All nicely dressed up for a big meeting, one thing that had seemed a little out of place by any fashion-police is my backpack. My very seasoned, tattered and torn backpack!
It is one extremely hardy backpack, I must say. One which I started using out of convenience since my breast-feeding and pumping days to not only store my pumping equipment and pumped milk, but also one that stores my laptop, other office necessities as well as my personal belonging. All in, it weighed a ton, yes.(Caveat: Been meaning to get a replacement for a while now, but I just couldn’t be bothered to think about it hard enough to actually action upon it)
I am all about convenience and practicality, really. I mean, come on: I am a working mother who has to drop her kid off to school on foot every day, and while other working executives drives, take a taxi or simply get chauffeured to their destinations, I have to walk myself to work which all in all, will take me about 40 minutes on foot. With a rather high probability of having to carry a 14 kg toddler as well on days when Spud doesn’t want to do the walking, carrying a handbag, a laptop bag and trying to walk in heels doesn’t seem so appealing anymore. So screw any fashion sense! and surely, by my own definition of convenience and practicality, carrying a backpack and wearing a pair of slippers are not necessarily a fashion crime. In fact, I deem that it sorts of fits my description of being an “executive-on-the go”
That being said, how I look when I don my fraying backpack is not something I consciously think about. Or even proud of. (yes. Really)I didn’t think anyone would notice the condition of my backpack, anyway. When I do remember though, I would swap my backpack for the laptop bag when I go to meetings.
On that one particular meeting day though, I didn’t. I figured, if we were early enough (and we were!), no one would notice the kind of bag I am carrying because by the time everyone got into the room, my precious back-pack would have already been tucked away, out of every one’s sight.
Then a funny thing happened. As I was about to set up for my presentation, my boss came up to me, pulled my bag pack towards me and with a gentle, I-cannot-believe-you-are-carrying-a torn-bag-to such-an-important-meeting-tone, said in front of everyone, “Do you want me to buy you a new bag?”
I was inclined to say, “Yes! Why not!” in a cheeky mode, but I laughed instead. In fact, I laughed and laughed and laughed so hard that I couldn’t even rebut a reply, not because I meant to be rude, but because I thought it was really hilarious that:
Before we left the office, he had already made polite comments that my entire ensemble for the day does not really fit the position I currently hold (he called out my backpack)
He actually felt bothered I was carrying a tattered and torn bag
He smiled away, shook his head at me and then went on, “How come (i.e why are you carrying a torn bag?!)I will buy (a bag for you) if you need”, probably feeling embarrassed for me.
OK. I was a tad embarrassed. Just a tiny tad, mainly for being called out, on, how can’t be bothered I am with appearance, but luckily for him (me!), I have got such thick skin that I thought nothing of it.
This crazy ensemble is really not for the fashion and style conscious, and in all fairness, not exactly the most stylish mix-and-match outfit that screamed “I have such a great taste in fashion”. Well, obviously!
But for me, it works, and I don’t really give a crap about what others say. The thing is, in my universe and my universe alone, this executive -on-the-go-style, looks pretty cool to me.