Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's in the bag...

I've been at my current job for 20 months now, lugging my beloved laptop back and forth everyday, often using my train time as writing time. I'm not a big laptop expert, and am quite happy with my work-provided Dell (though I'm desperately in need of a new battery, which I keep forgetting to remind out IT guys about...). What I'm not happy about is the work-provided Dell laptop bag, which is big, bulky and heavy, not to mention terribly unfashionable. And, not that I am terribly fashionable (think "Gap chic" on a good day...), but I would still like to drag said beloved laptop around in a trendier, more useful bag. As it stands today, I barely have enough room for my "required" items, such as my wallet, a book (which will become even more problematic once I receive my pre-ordered version of the new Harry Potter book, due out in just a few weeks' time), a hairbrush (which I even remember to use on occasion), copious amounts of tissues, glasses case, and in winter, a small umbrella (fortunately, the Little One has long left the Cheerios phase, or I'd have little baggies with Cheerios in them as well, with the baggie often getting punctured by the brush and resulting in a smattering of Cheerio crumbs spread throughout). Everything must be fitted just so, and I often find myself having to take everything out and start from scratch. Chronic paininthebuttitis, that's what it is...

Hence, I've started the search for a new bag. I love bags – not the sleek yet impractical mini-bags, but rather bags with lots of room and lots of pockets and compartments. I love pockets and compartments (my father is the same way, so it's clearly a genetic trait). When I go bag shopping, I always make sure to bring a book with me, just to verify that it will fit in any bag to which I take a liking. If a bag doesn't pass the book test, it's probably not going to pass over the threshold out of the store, at least not with me. It's not that I buy a lot of bags, mind you. Truly, I don't (though I'm guessing that some males would probably disagree with my assessment, but seriously, how could I even debate this with individuals who only needs three pairs of shoes or less to get them through all of life's twists and turns?). I just tend to lust over them from afar, hoping to come up with a legitimate reason to make the purchase. I may look with longing, but I need to a definite reason to buy, and if the price is outrageous, I will never find the justification. Of course, the term "outrageous" is relative...

Where was I? Oh yes. A bag for the laptop. There's a chance I might have a suitable bag at home that would only require the purchase of a laptop sleeve, but I'm secretly hoping that I don't. Or maybe not so secretly, seeing as I've just let you all in on my little secret. Jeez, I can't even be trusted to keep my own secrets! Sigh... So anyway, I've been perusing the internet, getting bag ideas. And I've discovered something. I've discovered that I'm clueless (which some of you may have realized long before this). I don't know what I need, what will best suit my requirements. I don't know if I'll be happier with a tote bag or a messenger bag, and I keep finding myself surreptitiously staring at women's bags wherever I am, trying to envision myself with a similar bag and wondering if the particular style in question will do the trick. I've always tended to favor the messenger bag style, but that's only because I've never seriously considered the tote style, never really taken an in-depth look. Could I be a tote bag person? Could I have that trendy tote, or will I always be destined to go with the (more casual) messenger bag? Decisions decisions. If I go the messenger route, I'd have to make sure that I'm not taken in by canvas which, while totally laid back and comfortable (totally me), may start to look tatty, especially after one rainy Israeli winter. I'm not big on those brand emblems either, and I just can't see myself getting one of those flashy bags with brightly colored stripes or patterns, or some hideously loud-colored bag – it would have to be either black or brown, I'm thinking. After all, it has to be a bag that I can carry around with me wherever I go after work, on those rare occasions when I meet up with friends or go to a meeting of some sort, something that will fit in with my usual style (or lack thereof). Polka dots and plaids just won't do.

Which brings me to my next discovery. Who knew that bags could be so ugly? Some of the designs and patterns I saw were truly horrifying, as though a paint factory had exploded, or that my son had had a hand in the design. Or I did. People who choose laptop bags with garish polka dots should not be allowed to have laptops. There. I've said it. The truth laid bare. It's like letting guests from the Jerry Springer show breed. It just isn't right. Period. I may not have a lot of style, but I can certainly recognize an item that has none. I mean, it's not rocket science, you know. Besides, let's say for the sake of argument that you get the garishly polka-dotted bag. As long as you carry that bag, you can never wear polka-dots or stripes. You will clash with your bag.

I'm not saying that laptop bags can't be stylish and trendy, and even have color. Of course they can! Colored solids, elegant stripes (admittedly, my stripes would be in neutral colors). Knock yourselves out. Just remember what always used to say to the New Zealander who used to cut my air – make it interesting, but not embarrassing. There's a fine line between the two, and easily blurred at that.

And of course, now that I've probably managed to alienate the few readers that I have, if any of you have managed to read this far without being insulted, I'd, ummm, welcome your suggestions for a new laptop bag...

4 comments:

Nicole said...

I'm a Crumpler fan, personally. Not that I would shell out that much for a laptop bag though. I assume the Crumpler bags won't fit in with your black/brown understated look though...

What about a backpack - there are some great-looking ones around.

Beth said...

Hmm, anything from Longchamp? I always envy the chic French women who look so breezy with them but I've never actually coughed up the money for one myself...

Udge said...

I've heard good things about the Crumpler bags, but I personally don't find them good looking. I remember finding a manufacturer which did actually have non-eye-damaging colours and patterns, if I think of it or find the URL I'll comment again.

I'm worried about attracting a thief's attention, so I'm travelling for fun I put my laptop in a protective sleeve and put that in a really ratty old backpack. For work, I usually carry several ref. books so I put everything into a pilot case. Ugly as sin and twice as heavy, but very practical.

Idan said...

Crumpler. Have owned two. Remarkably well engineered for human usage; indestructible. My college laptop survived college because of my crumpler (that one was a messenger-style bag, my current bag is a hybrid laptop/camera backpack). Expensive, but think about it like laptop insurance. It will keep your baby safe. Forget the looks.