Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Ontology of Bags

Minor Revisions: Where the Learning Never Stops.

PhysioProf had the question this time (and I always welcome questions and the opportunity to photograph my belongings) so I'll try to explain the way I name belongings-carrying items.

In the interest of doing so properly, I threw a few bags off my closet shelves and toward the bathtub where I arranged them by type. So we have (left to right): purses, totes and laptop bags.

So we'll start with purses. You'll notice I like brown and oblong shapes. But I tried to add some variety to illustrate my point. So we have black leather (that was the one I got in Chicago - tres chic, yes?), blue cloth (It's whimsical, dammit! Don't judge me for the Tinkerbell purse!), some sort of plaid pleather-type-stuff (it's a faux-Burberry) and brown suede. Note the variety of sizes even in the small selection I've shown. I don't always match my purse to my shoes, but I did buy the black because I knew I'd be in that color heels the following day. So you might think that purses are smaller than totes, but I'd argue it's more a question of quality than size.

This brings us to the discussion of totes. I define these as casual bags that generally hold more than the purses I carry and that were free or extremely cheap. Gifts with purchase (green Clinique) or perks of membership plans (black BooksAMillion), and from Dove promotions (quilted brown and blue one in the back). I do like the Dove bags.

Due to their 'I'm a bonus item!' nature, they tend not to be as structured as purses. There are rarely divided compartments but the good ones will have a little pocket on the inside or outside for small items (lip gloss, a bit of cash and the like). You don't take a tote out shopping or to the theater. You bring it to the beach! Or perhaps to the office when you're not carrying a laptop! They're casual and cute!

Laptop Bags
But there are days when a bit of professionalism is required and the pale green Clinique bag just won't do. The laptop bags I buy are generally very organized - multiple compartments, places to put pens and a cell phone and mesh pockets with zippers and pockets and dividers and...well, I could go on but I won't. They must be large enough to hold Nick and the hope is that they offer a bit of padding to cushion the laptop when you set it down. These carry a good deal of paper without wrinkling it. Are pretty durable. And rather pricey.

I just noticed that Citronella warned in the comments, " Dear PhysioProf : you're asking for trouble." To which I reply: Too late now! So let's review.

You might look at the picture on the left of the panel and say it looks large enough to be a tote. Bite your tongue! That's an actual Burberry! Yes, it's a bit old, but it's a beautiful bag! Obviously a purse.

Now you might be afraid of my wrath and not so eager to ask more questions. So I'll give you that the little cutie in the middle is a tote. Note the puckered stitching and happy yellow color. Does it not belong at the beach? Of course it does. And I think it was an Avon gift my mom gave me. Casual, nearly free = Tote.

The brown guy on the right side looks a lot like a tote, yes. But it is not. I paid for it - I needed a brown bag that was a bit more professional - and it has pen holders and 2 compartments. Laptop bag, obviously.

I hope that clarifies some issues. And because I am a just and merciful blogger, I didn't get into overnight bags versus carry-ons (which overlap with laptop bags, I think). Nor did I show you my collection of backpacks that I haven't used in years. Now, who has more questions?

Oh! And the panda? It would work on any one of these. It's like a miracle! I love the panda ever so much...


CAE said...

Wow. I have, like, 6 bags.

CAE said...

Not judging you understand, just jealous!

TitleTroubles said...

That clarifies, yet again, that you have serious issues.

TitleTroubles said...

Sorry. My mistake. I meant to say, you have Serious Issues.

post-doc said...

You can judge me on the quantity. Just not Tinkerbell. :)

We had this discussion. About bags. Shoes. Books. Gray pants. The list goes on. But I think it's endearing!

PhysioProf said...

That's a fuckload of fucking bags!

CJR said...

Hmmm, normal scaling relations would suggest that you must therefore have about 127 different pairs of shoes...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....(I love bags of all kinds, too). Where do you put the canvas beige totes that you get at conferences or at the grocery store to save the planet. They're totes but not cute, separate category, perhaps? Oh and in my house, there'd also be a category for out-doorsy bags (backpacks, Timbuktu shoulder bags that are too small for a laptop....)

We could never room together. We'd need a 4 bedroom to cover both sets of accessories.

post-doc said...

I have more than that. I also live alone in a three bedroom house. There's room!

It's actually easier for me to throw shoes away than bags for some reason. So I tend to wear shoes until they're useless, then toss them and buy new. So I only have 50 or so pairs! Don't we all feel better now? (I think it's more like 20, honestly. Maybe 30.)

That's very true. But if we roomed together, think of all the "Look at this great bag I found!" stories we could share! While surrounded by bags, of course, because there wouldn't be room enough to store them.

Anonymous said...

wow, that is a lot of bags! but i must say, i really like the tinkerbell one!

Unbalanced Reaction said...

I am in awe. I really need to become an adult and invest in some serious purses...er...laptop bags....er...totes? ;)

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