When I first became pregnant, my husband wished for a boy and I wished for a girl. We got a girl. And then more girls, three in all so far. But it didn’t quite work out the way I’d expected, because my girls are all complete and total Tomboys – my husband’s secret revenge. I love my girls, don’t get me wrong; they are my life and I would lie down in front of bulldozers for them. But I still wish for a girly girl, every now and then. Someone I could pass all this knowledge of shoes and handbags to – not to mention at least one child who didn’t possess my girls’ tendency to love all that is gross and horrifying.
Every day I send my three ladies off to school pristine and organised. And every afternoon they return to me dishevelled, dirty, and covered head to toe with questionable substances that may or may not be mud. Once they all came home with their new school pants in tatters, and I’ll admit that I contemplated some pretty heinous punishments when I calculated how much new school clothes were going to cost.
By far, however, the worst of it is the critters.
My girls are quite modern and curious and we have high hopes for their future careers as scientists or big game hunters. Right now what that means is that they are constantly bringing home bugs, frogs, birds, and various other slimy things, alive or not. Sometimes this is with great fanfare, as when they touched my heart by running a bird with a broken wing home, insisting we take it to the vet, and then spent weeks caring for it like a trio of hens over an egg. Sometimes this is with … less fanfare, as I frequently reach into the dark spaces of their school bags and discover … unpleasant things. And no matter how often I tell them to never, ever leave amphibians or earthworms in the pockets of their bags, they still do.
So, I got each of my girls a Large Clear Pink Backpack from the Clear Bag Store.
This did nothing to deter my little tomboys from collecting insects and moss from the woods every day after school, or, to be honest, from coming home looking like they’ve been playing rugby with the boys. I’ve come to adore my tough little girls, because these clear backpacks mean I can see at a glance what’s lurking in there. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been more earthworms. It just means I haven’t been surprised by earthworms in a long time.
There are other benefits, too. The bags are sturdy and can handle the huge number of books they have to carry around all day. The large pink clear bags are also easy to clean – they’re made of tough plastic and so I can just wipe them down. Which is good because these bags need a nuclear-level disinfecting every few days.
I work in a tiny office. There’s just seven people including our boss, and it’s all very casual and good-natured. We’re all professionals, we all do our jobs, and there’s no stress or yelling or trouble. Performance reviews are done over cups of tea, the boss just steps out of his tiny office to make announcements instead of sending out impersonal memos, and we all even like to have a drink or two after work together sometimes. I may not be getting rich, but I really enjoy my workday, and not many are lucky enough to say that.
We have a nice little tradition where each of us take turns going out to pick up lunch orders. Everyone phones in what they want, and each day a different person heads out to make the rounds and pick everything up. Even the boss takes turns, which is super nice. I like the idea of it, but I started to really dread when it was my turn. First of all, it was always raining on my Lunch Day. Always. And so I’d arrive back at the office carrying several dissolving paper bags, with no hand free for an umbrella. Dripping, I’d sit and eat my own lunch with a growing sense of resentment. I started bringing in a plastic tote bag to place everyone’s lunch orders into, which kept them dry, but then I kept forgetting someone’s lunch because I couldn’t see who I had already picked up, and kept having to head out for a second round.
This was threatening to ruin my joie de vivre in the office and – more importantly, ruin lunch for everyone, until I discovered the Medium Fleur De Lis Tote Bag from the Clear Bag Store.
This bag is perfect. It’s big and tough – perfect for lugging a bunch of hot lunches around. It’s attractive – I love the Fleur De Lis design, and I don’t mind carrying this baby around at all. It’s waterproof, which keeps crisps crisp and hot things hot. And most importantly for Lunch Day purposes, it’s clear. So now when my day comes around, rain or shine, I can tell at a glance how much progress I’d made and whose lunch was still waiting to be picked up. As an added bonus, there’s no more confusion when I get back to the office, either, because everyone can see their order in the bag and distribution is orderly and fast. Which, as anyone who’s ever had lunch in their life knows, is crucial when you’re starving.
