Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bag lady

Today's episode of the Great American House Purge of 2012 focuses on bags.

Tote bags. Hand bags. Dog bags. Overnight bags. Duffel bags. Little bags. Big bags. Laundry bags. Mesh bags. Fabric bags. Leather bags. Shoulder bags. Cross-body bags. Sling back bags. Cute little "go to a wedding bags." Big practical "go to work" bags. Bags that were borderline luggage. Article bags. Exhibitors' bags from national specialties. More dog bags. And did I mention, dog bags?

You get the picture.

OMFG. And I am not using those words lightly.

Someone should have staged an intervention years ago.

My name is Melinda and I am addicted to bags.

I've known this for years and have pretty much come out of the closet when it comes to my love for bags. That's because there's no room for me in my closet. It's full of bags.

A girl can never have too many bags, you know. Having just the right bag can make or break a trip. Training is guaranteed to be more fun and your dogs will Q more often if you have just the right gear bag. Everyone knows that. I know I'm not alone. There are more of you out there just like me. Sisters, unite!

So today I sat down with all my bags. I reminisced. I laughed. I cried. Okay, I didn't cry. I thought what the hell . . . seriously . . . what the hell. How did this happen? This is like the woman who wakes up one morning and realizes she's living with 64 cats. How did it get to this point?

I drug all my bags out to the dining room. First, I made sure the Farmer was far, far away. Like on another farm. In another township. We've been married 21 years this summer but there are still some things he doesn't need to know. I'm pretty sure he's fairly oblivious to my bag addiction although he will occasionally narrow his eyes and say, "Is that a new bag?"

Hmmm . . . maybe. Oh look! The cows are out!

Today, I downsized. I made piles: a pile to keep, a pile for Goodwill, a pile for my obedience club's spring garage sale, a pile to take to work and try to sell to unsuspecting co-workers.

I'm horrible about buying bags for dog training gear. This is totally my weakest point. Over the years, I've bought and abandoned an alarming number of dog bags. Many were returned, re-sold or re-purposed. Each bag had a favorite feature. Unfortunately, all these favorite features were distributed among a number of different bags. I keep waiting for a manufacturer to combine all these features into one product. Hasn't happened yet. I'll keep shopping. You can't stop me.

Apparently I have spent the last 40-odd years of my life buying every bag that caught my eye. I have bags for every possible packing contingency. And that's the ironic thing - I don't travel that much any more.

Maybe 10 years ago, the dogs and I were on the road a lot, going to agility trials in Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska. Now local clubs are offering more and more three-day trials and nearly all are day-trip drives. I still do a few occasional overnights but not like the old days. It's awesome to come home and sleep in my own bed at night, but my bags were collecting dust.

The house purge is nearing its end. Sorting through all my bags was one of the final tasks. As much as I hate trying to figure out what to keep and what to downsize, I love the feeling of freedom that comes from hauling box after box to Goodwill or loading up storage totes for the spring garage sale.

And with all that new-found space, there's room for more bags. Seriously. I can stop any time I want to. But I don't want to.


  1. You cannot guilt me into purging anything! I will keep all my bags, shoes and leashes. (The leashes really may become a problem...but NO! They too will stay.) I don't want to throw anything away today. Maybe tomorrow... You are a good woman Melinda. I'm proud to know you!

  2. I've shared this with a Sibe pal in Merryland -

    Do you have a sister Penny ;-) ?

    Perhaps you'll see her at the next BagBuyers Anonymous meeting -

  3. Bagaholics Unite. I cannot tell you how many I have. It would be far too scary to count them. I DO NOT have the perfect training bag, though. I am still shopping for it

  4. Maybe we're long, lost sisters! I love hand-me-down bags!

  5. At first I was VERY alarmed when you said you took them out to the dining room... my first thought was "Where is Jeff?!?!?!?!?" LOL

    BTW.... not only are you an addict, you are an ENABLER!!!!!! (my bag is still on back order!)

  6. Well I only have 1 (yes, I said ONE) training bag but... it probably weighs 10lbs. My weakness... dumbbells. I *think* I have 5, or maybe 6 in the bag and I am only training two dogs and trialing one! Hey, I've seen DBs break and when that ever happens to me I've got a replacement. Wood (Maple, Poplar) and plastic (one if a custom one for my rescue that never saw the ring but I certainly couldn't train him to retrieve with just ANY DB) are scattered throughout the bag. When I do empty it out twice a year the DBs are neatly placed back in the bag for whenever I may think they are needed. Of course the "active" dogs DB is right on top...

    Oh, and I haven't met a leash I didn't find some use for (I bet there are 10 in my bag).

  7. OMG I'm glad I'm not alone. My addiction just got worse thanks to my friend selling Thirty-One stuff ( - personalized, customized bags! cute ones as grooming bags and trial bags and lunch bags!). OMG. I just set a bunch aside for garage sales in order to keep my addiction going.

  8. Aren't you the woman who admitted to being addicted to crates awhile ago? ;-) Shoot, compared to that, bags are nothing!

  9. dog beds.

    It got so bad I started shedding them. Yet I recently "had" to get another dog bed; this one was special and different and it would help us Q!!!! My husband gets a bit wild-eyed when the topic of dogs beds come up. And I don't think the fact that I have actually gotten rid of 5 (and I could tell you all about each of them) really counts.

  10. OMG, I'm the same way with bags, but not as bad as you. i seriously buy them because I'm looking for that "ultimate" bag and every time i buy one, it fails me. whether it's a purse for me or a "dog bag" for dog games/training whatever. i use a big lands end tote for long dog trips, lots of back packs for dog hiking. the back packs... some are for just dog stuff, the others for my special camera equipment AND dog stuff so when i hike wiht them, i have my "big" camera (not the pocket one) AND i have their water supply, treats, training collar equipment for anything off leash (I'm sorry this is requiremnt for living near farm animals. i never want to see my husky playfully follow and run next to a horseback rider while ignoring my recall again.), poopy bags, money, keys, etc. each backpack is stocked differently for different events...

    but even for purses...i'm STILL looking for that perfect purse. not too big, simple, doesn't fall off the shoulder... not too small. is rigid so it stands up but not so rigid it doesn't lie nicely on your body, opens and closes EASILY but not so easy for pickpockets, not too many compartments because lets face it, i never shove my keys, sunglass or phone in the same place evne when I say "this is the place for my keys and this is the place for my cell phone"... so 3 compartments tops. 2 small and 1 big. not easy for bags in CH. everyone of them has at least 42 compartments. thinking about buying one and ripping the compartments out... then i think, why pay that much money (and believe me, nothing is cheap here) just to rip it apart?

    it's hard being a purse addict. very hard. when is our next meeting? I think i need a 12-step refresher...

  11. Oh my I have been busy and hadn't been here in a wk or more I must remember to visit here as you make me laugh so much. Funny funny . I too collect dog bags but lucky for me not handbags for people so my collection is a bit smaller. Yep on the crate thing but my downfall is leashes I love leashes leashes leashes and the funny thing about that is I mostly use my favorite while the others well they fill the bags.:))
    Thanks for the morning laugh as it is 4th of July and I am missing my Mom....