I bought it last summer in Yellow Springs, Ohio because I thought it was cute and I love tote bags.
No, really. I fucking love tote bags. I own about a zillion of them, and until this time last year, switched them out pretty frequently.
Some of my favorites:
- the white one covered in spoons
- the mustard-colored one with a record on it (love both mustard & music)
- the Chantal Kreviazuk one (as I said, I love music)
- the Theodore Roethke one (because I also love poetry)
This tote bag, though, has topped them all. I'm not sure how this happened. Maybe it's that it fits over my shoulders in such a way that I don't feel like I'm carrying it; instead, I feel like I'm wearing it. Or maybe it's that the straps are so wide that there's plenty of room for me to add personality to it with buttons.
Some buttons that have lived on my bag within the past year:
- a pink breast cancer awareness pin
- a pin that says "I <3 pro-choice girls" on it
- a pin with one of my favorite Audre Lorde quotes on it: "Your silence will not protect you."
- an LGBT pride ribbon
- a pin with the original cover of _Beloved_ by Toni Morrison on it
- a silver ribbon "Trust Women" pin
Or maybe I just love it because I don't have to worry about whether it matches my outfits-- the damn thing doesn't even match itself.
It looks a little more tired than it did a year ago, but it's still goin' strong. The zipper's broken and there's a little hole on the front of it. My cats decided that the tassels make good cat toys, so those are pretty frayed, too. And the inside is filthy, thanks to the frequent explosions of mini lotion bottles.
But I still manage to get compliments on it pretty frequently, in strange places to boot. A few months ago, I was walking to work. And I was crossing the street in front of a car parked at a stop sign. The woman driving the car rolled down her window, told me that she loved my bag, and asked me where I got it.
This question often leads to interesting conversations, because Yellow Springs is yarnbombed and wonderful.
I work as a nanny, basically. I avoid using that word because it makes me feel a lot older than I actually am. But it's a more accurate term than "babysitter," because it's a regular, structured gig. I take the four-year-old with me to pick up the seven-year-old from school, feed them an after school snack, cook them dinner, bathe them, and put them to bed-- all before their mom gets home at 9:30.
The tote bag has come in handy on multiple occasions-- usually on trips to the playground. People seem to think it's hilarious that I've pulled juice boxes, children's books, and toys from a bag that's so weird-looking and, thanks to my buttons and pins, loudly political.
Especially in a town like Grosse Pointe, MI.
Maybe this is my way of yarnbombing a town that really needs some color and life and fun and ridiculousness. I do my thing and it's fuckin' weird but people seem to like it.
It's strange, the things that'll end up making your day.
Or entire year, in my case.