how is all of this going to fit through that? 

I know, I know…this problem is about as predictable as Paula Deen’s type two diabetes.. but as I awkwardly maneuver my hobo-ass life through a 6 inch wide gap that cuts you off at the waist, all I can do is pray that no one I know is there to witness my pride slipping slowly away. 

Then finally, there’s the Elevator. Each morning, I say a silent prayer that I will not have to bear an awkward elevator experience with anyone I know.  It doesn’t usually work, and I often end up making small talk while shifting bags from arm to arm and hoping rogue sweat droplets don’t make their way onto anything Harry Rosen. To make matters worse, the whole time intrusive thoughts are pulsating through my brain… like:   F*&k…. where is my security pass?? Can everyone else hear this Biebs  playing on my ipod? and I”M SO UNBELIEVABLY HOT RIGHT NOW!!!!

Often by the time I get to my office I feel like hurling myself, belongings first, out of the skyscraper window (which might be a blessing in disguise should I land on some other commuters below and put them out of their misery, too).

With this painful and stress-inducing start, It’s a wonder I make it through the day ever. I fear it’s only going to get worse, too as I age.. my arsenal of beauty and grooming products will only grow bigger and more burdensome…. and what happens when I have kids, and am forced to start carting their sh*t around too? Maybe I should think about becoming a minimalist.  At the very least, it will make for a good blog post, since I will undoubtedly fail at it.

Question of the Day: Do you have excess baggage?

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20 thoughts on “I have baggage…. literally.

  1. My best friend joked that when we are old and in a nursing home, I’ll still have all my toiletries in Ziploc bags. Why chance runaway liquid?!

    I used to have quite a lot of things, but cross-country moving helped me take the first steps, then lots of traveling and living abroad for 4 years did the rest. I moved to Croatia for three months and permitted myself only one suitcase. I found when I left that there were several things I could leave behind! You can cut back better than you think. Promise. 🙂 Good luck!

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    • why chance runaway liquid indeed. Don’t tell anyone, but I actually steal a few of those little plastic baggies from the airport you have to put your liquids in whenever I fly… they are the perfect size for purse/gym bag toiletries! haha
      P.S. I’m so jealous you moved to Croatia for 3 months! I was there this past summer for 2 weeks with my sister and it is absolutely beautiful

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  2. This post is just too great. ahahahahahaha. I love it.
    I am TOTALLY against those giant bags. Because I KNOW that I’d be tempted to fill it. Much to the dismay of my shoulder and back. It would not go well.

    I’m an overpacker. No doubt about it. I have to think, think, and rethink. Then resign myself to NOT thinking so much. *sighs* It’s a hard battle… But we must continue. We must FIGHT. Someday, somehow, we will win. Without the help of those super annoying (to see) rolling bags some luggage company decided to make as school bags and ish in the past few years.

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    • haha now there’s a novel idea- just don’t have a huge bag in the first place! Omg I see so many lawyers with those rolling luggage bags and all I can think is, if that is ever me- I will know I’ve reached a low point in life.

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  3. Haha, very true! I’ve just moved and while packing I kept on repeating to myself: I’ll never buy anything ever again. Ever. (Metaphorically speaking, of course…) Where does all of this stuff come from anyways? Darned materialism – eats through your walled and gives you a backache on top of it…

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    • I know eh? My mother is the best at purging- I call her the anit-hoarder. Whenever I’m at home or she comes to visit she makes me get rid of useless crap… I don’t know why I never got this gene (must have got lost somewhere along with the cleaning and being domestic ones)… but I think maybe I’ll just start taking her everywhere with me instead

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  4. Yup…
    Revel in the relative lightness of being right now. When you have children, you will look back on these days fondly!
    When I have a free arm/ hand in the morning on my way out the door, and I see my sherpa – – your neice – Lola not holding my travel mug of coffee (aka elixer of the gods), I promptly know I’m missing something!
    Stuuuuuuffff…. Groan.

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    • hahaha how is she able to carry your coffee when her little arms are always laden by 10 or more dolls?? Now that’s dexterity right there. Bet SHE could effectively navigate a turnstile.

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  5. I feel like I carry my whole life in my purse and sometimes I wish I didn’t have to but without a purse I feel naked!
    I used to pack a gym bag and then my boyfriend convinced me I didn’t need one, now I go to the gym in my gym clothes and nothing else. I leave my cell phone behind too, it’s actually the best thing I’ve done.

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    • I agree! I don’t know how guys can do it just carrying around their wallets in their back pockets….. also, doesn’t that get annoying for sitting??
      I’m a firm believer in leaving cell phones behind at the gym too- I can’t understand people who text/email while working out.. the gym is supposed to be a zen (albeit torturous) place!

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  6. I, for one, am as impressed with a woman’s capacity to carry so much unneeded stuff as I am dismayed at it.

    I tend to take the minimalist approach and just take what I need. I often get asked “but what if it rains?!?” to which I just respond “then I will get wet”.

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    • that is very Sanskrit-proverbesque of you Michael…
      I am inspired by it. After all, “all we can hold in our cold dead hands is what we have given away” <—- I don't actually know what this means.

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  7. I never carry much. My car is filled with stuff though. I’ve always, since I could drive, felt the need to keep cereal in my car. Like I’m ever going to get stranded in a desert and be in dire need of some Frosted Flakes….

    I know what you mean about the turnstyles though. If I’m ever in “The City” (doesn’t that really cover any big city in the world?) and I have a bag on me I’ll have to lift it up over. I feel weird doing it. Like it’s evolution’s way of saying “you don’t need this”.

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  8. Are we related!!!! That is hilarious – but oh so true!! I am guilty of too much baggage!! I recently had to switch from driving to taking VIA rail for a business trip – I was a mess. How on earth do you eliminate all the stuff you would bring in your car to one small carry on item!!! Talk about a challenge!!!

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  9. I know I’m late on a reply, but I just discovered your blog and love it!

    I completely get your dilemma. I’ve tried becoming more of a minimalist, but I still find my apartment, car, and desk littered with so much stuff. Everytime I move (which is way too often), I get depressed with just how much stuff I’ve accumulated.

    The worst part, though, is that at work, I feel like a pack mule. As a first year special education teacher, I’m what’s known as a traveling teacher. Add on the fact that I teach English, and you can imagine all the supplies I’m carting around all day – different textbooks and novels, art supplies, paper and writing utensils, all the teacher planning books and attendance books, journals, documentation, etc. In the mornings, I have my purse, lunch box, papers and supplies, winter weather, and coffee mug all hanging off my hands and shoulders as I walk in the building.To make it even worse, I’m the assistant soccer coach, which means I have my gym bag as well. I need a cart.

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  10. subway turnstyle is definitely a nightmare for my morning commute as well. Argh. I struggle so hard to get pass it while dodging evil glares from other commuters. what a good morning.=)

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  11. Pingback: Pay it Forward « The Camel Life

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