Now everyone in the office has one, and we’re considering a motion to rename Lunch Day as Fleur De Lis Day, but there’s some sentiment that we should never forget the true purpose is to actually get everyone’s lunch. However the office votes, all I know is that the clear tote saved our lunch.
I was lucky to get to go to college, and I knew it. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, and my grades had been good but not great, so the scholarships and work-study programs were a godsend. Except of course I then had the classic problem: my tuition was paid, my books were bought, and my housing was secured, but I had nothing to actually live on. For a while I toyed with the idea of following my room-mate around and eating her leftovers, but that was both dangerous and unappetizing. So I went the traditional route: I looked for a part-time job.
My campus is remote, and there aren’t a lot of jobs available. I finally found one working events at this event hall a few miles away – I could walk there easy enough, and they had the sort of shift work that made sense for a kid dashing between classes. I could come up with twenty hours a week there and make enough to buy lunch and dinner and maybe even a soda on every other Wednesday! TV and movies make college life look so glamorous and exciting.
Once I got settled in, I liked the job, but one thing drove me insane: Security. Even with my job ID, I got searched each and every time I showed up for a shift. The security guards were thorough, too, opening my backpack – huge and packed with books and supplies – every time. It made me late for my shift a few times and I got spoken to about it, but I was racing from class and had just enough time to hoof it there every day. One day I saw a co-worker of mine walk in while I was being searched. She held her clear backpack up to the guards; they looked it over, and waved her through.
I bought one that night.
My new clear backpack is awesome. It’s made of tough, clear plastic that handles all my books and sharp, bizarre educational implements with aplomb (a word I just learned) but it’s got these stylin’ pink accents I love. It fits everything, easy, and when I spilled an entire tube of india ink in it, cleanup was a matter of running the dorm shower, dousing the bag, and drying it off. My books are all dyed blue, of course, but not everything in this world can be made of clear plastic, I suppose.
Now I breeze through security everywhere, not just at work. It’s amazing! If I were to apply my hourly wage to the time I’ve saved being able to just hold this clear backpack up to security guards everywhere and be waved through, I’d be rich. Well, no, considering my wages, no, I wouldn’t be rich. I’d be richer, though. I’m considering this to be a lesson from the University of Life. Check it out here!
I love to run. I started running with my father when I was in high school. It was one of the few times we could be alone together without fighting during that period of my life, and I came to find running to be the most relaxing, meditative activity I could engage in. Over the years, I ran marathons, half marathons, relays – and every day, in the morning, just for myself. I can honestly say if I hadn’t been able to run I would have gone crazy a long time ago!
But, it takes a toll. I’m still young, but recently I noticed my running game was way off. A trip to the doctor revealed a thyroid problem, and my iron levels were really low, making me tired. So, onto iron therapy I went, and suddenly I’m on a fistful of pills every day like a retiree! The therapy’s working, though, as my energy levels have come back to the old familiar me, so it’s totally worth it. The only problem? I keep forgetting to take my pills.
I don’t know how older folks do it. My memory is terrible now, and I have four dinky pills to take every day. The problem, for me, is that they need to be taken with food, so I don’t have a set time every day to take them. I just have to always have them with me and remember – both of which I have trouble with! Sometimes I forget to bring them, and after lunch I wince, realising I won’t be able to take them until I get home much later. Sometimes I remember to take them with me in the morning, but forget all about them as they’re hidden in my bag, safely out of sight.
My friend Sally had a suggestion – she said her mother used a clear plastic bag that she taped to the outside of her handbag. Sally’s mum is a dear, but my goodness, the effect of a plastic sandwich bag on my ensemble would be disastrous. But the idea got me to thinking, which my boyfriend will tell you usually gets me to shopping, and I found the perfect, ideal solution: A small cosmetic bag from the Clear Bag store.
It’s perfect. It’s small, so it fits into any bag I’m carrying – or I can just carry it by itself. It’s durable, so I don’t have to worry about it getting damaged or the pills being lost or dampened. And it’s clear, so I see those pills every few minutes. I haven’t forgotten a single pill since I got it. And, even better, I no longer feel like a dowager when I have to take my ‘meds’ – because this little wonder is super cool. All my friends want one for themselves, and who can blame them!