I admit it – I have joined the Man-Bag Movement.
I’m a disorganized person. It’s a fact. I have a horrible short-term memory, so the best way for me to find something is for me to leave things exactly where they last were, so I can use CSI skills to find them. Nothing drives me crazier than not being able to find something because somebody moved them.
Growing up, I often clashed with my parents, particularly my father on this point. It would get to the point that he would eventually swoop in and clean my room – which wouldn’t last long, because I would wreck the place again looking for the one particular adapter he put in some drawer. The only one I could trust to put things in a place where I would put them was my brother, mostly because he and I shared a room for a long time before I got my own room, so he was well-practiced in the art of Respecting Older Brother’s Things. While I pursued my Bachelor’s I couldn’t take the mind-clutter of keeping things neat (an apparent term of my continued “tenancy” at my parents’ place) and just paid him to clean my stuff every weekend.
Then I got married. When I showed my wife how my workspace functioned and the best way to keep it together for me, she was horrified. The first time I lost my wallet, she was not happy. The 90th time I lost my phone, she nearly snapped.
“What you need,” she said, more or less, minus the strong language, “is a purse.”
At the same time, I was going through a clothing transition. As a professional, I wanted to project a certain image with my look. I had always taken my clothing for granted as a kid, mostly due to my schools always having a uniform policy. In college, I noticed that clothing definitely made a difference. I wanted to make the permanent switch to my “adult professional” look.
This wasn’t a problem. In fact, as a big guy, my pockets were huge. I was a professional beast on weekdays. On weekends, however, my pockets bulged, pulling my pants down and even damaging the cloth. It should be noted that the weekend is also the only time my wife really sees me. Going out would take about a 30 minute head start for me to gather my bearings, let alone the possessions I would need.
A backpack would work, but my shoulders are much too broad to actually wear one.
So I bought a man-bag. I thought it would be the same as having a cinch sack in which to dump stuff. Not even close! It’s not about the container, it’s about the structure. Grabbing my bag is like putting pants on with pockets already loaded for the situation. The main pocket has the wallet inside, the outside pocket fits the phone. The portable battery has its own compartment so it’s not in the way of the reach for the wallet.
It feels nothing like a backpack. The bag rests behind me until I swing it to my side to grab my phone like Indiana Jones reaching for his bag of sand – nothing like the hassle of fishing a wallet from a backpack. When it’s time to go, I’m ready in seconds, waiting for my wife to be ready – as God intended.
(This kind of reminded me of high school too, because I used to wear my school-supplied laptop on my body.) I feel like if half the people who scoff at the use of a man-bag used one for three weeks, they would never go back. First week to see the practicality, second week to use it on-the-go, third week to start exploring the other lesser-used parts of the bag.
If you want to look at the one I got, it’s here.
This is the obligatory paragraph where I admit my wife was right – and that not only was she right, but she was right while I was wrong – an important distinction. It is apparently important that despite the win-win situation of me being more organized, I also acknowledge that on some scale there is an aspect of this situation in which she is the winner and I am the loser, and I acknowledge it here.
Oh shut up, guys, haters wind up single and alone.