Monday, July 19, 2010

you asked

I've got to admit I'm growing weary of the shoe blogging. It's a lot of time. But, it'll continue. I want to start up real decluttering, but it's hard to find the time and space to both declutter and then write about. Two weeks ago we sorted through all the toys in main living level - yes, we did. I hate the toy sort. Hate it. Horrible, but a full plastic grocery bag of crap gone. If I was blogging about it, or had photographed, it would be probably 30 pieces of crap thrown out. My brother once said to me, a McDonald's toy is gone within 24 hours in my house. Good rule (though we kept the Penguins of Madagascar McD's toys). Have to tackle E's room, the basement, and the bookshelves, but that'll be another day.

Anyway, the volume of posts means it's hard to reply to comments. So a quick post to answer your burning questions.

My mom and Elaine have both asked what about purses? Are there matching purses for all these shoes? Well, I have a multipronged answer (of course). The basic answer is no. But then I went and started counting and got to over 30 and stopped. 30 bags doesn't seem like a lot compared to over 150 shoes, but it is quite a lot. I rarely change bags, though.

First, the advent of the laptop really changed things. Before laptops, I did carry a purse every day. But once you have to start lugging the computer back and forth from work via public transportation, the purse equation changes. I have 4 bags big enough to fit my laptop - black, brown, red-ish, and a laptop sleeve. And actually my current orange bag could fit a laptop, and I have a black bag that I can also shove the laptop in when needed. But then suddenly you're carrying two bags at a time, which is a hassle. For a while, I used the laptop sleeve (which does not hold any computer accessories like power cord) and carried a purse. But then I started just carrying the laptop/big bag, and used an oversize wallet, so when I ran out to get lunch or whatever I'd grab my wallet. Not a perfect solution as now you have to use a hand to carry the wallet, plus now where do the keys go etc. Plus I use a hard-bound notebook for all my work stuff, so if I needed to go to a meeting, I needed a bag for wallet, keys, and notebook. Would love any thoughts on what others do, as I could never resolve this satisfactorily. I guess the sleeve/purse solution is the best for daily commuting. Which I haven't done in 2.5 years.

Second, though, and perhaps more liberating, is watching What Not to Wear. I've learned the difference between something matching and something going. Despite my 80s upbringing, everything does not have to MATCH. It just has to GO. In fact, matchy-matchy is quite dated and tends toward the frumpy end of the scale. If something GOES, it's a complementary color or theme or pattern or weight (size, material, etc). So, now I carry my super cool orange leather bag (from Talbots, natch) nearly all the time. I used to think if I wore a orange t-shirt, I'd need orange shoes and orange bag. Now, the bag is just my "pop of color" and my shoes can be anything that stylistically goes with the outfit. Freeing and creative.

Third, changing bags is kind of a pain. My mantra is wallet, keys, phone and sunglasses. If I have those 4 things I am good, so the switching shouldn't be that hard but with the hundreds of other pieces of crap in my bag suddenly it is a pain to switch bags.

Fourth, the kids. When first on a maternity leave I carried a huge stupid diaper bag, then once again could not figure out what to do about the purse. Then I started watching the nannies. All you really need, on most outings, is a couple of diapers and some wipes. So throw them in your bag and off you go. Maybe a snack bag and a sippy cup, too, that ends up leaking in your leather bag, but leather wipes up so just go with it. But this also means your bag has to fit a couple of diapers, a small pack of wipes, a bag of cheerios, and the hated (by me) sippy cup. Plus a handful of plastic toys. Maybe some crayons, and a little bit of paper. Essentially, my purse has become a diaper bag. But that's ok. At least it's not the other way around. But it also means changing bags is more of a pain because it becomes more to transfer, and I don't want extra diapers lost in my stack of bags.

So, whew, more than you wanted to know about bags. All this means is right now, I carry my orange bag nearly everyplace. If I have a work meeting that involves the computer, one of my computer bags carries the computer and becomes a purse. My friend KG coined the term "pit bag" - short strap that when worn over the shoulder means the small bag tucks nicely into your armpit. If I go out sans kids at night and am wearing black (as in, not brown or blue - I think black, brown and blue are tricky to mix and it has to be done carefully, so I stick with the theme then - no brown shoes and black bag!), I have a small patent back pit bag I carry. For fun outings, I have a Vera Bradley pit bag in java blue. I have an orange/pink Vera Bradley I carry sometimes, but it doesn't have a shoulder strap so less useful these days. I have a larger black bag (Talbots) that I used to use all the time with the computer sleeve, but I just have less use for it. It's the perfect size for my work notebook, but it's too "heavy" for regular summer use.

So that's 8 bags that get semi- regular use - 4 computer, 1 orange, 1 black, 1 VB pit, 1 black patent pit. I could probably use a couple of brown bags, or things that go well with brown - cream, gold, etc for my rare going out. Heck, for all I know I own them and they are buried someplace. Anyway, typing this has made me realize I should go through bags for a culling, too. Another time.


Thrift Store Mama said...

I'm glad you posted. I had a bad day at work, am super cranky (and slightly sick) and was really looking forward to reading.

The laptop is a major problem. I also like to bring a water bottle in with me to work - I carry mine in an LLBean tote bag. TACKY !!!

I had to laugh at this: "All you really need, on most outings, is a couple of diapers and some wipes." If I recall correctly, there were several occasions where you needed a HAZMAT suit to clean up Elizabeth. Oh goodness, I'm laughing out loud now !

Rachel et Natalie said...

you should read/listen to the book called "what about my neck". She wrote columns for the NY Times and pt them together in a book. She has an article about purses, you'd like it.
The diaper bag, yep a few diapers... when Rachel was 3 months old I visited a friend on my way back home from the BFC and I ran out of diappers and we used a sanitary napkin in the wet diaper, that worked too!

Elaine said...

These posts are some of the funniest writing around. I understand getting bored, but it's pretty fun for us outsiders!

Elaine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.