Butch Bags

LGBT lesson of the day: In case y’all didn’t know, I self-identify as a butch. That means I embrace my masculine side more than my feminine side. Those on the opposite end of the spectrum are called femmes. I ain’t one of those. Not as many lesbians go for the role thing anymore. It’s not really a role, it’s a state of being. But that’s a different lecture as well as the theme to Butch Girls: Stereotype This, the next BG book I am trying to write.

Anyway, as a butch, I don’t carry a purse. Never have, I don’t think. I might have some in high school. I remember something about a leather bag with a horseshoe? That’s been a while! I’m lucky to remember what I had for breakfast this morning! Where was I? Oh, right, purses and the fact I don’t carry one. I’ve used various bags over the years to carry my shtuff. My fave by far was the Mountainsmith Day bag. I loved it except for one thing: it had a waist strap. They could be tucked into the back but it added bulk I didn’t want. I could have cut them off but sometimes Lorna needed it for something and she liked to use the waist strap. The bag had served me well for many years but was starting to show its age (aren’t we all?). Then when I had to start carrying medication for my headaches, then the glucose meter in addition to the usual bag crap, it was getting to be just a tad too small.

This summer, I got a laptop and a cool bag but after using it at the GCLS con, I didn’t like it very much. Since I carry my laptop bag at my feet, the messenger bag flap was a pain in the ass. If I left the flap flipped back, then the front bit slowly unzipped. When my niece was with us, she didn’t have a laptop bag so I gave her that one and got a new one. Since I’d only used it that one time, it still had the new stink to it. She loved that it was so big because then she could carry her art shtuff. I got a toploading bag, the same as the other one but without the flap. I started carrying my necessities in there in the front pocket. But its a huge bag. Nice bag, cool bag, but huge ’cause I got a huge laptop. So then I started just stuffing my pockets whenever we went anywhere, put everything in the truck, then restuffed when I got home. Bigger pain in the ass.

So I started the search for a new bag. I hit the usual websites (Campmor, REI, Duluth Trading, etc) but just didn’t find one I liked within a reasonable price range. 80 bucks for a laptop bag is one thing, 80 bucks for a butch bag was another. I didn’t want waist straps or backpack straps so that left out a huge chunk of them. I wanted removable shoulder strap. I wanted a carry handle. Yes, I am picky. I looked at Targus’ smaller laptop bags but, really, that’s not what I wanted. Close, but not quite. Timbuk2 has some awesome bags but pricey and the ones I liked didn’t have removable shoulder straps. Campmor didn’t carry much of the Mountainsmith bags so I went to their website. And I found it.

It’s the Mountainsmith small Messenger bag. No cool name on it but it is made of recycled water bottles. At least 7.5 bottles went into the construction. I got it from eBags, a site I should not be allowed to visit. Because for all of my dislike of purses, I love bags. Not flowery stuff, but bags. Yeah, I’m weird.

It finally arrived today! (bit of trivia: companies use FedEx and UPS because they are allegedly faster. They’re not. More expensive, too. However, for many of the rural areas, FedEx and UPS take the packages to the Post Office who then delivers them. So I waited ten days for a FedEx delivery, only to have it delivered by the post office who could have originally done it faster and cheaper. sigh.)

Where was I? Oh, yeah, it came today. And I love it already. It has tons of pockets. The flap has a zippered pocket and there’s an odd open one on the back. One side has the mesh bottle holder and the other has a padded MP3 player pocket with headset cord hole. Cooool. My iPod Touch (hush Kevin) fits so all is well with the world. Inside there is the usual big open space. Along the back ‘wall’ are several more. There’s a big open pocket (hook-and-loop tab in the middle). Then a zippered one (with a key hook thingy). Then another open one (no tab) and yet another zippered one. The shoulder strap is well padded and removable! The handle is rubber and easy for my hand to grasp. And big enough to slide over the armrest of my chair.

All of my crap fits with room to spare. If I had a tablet computer, it would probably fit. I know it is big enough for Lorna’s Nook. Not sure it is big enough for an iPad.

Oh, and the water bottle is new, too. It is the Nalgene OTG (on the go). Not sure I like the lid, though. I just ordered another, the OTF (on the fly) direct from the company. We’ll see how the lid is. If I like it, I think that lid will fit the OTF one, too. I drink a ton of water each day and wanted a smaller bottle to carry in the truck. At my desk, I usually have a huge 32oz Nalgene with a sippy cup insert. Seriously. Yes, I have the smiley face one but I usually use one of the others and let Lorna giggle during the day.

I cannot wait for my new chair and new cushion to arrive. My current one is looking rather ratty!