I’d been aware of the clear advantages of clear bags (see what I did there?) for a while. This started since the time my friends and I went out to a concert and they sailed through the security check with their clear totes while I spent five minutes unloading my highly prized and sadly abused Marc Jacobs bag to satisfy the security guards’ apparent suspicion. He thought that I was smuggling something – liquor? drugs? a small yappy dog? – into the show. I’d even bought a clear bag for myself shortly afterwards, but I never carried it.
This means I routinely dump out the entire contents of my bag. Onto counters, onto the street, onto other people’s laps – usually in a panic to find something. Which brings us to the Disaster Date.
I was slightly obsessed with him. It was a first date, meeting for a cocktail and then dinner, and I knew that for me this was make or break. Guys have to make it through the first date – if they do, we’re usually steady for a while. If they don’t, it’s over. I was nervous and excited and got to the bar early, chose a spot based on flattering lighting conditions, and ordered a drink.
And he didn’t show.
I went through the five stages of Date Grief: Panic, rage, burning rage, depression, and finally, rage. After forty minutes I had already written a script for our next encounter which I imagined would set his hair on fire. And then I thought, wait, am I in the right bar?
On cue, my phone began to ring from deep within Marc. Muffled by a sweater, a scarf, a box of chocolate chip cookies, a work binder that weighed about sixty pounds in paper, and my wallet, it was barely audible, and an icy vein of dread crept up my back as I opened my bag to root around. I couldn’t find the phone! It kept chirping at me, but remained elusive. So, of course, I dumped Marc out on the bar, cookies everywhere, and found the phone just as it chimed that a voice mail had been left. The fourth one in the last hour.
Yes, his voice mail set my hair on fire.
I called him back immediately, but it was too late – he’d gone into a tunnel or something. I was miserable. That night, after half a bottle of awful Cabernet I went online and found the clear bag purse organizer. Where had this been a few hours before, I wailed, ordering five.
Now not only is Marc saved the wear and tear of being dumped on a regular basis, I can find my phone in just under two seconds, every time, and I haven’t missed a call since. Plus, I get to be stylish and organized at the same time. As for the guy – he eventually understood and forgave me, once he realised that yes, I am that incompetent.