Bag Lady: A Case Study

I know you’re not supposed to live in the future. Type “live now quotes” into a search engine and you’ll be bombarded with inspirational quotes about being in the moment, focusing on the “now,” blah blah blah. Good advice, mostly (and many supplemented with killer sunset and ocean backgrounds). Sometimes I can’t help, however, prematurely missing something that’s happening in the present (i.e. something that will be absent in the future that I will long to return).

Allow me to explain. For over a year now, my daughter has taken a liking to placing seemingly unrelated objects into bags. I use the term “bag” loosely, for this includes purses, lunch boxes, toiletries travel cases, etc. Use your imagination. Anyway, at times I get annoyed when I trip over a long-forgotten tote that should have been picked up days ago. Usually, though, I become excited to peek inside and see what interested my daughter enough to collect.

There’s always always something in there that makes me chuckle. My immediate thought is, Oh, I’m going to miss finding random shit like this around the house. Who knows how long Madison will find joy in this activity, so the other day I decided to walk around and photograph all the bags I found. Then I tried to analyze the findings, just for fun. This way, after she’s long since lost interest in being a bag lady, I’ll have a record of this cherished memory.

Here are the results.

Bag 1: The Roche Brothers Bag

bag 1

Contents: These treasures, which include a book of mortgage payment stubs, seven paper plates, and the cd insert for Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science, were hanging out in a brown paper grocery bag in the middle of the family room. These bags always contain a variety of goodies, since there’s plenty of room to hoard countless objects.

Interpretation: Maddie is planning a road trip to Jurassic Park. Note the dinosaur and music themes. She also included reading material for down time, disposable dinnerware for meals on the road, and lotion for those dry hotel rooms. She must’ve thought the mortgage stubs were checks for all her expenses. Seriously, Maddie, who takes checks nowadays?

Bag 2: The Lululemon Tote

bag 3Contents: This chick loves her pom poms. It’s probably hard to tell, but the toy car in Bag 1 has yellow and purple pom poms as passengers. These fuzzy devils have found their way into every nook of the house. Also, an honorable mention for my husband’s childhood fanny pack (I can barely type that without giggling). Not much else besides a couple of Lego’s, a yellow flower crayon, and some crumbled paper.

Interpretation: This one is tough. My ultimate guess is she’s been bartering goods for art supplies. She’s already traded some pretty cool things for that crayon and obviously the colored cotton balls. There’s not much else to trade, and sadly, no one seems to want a primary-colored dignity pack or a reusable tote from a company that shames women for having thighs that touch. Keep trying, Hun.

Bag 3: The Old Lunchbox

bag 2Contents: A toy peach, Brookstone mini binoculars, some dolls, Mommy’s old iPhone, some pens, and a pretend beeper from her doctor’s kit.

Interpretation: Clearly, she’s not going to lunch. I think she’s involved with Doctors Without Borders and is taking on some missions. Why else would she need two forms of communication? An insulated cooler (think blood donations, people)? The baby, Glow Worm, and Muppet are for practicing her medical skills. She’s dedicated to taking thorough notes and staying properly nourished while on duty.

bag lady
Bag Lady at age 2

It’s always an adventure when you attempt to travel into the mind of a child. Perhaps there’s more meaning in these bags than I know. Perhaps she just grabbed whatever was lying around. I’m not sure, but that’s beside the point. Sadly, I won’t know the last bag is the last one when I find it. I’ll always hope there’s another one waiting for me. Until that day comes, I will enjoy inspecting every bag I find around the house for what my daughter obviously thinks of as treasures. To me, they’re treasures, too.

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