Friday, August 5, 2011

Sad Sack

How come we never hear about the happy sacks?

I've mentioned how enamored I am of those little nylon drawstring bags. Ever since I turned my Spiderman one over to Richard, I have been on the hunt for another. It's not that they are hard to come by, but rather that I really wanted a "good" one, so even though it had been over a month, I still didn't have one yesterday when I went downtown to visit a couple of museums. (I know, I know, when I first saw the middle school kids with them, I thought they were silly, but if you haven't tried one, you'll have to take my word as a convert about how handy they are.)

I think the reason I like them so much is because I really do not like carrying a purse. The sensory issues involved with holding it, wearing it, watching out for it, etc. are too much for me. Nor do I like carrying anything in my hands. That leaves my pockets, and even pared down, my essential possessions, ID, debit card, 2 keys, money,and phone, that's a lot of stuff to cram in the pockets of my shorts. The beauty of the string bag is that all of that can go in there, and then the bag itself floats, nearly weightlessly, from your shoulders. Or it would have, if I happened to own one.

Luckily for me, at our first stop, my friend Mary accurately predicted that the museum gift shop might sell them. In no time, I was sporting a slick little purple bag with a cool caption, CREATIVITY TAKES COURAGE, by Matisse, and boy oh boy, I was a happy tourist after that. Until...

At the next museum we visited, I cheerfully presented my bag to the guard for inspection. "I don't need to see that," he told me, "but all bags must be worn in front of your body or held in your hand to the side."

My first reaction is almost always compliance, and since the bag was already in my hand, I let it drop to my side, and entered the gallery. I did slip it on frontways as we made our way to the exhibit we had come to see, but that just felt funny and looked silly. With a sigh, I carried my bag, until I was out of sight of any guards and then I slung it on my back defiantly. I did not want to be scolded by any museum personnel, but I did not understand the reasoning behind the rule, and so I was not motivated to follow it.

Eventually, another guard called me out for wearing the bag, and I dragged it along beside me the rest of the way through the museum, supremely disgruntled, the whole triumph of its acquisition nearly ruined. Fortunately, at our next stop, bags were allowed to be worn as they were intended, and being the owner of a cool purple nylon string bag became a good thing again.

As I chafed under the draconian bag rules of the other museum, though, my thoughts naturally turned to the students in our school. So often it is when they don't understand or buy into the rationale behind our rules and policies that they do not honor them.

I get that.

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