Thursday, May 22, 2008

How to Carry Stuff

This has been bothering me for at least a year now. Actually, longer than that, it's just come to the forefront over the last year. But first, a little personal history...

When I was working in Atlantic City as a parking lot attendant, I carried a lot of cash. I carried it in my left front pocket so that it was easily accessible. My wallet was one of those biker chain-wallets, kept in my back pocket. This served me well for some time, until I outgrew the chain wallet.

I remember reading somewhere that keeping a wallet in your back pocket is bad for your back. Makes sense to me. I also remember watching someone on TV explain that the safest place to keep a wallet is in the front pocket so it's harder to steal. They also suggested keeping money in a money clip in a different pocket so that, in the event of a mugging, you can take the money and throw it in one direction while running in the other. The thief will likely go after the money instead of you. This also made sense to me, so that's what I did. I went to the mall and bought a smallish leather card wallet to hold my license and cards and such, and a money clip. The wallet went in my right front pocket, the money clip in my left. Eventually I abandoned the money clip because it was, more often than not, empty. This lasted me for several years.

Then, along came cell phones. My first one was rather large compared to those of today. I kept it in a pouch on my belt. I hated that pouch! I ruined the lines of my jacket if I chose to dress nicely. I got in the way when I sat down or when buckling my seatbelt. It just didn't work. Then I got a PalmPilot to go with the cell phone. I had a chord that would connect the two so I could actually browse the web and check email with my Palm. So then I got a little wallet that would hold both the Palm and cell phone, along with all of my cards and such. This was great because it emptied my pockets! Of course, the first time I lost it, I freaked out until some Good Samaritan called my home phone (he looked it up on my cell) saying that he found it.

After that, I combined my efforts and got a Smart phone (cell and Palm in one). It was HUGE and heavy and not fun to carry. I put it on my belt, but I wasn't happy about it.

My next cell phone was smaller and fit just a little better on my belt. But it was a flip phone and would constantly get caught on stuff. I really didn't like it.

I decided my next phone would be a Chocolate, because it could double as a music player and it was small enough that I could put it in my pocket. So that's what I have now. Aside from the fact that, as a music player the Chocolate sucks, and as a phone it's not much better, it does indeed fit in my pocket. Of course, this means that I have one rectangular bulge on my right thigh where my card wallet is (yes, the same one I bought at the mall 20 years ago) and one rectangular bulge on my left thigh where my cell phone is. Add to those bulges a set of keys and, on rare occasions, money, and I begin to look like I have some very unfortunate deformities.

So, last fall my wife bought me a messenger bag. I had been tossing the idea around for some time, and it seemed to make sense. The fact that I'd seen absolutely NO men carrying messenger bags here in the mid-west didn't phase me too much, I've never given these things much thought. I moved everything to the bag and carried more stuff with me as well (an umbrella, ear buds so I could listen to my crappy music phone, my journal, reading material...). I liked it very much. But then it started becoming cumbersome. It was too easy to put stuff in. It got heavy. Plus, while I don't really care too much what other people think, it's still a little odd going into a hardware store full of manly-men carrying what amounts to a purse.

That's where I am now. I change my mind every few days as to which route to take. The pro/con lists in my mind grow on a daily basis.

Stuffed Pockets - pros
  • Difficult to steal
  • Nothing to keep track of
Stuffed Pockets - cons
  • Uncomfortable, particularly when it's hot
  • Looks absolutely ridiculous
  • Are we certain cell phones don't cause cancer? Cause I'm carrying mine right next to my sack!
The Murse - pros
  • Holds more stuff
  • Indiana Jones carries one
The Murse - cons
  • Can be cumbersome and heavy
  • Easy to steal
  • Can't hear phone (not sure if that's a con or not really)
  • Often referred to as a murse
As this debate continues in my head, I'll keep switching off. My pockets are currently stuffed, but I'll bet I carry the bag tomorrow.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Stick with the murse -- why? Because all the hip young designer and developer dudes in my office carry them.

Besides, you don't want The Cancer to attack the sack, now do ya? What will all the hairy manly men at the hardware store think then?