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It’s All in the Bag This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

I'm taking college classes now, and it's impossible not to notice the array of cameos, purses, satchels, and backpacks we students use for our item-carrying needs. You can really tell the character of a person by the quality of his bag. And nothing says cool, abstract, and adventurous better than a leather satchel.

Am I biased? Absolutely not. The leather satchel stands without competition as the leader – nay, model – of the bag world, because a bag should have character. People should walk by you and say, “Dude, your bag's got soul.”

Of course, it's not all in the bag – you have to put in a little work too. The bag's not going to do it all for you. There are two pivotal characteristics that will take your snazzy leather satchel to the next level. First, it should look aged. You can really tell the classiness of a bag by how worn it appears. It should have an aura of being loved and loving in return. It should be adorned with scuffs and faded in a way that says, “I've been loved because my owner has taken me through the thick and thin, rich and poor, hikes and strolls. He's kept me through it all. And I'm loving him in return because I'm still kicking.” Of course, this doesn't actually have to be true, but it should look that way.

I've only had my satchel for a short time, but it was love at first sight. That whole, “I didn't believe in love at first sight until I met you” line – it happens. My step-dad passed this bag down to me actually. When I asked how long he'd had it, he simply replied “a long time,” chuckled, and walked away. It was a silly question, really. As the leather satchel grows to be part of you, what good satchel owner would know exactly when he got it? And, if he did, why would he share those first tender moments with an outsider?

So I guess I've already had half the journey completed for me. My bag is aged. It really does have soul. But there is one more requirement before it becomes the ultimate bag of the gods – its transformation into the legendary sticker bag.

Now, the concept of the sticker bag is quite simple. You see, that treasured and loved bag you've always had, well, you take it places. Places where you find thoughtful, cultured stickers. You don't get dumb, worthless stickers; your satchel is too good for that. Soon your bag is literally covered in stickers saying things like “Antarctica – been there, done that” and “I wanted to learn another language but the four I know are already enough” and “Nothing like a day in the Sahara saving African children from starvation.” That's when a satchel really becomes a legend.

With all this going for satchels, it's hard to imagine how they could not be the greatest bags ever. Even Indiana Jones had one. Still not convinced? Well, fine, then, to each his own. All that's really important is that I love my satchel. And my satchel loves me.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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ThisGirl said...
Jan. 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm
This is a really cute story! Good job. Congrats on your publishing!
 
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