That Old Bag

It might just be me, but I doubt it.  We all develop attachments to some type of seemingly useless object, Linus and his old blanket for example.  Certainly he had an attachment. To the outsider, seemingly useless but just ask Linus and he could give you a list of why it is a worthy accessory, if not a necessity, to his daily life.  I have a similar attachment, beat up old reusable bags.

grocery bag photo
Photo by Wicker Paradise

My childish attachment has always been to an old bag of some type.  Back in my middle school days I always had at least one old bag that I favored.  When the one from my middle school days, an old canvas sack with a flap cover, finally fell apart I nearly cried.  Just like Linus, I had many reasons.  It was big, it carried much weight and, most importantly, it fit comfortably on my shoulder with a wide strap which did not cut off the circulation to my arm.

Just a few years later, I received another bag, a newspaper bag, while it lacked the flap, it had large cargo capacity and a wide strap.  I loved it.  It allowed me to carry my groceries the many blocks I needed and doubled as a book bag capable of carrying all my texts books.

However, some of my fraternity brothers thought it’s beat-up appearance was not good for my image.  In an effort to better my image, some of my brothers stole it and I have never seen that old bag since.  To be honest, although I have long forgiven them, I still harbor some of resentment over the lack of consideration in the act.  Thier theft hindered my ability to carry my groceries.

Linus blanket photo
Photo by mliu92

Recently I had another such experience.  I walk for my groceries.  The round trip is 3.5 miles.  While I don’t mind carrying almost 80 pounds of groceries on my back and shoulders, I do mind when I end up in a situation which cuts off the feeling to my arms.  Most of the reusable bags they sell today do not have wide straps.  They don’t work.

Recently, I lost my favorite old bag.  It was from Giant Eagle and, unlike the ones they sell today, it had wide handle.  I don’t know where it went or what happened to it, but I sure miss it.  It was so perfect for my trek that I had actually mended it with stitches and duct tape to keep it functional.

Currently, my grocery trips are at about 40% capacity due to a lack of adequate cargo capacity.  It is, at this time, much more of a burden than the earlier losses. Earlier this year, I intentionally made the choice to heavily invest in my 401K and HSA (health savings account).  Not only did I decide to invest the maximum annual amount for both accounts, plus a some of the “over 50 catch up” and I did it over only a period of nine months.  What this equates to in daily life is that if I work a 40 hour week, I have almost no take-home pay.

My decision to invest heavily puts my disposable income at almost zero.  It mandates that I walk for groceries if I wany any money left for gasoline for leisure trips.  In other words, having to drive for groceries means no recreational driving… kinda sucks… kinda amazing how much one old bag can matter.   I miss that old bag.