I have a question. Or three.

For the ladies.  And men, if you carry a “European Carry-All”.  What do you carry when you travel?  Handbag, purse, satchel, backpack, tote, bag, sling, briefcase?

Here is my dilemma: I hate carrying a purse.  Like a lady carries. HATE THEM.  I don’t want something hanging on my arm or wrist.  I have never liked them.  If a woman didn’t have to carry so much stuff, part of which doesn’t even belong to her, a purse might do.  And I suppose women who don’t have children or husbands might still be able to get away with a purse.  Or handbag if you will.  Maybe even a clutch.  Which I don’t even understand. I see movies and even RL women in restaurants and such with dainty little sequined clutch thingies and I am wondering why in the hell didn’t you put that quarter in your shoe and the chapstick in your bra because that’s all you can fit in a clutch. And I am telling you right now, I would go off and leave it somewhere.  I mean what are you supposed to do with it while you pee?  First of all if you are wearing something that you can get away with carrying a clutch, then you likely have on some monstrosity of an outfit that involves “foundation” wear and hosiery.  Even you skinny minnies will subject yourself to “foundation wear” if the occasion arises.  I haven’t had on a pair of pantyhose in 6+ years. I wear them for one occasion.  If one of my children gets married.  In a church.  When “and the groom’s mother wore a pair of faded Eddie Bauer jeans and grey sweatshirt with an Ensco insignia, black cat socks and Keen Coronado sneakers.  She did her own hair with a collection of mismatched clippies and declined to use make-up as it tends to make her look like someone other than herself” would be an inappropriate addition to the wedding announcement. Then and only then.  I wore pants to my mother’s funeral.  She hated pantyhose as much as I do if not more, so she would have been on board with my decision.

Now I do love those hose like they wore in the 50s.  You know with a guarder belt and those little hangy down things that you attach to the tops of the hose.  Adorable.  Sexy.  And yeah, if I weighed 110 pounds again I would wear them for certain occasions of which you do not want to know anything about.  That’s provided I wasn’t so weak from the disease that caused me to weigh 110 pounds again that I couldn’t bend over to pull the hose up. Whoops…sidetracked.  We were talking about purses.

I love a backpack.  I like the canvas, 20 compartment kind that you get at surplus or off ebay.  But I don’t buy used backpacks.  I would be just lucky enough to buy the one that had one weed seed caught in the seam in the bottom of it and the drug dog at the airport would sniff me out and I would spend my vacation trying to explain that I have never bought, sold or smoked the ganja, blah, blah blah.  But a new backpack?  Oh yeah.  See them, love them, buy them, hate them. The big zipper opens too much or not enough. The cell phone compartment is too deep and I can’t get my cell back out.  The water holder thingy, won’t hold diddly.  I had one I dearly LOVED that was handmade from Crazy Quilters, but I finally wore it out by putting TOO much stuff in it. And honestly, it was a handbag size – not suitable for traveling with all my stuff.  But dang I miss it.  It was patchwork and soooo cute.

I need a backpack that is sturdy enough to use as a weekender ~ a change of clothes, my meds, peppermints, a pound bag of M & M’s (plain), my wallet, cell, laptop, IPAD, ipod and my camera and accessories. And if I am flying the first thing I do when I get thru security is buy two of the biggest bottles of water available.  They have to go in there too.  When I travel I want everything I “need” in one bag.  On my back. Everything I “want” to bring will be in one checked bag and if it gets lost, the apocalypse starts, some buggers decide to bomb something and I get stranded,  I will survive with what is on my back. I am going to be pissed but my breath will be fresh, I will have my happy pills, I can document everything with my new camera and can call or email to  let the fam know I am going to be late. I won’t be the only one with greasy hair and stinky pits. And at least I won’t have started the trip greasy and stinky.  Seriously, it is so unlikely that you just “get up a trip” via a plane, what possess a person to NOT take a shower before their trip?

The last two short trips I went on I wore the same jeans/shoes the whole time and just changed t-shirts, draws and socks. And by short I mean a week or under.  I know when flying I am allowed a second carry on bag (which technically should be a purse) because I am a girl (what is up with that???) but that means I have to carry TWO bags.  AND then after security if you buy anything at the duty free shop you can carry that in a separate plastic bag.  THEN you might get McDonalds and you will have THAT bag.  Okay, I am getting miffed thinking about it. I hate that traveler so I don’t want to be that traveler.  Granted I have had to ask someone to help me put my bag in the overhead because I couldn’t reach it but I want to be the “low profile” passenger. Remember my talking about the man that puked all the way from Houston to Alexandria last time I flew?  I could pick him out of a line up today and that has been 8 months ago. I might could do it with my eyes closed if you could get him to retch a couple of times.

So, anywhoodle, any suggestions? Besides being more rational?  I plan for the apocalypse (with water and M&Ms), worry about one weed seed in the bottom of a used backpack I might buy off ebay, wear the same pair of jeans for 7 days but wish with all my might that the person, three rows behind me would have taken a shower yesterday or at least day before, carry my passport with me at all times in case I have to leave the country at a moment’s notice yet have no idea what I am cooking for supper.  If you think I sound crazy to you, just think what it is like inside my head.  Sometimes I amuse myself.  Sometimes I scare the hell out of myself.  Most of the time I am just mildly annoying.  Unless Ben and I go on too long about which cat decided to use his room as a litter box yesterday, and how it was probably Mo because he has done it before, and it probably isn’t Siobhan because she uses the litter box in the laundry room A LOT, and we just don’t think Julius would do such a thing, he’s too sweet and yeah, it was likely Mo because he’s still mad that we let Siobhan back in the fold and…yes, that kind of thing seems to go past mildly annoying pretty quick.  Or so Jerry says.  That and asking him too many questions about which backpack I should get only to have him say at the end of that 30 minutes – “What’s wrong with the one you have?” Nothing. I guess.

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I hate lugging a purse around also, but sometimes I just have to do it. I put an empty one in my checked baggage so that I have it and use a backpack to take onto the plane, which I stog everything else into. My wallet, any prescrips I need, clean underwear (just in case), my camera and my iPad. I also have a little change purse thingie that hangs around my neck and tucks into my shirt. In that go my credit/bank cards and some cash/change. Its safe. Its light. And ain’t nobody going to steal it without me noticing them trying! Hope this helps! xo