keep your expectations low and i will rise to the occasion.


Monday, September 27, 2010

from totes lame to totes fame

her name was freda and she was my grandmother. a wonderful woman who fought in WWII and postwar, dedicated her life to teaching. from day one, she had something by her side at all times. it was useful. it was expressive. it had handles and could carry almost anything.

yes. the tote bag.

what happened?! no one likes tote bags... do they!? i mean i know my grandma did. she had an arsenal of tote bags of all different shapes and sizes. she carried books, other stuff and more stuff. she was a teacher so it was nice to put random art supplies in the bag but i never thought of the tote bag as having staying power after the baby boomers. especially with the influx of rascals. seriously, everyone has a rascal nowadays... you can rent them at malls now!

and yet... the tote bag lives on... and not only that... they are growing. at least in popularity.

and who is to thank?

well there are a few factors i think.

1. the go green movement - what is more green that a re-usable bag presumably made out of a fabric that breaks down quickly in the event it does end up in a landfill. people are doing their part by toting tote bags around (see what i did there?!). and good for them! for too long, plastic bags have somehow ended up on highways and in bushes. well "no more!" says the tote bag toters. tote bags are more solid and dont allow the wind to have its way with them. not only that, there is more thought that goes into throwing out a tote bag. god forbid if you get a personalized tote bag... even if you dont want it anymore. you HAVE to keep for sentimental reasons.

2. dc charges for bags - craziness. dc makes you pay 5 cents for a plastic bag. out of all the things that are hurting the environment, im a little surprised that we really honed in on that one. but we did, and somewhere the tote bag coalition cheered!

3. retro is back - isnt weird that people get a thrill out of utilizing old "technology" that is outdated and less modern than other options!? its crazy. but i admit, i do it. not necessarily with tote bags but i like old video game systems where you are a stick figure that seemingly shoots a fire circle from your face or clothes that look like they were hand stitched in late 70's... you know, vintage tee's. the tote bag piggy-backed that vintage momentum and so it goes.

4. apple inc. - seriously, there are so many different apple products you can(do) own that sometimes its just easier to just throw them all in a big bag and call it a day.

5. abbreviation-ing - i truly believe that up until 6 years ago, NO one said the word "tote" anymore. it had shared the same fate as "sike" and "rad" and then we got too cool to finish words. we even abbreviate the word "abbreviate". As a result, the word "totally" became "tote" or "totes". now 100 times a day, i feel like, after allowing myself to get caught up in the ABBREVE hype, i let slip an abbreve and yes, one of them is "totes". and once i say it, i cant help but apply an image to the word.

im sure there are other factors but those were the first few i could come up with. i really just cant believe that there are websites dedicated to tote bags and personalizing them. bands sell them at shows... i just never would have thought. people look at me funny at the grocery store when i show up tote-less.

my grandmother and i tended to disagree on fashion... but maybe i should bow out on this one. you win grandma... you were on the front end of a trend and i didnt know it. you were right all along. the tote is here to stay.

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