By Susan Dromey Heeter
If Osama Bin Laden had been hiding out in the bottom of one of my bags, I believe he’d still be at large. This week I muse joyfully on the summer of acting as Sherpa, as carrying bags to and fro, of lugging way too much and wondering, indeed, why I do.
I love bags. I have a colleague who refers to me as bag lady – and I take no offence at his description. As I type, I glance to several bags I have propped by the door – one holds a myriad of goods – including Portsmouth’s Music Hall’s magazine, a phone charger, a map of New York City, a package of Bumble Bee Tuna, a whistle, two lipsticks and a microphone.
The magazine offers a bit of hope – I was at the Music Hall earlier this week and I’d like to believe that I’ll peruse all of their offerings one day, really know what’s going on, prepare for future events. The likelihood of that happening on a scale of one to ten? Probably a two. But, it’s hope.
The phone charger? It’s handy to have one. The map of NYC? I’m old school – I bask in the glory of a hand-held map, it works for me, I like to see something larger than my phone screen can offer. I carry the Bumble Bee tuna for a quick snack. The thing is, I’ve not eaten this snack for months – but I’ve carried it for miles. This will be my desperation snack – maybe someday I’ll be trapped in an elevator or an endless traffic jam and will think, “OH! I have that Bumble Bee in my bag!” And I’ll be prepared.
Carrying bags and their contents gives me the illusion that, indeed, I am prepared for anything. The whistle? I ‘d like to believe I’ll have it handy during an emergency. I’m sure, however, it would take me at least ten minutes to find it and then, well, whatever scenario was created that might involve using a whistle would be long gone. I’ve never carried mace or pepper spray as, well, I’d probably beg the attacker – bear, human, dog – to “Hold on a sec – let me just find my pepper spray – it’s in here somewhere….”
Joan Collins of Dynasty fame once said, “Lipstick is the best cosmetic that exists.” I tend to agree and in every bag I own is some form of lipstick – undoubtedly decades old but will do in a pinch. I like having two or more simply to shake things up – you never know what color may inspire.
Finally, the microphone? I threw it in there simply because I knew I’d be driving with teenagers and wanted a prop to use while we were in the car. I’m not a fan of cell phone staring while driving and regularly insist my travelers engage in conversation rather than update their Snapchats, their Instagrams, their social media.
And the microphone is simply a tool for conversation, a prop if you will. And it works. I like to talk, I like to listen, I like to ask questions, I like to up the game with a little drama. And, let’s face it, who doesn’t love a microphone? While it does not work for any amplification, it does work for communication – and that, I adore.
So, as I muse joyfully on my bags, may you be packing or unpacking yours for a wonderful weekend – ideally not involving a whistle or pepper spray – but lipstick and microphones and perhaps a bit of tuna should you need a snack.
Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, writes “Joyful Musings” for InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.