Half my life ago, I worked in a large department store for a summer. I went on to work there right throughout my college years and it was a great place to learn about the working world. I subsequently went on to a couple of other retail jobs, progressing to management level before going in a completely different direction, but any time I walk through the store I step right back into my role as a sales assistant and I have to restrain myself from tidying shelves and offering help to browsers.
I have said before that my money management skills were better when I had less to manage, and this was never truer than my first summer in my retail job. The wages were good and I managed to save a lot for my return to school in September, but I allowed myself one splurge and it was this backpack in a light blue colour. It was a luxury for me, even though it was heavily discounted at the end of the summer sale, but now it has become a necessity.
I’ve worn it to work, college, ballet classes, holidays in London, Paris, Sorrento, Rome, the Vendee region, San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, Nice, Napa Valley and many other places I can’t recall right now. I’ve gone a couple of years without wearing it and I think maybe it might be time to pass it along to someone, and then something happens to make me pull it out of the wardrobe, wipe it over, empty the bits of sand and receipts from it and wear it all over again.
I have all the stuff I need right now so while I flirt with the idea of replacing it with the same model, I just can’t because I’ve become very attached to this worn blue backpack. I wore it to work today and I smiled on the train during my commute thinking of the summer 17 years ago when a very different me thought about buying a little bit of designer luxury for the first time and decided to splurge. It will be coming on yet another holiday this month, this time back to France. I love remembering how much of an orchid this bag is for me.