My bag, rather my tote, is a catch all. It has, in less than a month of ownership, caught my wallet, keys, phone, stray tissues, wet wipes, lip balms, camera, books, receipts that had fallen from my wallet, coins which had likewise fallen from the wallet, cold medicine, mints, flyers for cure-all bracelets from Japan, printouts from a menu, a short-leaf notebook, a planner, another notebook because you can't have enough paper to note down brilliant (ha!) ideas, dusty bits of cloth? paper? something that I don't want to examine, a button, pens, knitting needles and a ball of yarn, and magazine cutouts.
Ms. Ephron said it best, one's bag is a reflection of oneself. In this case, I am an earth-tone, woven tote bag large enough to stuff a good-sized beagle in. Hmmm. Add to that a prospective case of shoulder bursitis due to lugging the bag around.
Ms. Ephron also writes how avoiding looking at herself in a mirror allows her to keep from going crazy about the creep of age. I have to nod with her there, if she's right, I have 5 years left before hitting inevitable physical gravity (ergo, the droop). For the last two years, I haven't spent much time worrying about vanity though. Because I don't have many mirrors at home. One in the bathroom, a sorry looking circle of a glass that helps me check for spinach in my teeth, and another mirror near the front door to make sure I am wearing something remotely coordinated. It is angled from my shoulders to ankles, so there have been days when I don't realize my hair is freakier than Einstein's. My tendency to muss up my hair for mental stimulation doesn't help either.
Ms. Ephron got her break in the 60's writing for print journals like the New York Post. She wrote lifestyle stories, including food articles. It is written that many of her works are dotted by food references or passages (When Harry Met Sally's seminal scene, her autobiographical piece HEARTBURN). While reading her essay on food, it hit me - I was mentally exhausted reading about food. For the first few weeks of '08 I've read at least 4 books about food - Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant, The United States of Arugula, The Tenth Muse, a bio of Jacques Pepin, and if it can be called a food book Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch. Too much. Like eating a goiter induced meal minus the calories settling on my hips. My mind is belching food references, writers, recipes, and anecdotes. I need a good prose enema, maybe the Jose Saramago book about death.
I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron, available in most major bookstores around Manila.