Saturday, February 2, 2008

My Parisian Romance

Right around this time of year, the king of this castle starts fishing for ideas for Valentine’s Day. This forced day of love stresses my shopaphobic husband out, so he likes to get and early start in what I might want (and if he can order it online—all the better.) Last year there was only one thing I wanted, a new diaper bag--but not just any diaper bag, THE diaper bag. A type of bag diapers and onesies would aspire to being carried around in. I wanted a Petunia Picklebottom Limited Edition Parisian Weekend Tote. I had all sorts of justifications, like how I was never without my bag so it would get a lot of use, how I never got to have a nice one with our first daughter and I dragged around that awful masculine diaper bag because of my hubby’s diaper bag commitment issues, how the one I had picked out would go with absolutely everything I owned and was seasonless so it would never go to waste. After what I thought would have to be a much longer convincement conversation, my sweetheart said yes, but only after letting me know that a ‘petunia picklewhatever’ bag that you carry diapers around in didn’t seem like a very romantic gift. Think of it like buying me a really nice piece of fabric jewelry for my shoulder, I said.
It got here week before Valentine’s day. With sweaty palms and heart racing I tore into the box before the UPS guy had started up his truck. It was perfect, the bag of my dreams. From its plethora of pockets to its super cute little stroller clips, there was nothing I didn’t like. Little did I know, as I began packing up my new bag with all the infant essentials, that an unhealthy love affair was about to begin.
I have never been one to follow trends in the, shall we say, baby chic, category. This bag was uncharted waters for me and I relished every moment of it. The compliments from friends and strangers had me gleaming with trendy delight, the criticism from family over “paying how much for a bag?!” threw me into a deep buyers remorse induced depression. I admit to having dreams wherein my children asked for their college money and I had to tell them I had bought diaper bags instead. I wondered if I shouldn’t have asked my husband for the craft-store gift card, but the bag, in its unwavering servitude, stuck by me. There was a pocket for everything, a strap for any occasion, a reason to feel cute! I slowly began to assimilate into the ‘fancy bag’ frame of mind. No more throwing my bag down onto the filthy restaurant floor or dragging it across the grass at the park. Empty yogurt cups or half-chewed cracker pieces were purged and no longer allowed to contaminate the sacred vessel of burp-cloth and wipee carrying. At last, I had a reclaimed a small level of personal identity once more! It was not to last.
My other bags began to get jealous. They would watch me, with their sippy cup and grass stained exteriors and beg the question “what does it have that we don’t?” I ignored them for as long as I could, placing them further and further back into the closets. Until one day, the unthinkable happened. A zipper broke on my beloved bag. I was heartbroken. I could feel the other bags, taunting me, letting me know THEY would have never broken under pressure. Somberly, I emptied out the bag and tucked it away in the closet. I picked up my old stand by from before and packed it full of the daily necessities.
Things did not go well. It was an awkward separation. I felt stranded and confused each time I reached into misplaced pocket searching for something. My elbow emphasized the unfamiliarity of the reestablished standby tote when it chaffed against the straps. Friends wondering where “the bag” had gone only echoed my thoughts of abandonment. Worst of all, I knew the awful truth. I was cheating on my bag. My dear, sweet, perfect, loyal bag. I couldn’t take it any longer. Broken zipper by damned! I was going back and there was nothing the other bags could do about it. Our reunion was sweet, the bag did not make a fuss, she did not taunt me or chastise me for doubting her. We just began again, stowing everything in its place and we’ve learned to adapt—broken zipper and all.


Kristina said...

Not that blog entries need to be so dang good, but this one, as well as the others is clever, witty and very entetaining, not to mention...true! Really, I want to send it some parenting magazine. Good stuff.

Sunny Blaylock said...

I have gone through three PPB bags this year with zipper problems. Call them and have them fix it. The zippers suck, it isn't you it is them. They started to make them in China and ever since the zippers can't handle the daily life of kids and baby chic.