the wheelie bag
It never fails: things happen to me 24-48 hours before I see the exact same dilemma in the national news. Case in point: just yesterday I was at my chiropractor getting adjusted. Due to carrying way-too-heavy bags on a daily basis, I’d managed to shorten my right leg about half an inch (due to misaligned illium/sacrum) and carry the opposite shoulder higher, also by about half an inch.
Debating the cause of my deformity, I innocently asked my chiropractor “do you think it could be due to the heavy bag I carry daily?” Mind you, for years I have suffered inwardly, cursing to high heaven the people near me, the subway, my job, my schedule, and basically all of mankind for my over-booked life. Yes, the willingness to lead an overbooked life is my fault, but it’s only because of the pressure to do so much that it’s a problem in the first place, and for that, I blame others/society/socio-economic inequality…you get the drift.
Anyway, my solution has been “carry bag with everything needed for 24/7 lifestyle.” When my boss expects me to come in early and stay late; when my martial arts classes start on time or else; when I have to meet a friend for a dinner appointment that I scheduled three weeks ago because my life allows for little sponteneity, the over-stuffed bag became a fixture in my modern, full, life.
It also became the thing that felled me, as these last few weeks at the chiropractor have forced me to slow down. But as my twisted, crooked pelvis and shortened leg heal, I think about resuming my 24/7 life once again. Yet this time, I’ll do it differently. I’ll get a wheelie bag.
The wheelie bag is the subject of much derision. Children who carry a wheeled backpack to school look like wimps. What do they have in there that’s so heavy that they need wheels anyway? They’re six! Those hard pink plastic Bratz wheels are barely functional anyway. Minus 1 fashion points for the 6-year-old with the wheeled backpack. It’s not much better for the middle-age executive woman, who invariably picks the wrong colored pack to wheel. Cornflower blue? Ugh, she’s wearing running sneakers too. Minus five points for the woman who has so accepted her unstylish, over-worked fate that she can’t at least get a good looking wheelie bag. Then there is the IT consultant, whose wheelie bag has cables sticking out of it. Could he not stuff those in there and zip? Does the wheelie bag make you lazy? In either case, I have seen several pantyhose get snagged from run-ins with the wheeled IT cadre. Minus 10 for public nuisance. But I am willing to take the risk and the fashion points if it means saving my back and shoulders. And uneven shoulders (not to mention discomfort and cursing to yourself) are definitely worth a few negative fashion points as well.
I am not the only one suffering from the overstuffed bag. While, thank god, I am not that enslaved to my job that I have to bring paperwork home at night (note to self: if that day arrives, seriously consider jumping off bridge), I do occasionally bring home AdAge or Crain’s from my inbox. That weighs things down. Then there’s the ubiquitous water bottle (must stay hydrated!). This overstuffed existence has become so common that the NYTimes covered the wheelie bag in their style section. Now all of us grumpy urban bag ladies and gents can find solace that the answer we were scared to admit we desired – the wheelie bag – has been approved by the NYTimes. This means we can all go out and get one now, and add yet more flotsam to the human traffic stream that clogs our sidewalks on a daily basis. I’m overjoyed.