Ode to my UVic tote bag

You lay, strewn on the floor of my messy bedroom–empty.

I think about the first time I saw you, so full of life, so full of first-year textbooks I was sure I needed the first day of class, even the optional ones. We met September of 2013 at the Bookstore. I was so happy to see you after standing in line after 35 minutes. You contained my knowledge for the whole semester, with a teal-blue gleaming smile. And your design, so fresh and a little street with a graffiti flare. When we saw your sisters being carried among other first-year students we smiled, so full of hope that maybe we’d meet others like us.

I took you home, took out the books, and you sat in your new home within what we call “The Bag Full of Bags.” There you mingled with other reusable bags from grocery stores and tumbled to the bottom as I kept impulse buying more reusable bags after forgetting to take you to the store with me. Eventually, you made over 36 new friends in there. I made about the same number of friends in my couple years of classes.

Then, I had my first move from apartment to basement suite across town, and you inflated back to life! You held my precious dresser trinkets, scarves, and books. You came through with your long straps. You were so versatile that you could turn from reusable bag to weird plastic backpack when I wore you just right with each strap hugging my shoulders. You stayed at the top of the pile for my third and fourth year at the number one ruler in the Bag Full of Bags.

There are many things I like about you. You advertise that I’m a student, making people both feel sorry for my student loan debt and jealous that I get to go to such an amazing university. You are the perfect size for groceries these days, now that I don’t have a car, because I know I physically can’t carry anything more than the size of you.  Years later you still shine, a one among 26 (we lost a few along the way) as almost brand new. Not bad considering I got you for free.

This week, I went to the bookstore and found there’s a new version of you, a darker blue with a less abstract image of books drawn on the front. The new version is nice, direct–you know exactly what goes on those bags. But you are a veteran. Just by looking at you, the new first years can see that we’ve been around Ring Road a few times–now a status symbol. We’ve been through so much.

So, when I see you so empty on my floor, I’m not sad because I know you still have so much life. There are going to be so many more grocery trips and so many more moves and unless I overload you too much, your straps will flex into adulthood with me. I carried you and you carried me.  So, thank you UVic tote bag.

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Megan says:

    This post made my day! This bag design was one of the first projects I did when working for the UVIC Bookstore. It’s nice to know it’s made an impact. I see these everywhere I go and it always makes me smile. I recently left UVic for another opportunity but I definitely have a stash of bags to carry me through! I’m glad someone else appreciates them like I do! Thanks for your post.

    • Kaitlyn says:

      Megan, I’m so glad you liked it the post! 🙂 It’s so cool to know there’s a person behind the bag!