fall break chronicles (kind of): making claudia proud

i’ve always been more of a barnes & noble kind of person, but this past summer i interned at an organization whose office is located about two blocks away from a borders, and it eventually became the site of my near-daily iced coffee fix.  i even signed up for their rewards card and gave it prime real estate in the first pocket of my wallet.

it got more serious when i was on a date in friendship heights and we decided to peruse the borders that we came across, weaving in and out of the aisles, making brief stops at travel, non-fiction, and young adult/children’s (okay, this was more of an extended stay, because i lu-uuuuv this section).

and you know how bookstores have those little stands and tables floating around with school supplies and accessories?  i came across a wall that was covered with bags–backpacks, messenger bags, tote bags, fabric pencil cases, shoulder bags, overnight bags.. it was nuts.  they weren’t stuffy, trying-to-be-chic grown-up lady bags, either.  they were bright and bold and colorful with funny little designs.  these were bags that weren’t afraid to be a little crazy.  it was as if someone sat down a designer and was like, “here are some drugs, here’s some color, and here’s some fabric. make something awesome.”

and then she did.

it just so happened that at the end of last semester, before we all parted ways for the summer, nonster and i had decided to give our shoulders a break and admit that sometimes, fashion is not function: we made a promise to finally, in our final year of college (aka our last chance to do things right) stop trying to pass off oversized shoulder bags as school bags.

so there i was, standing in front of the wall, with an incredible opportunity to fulfill this pact.

i didn’t do it that very day, but i eventually bought a messenger bag, after much consideration and consultation with many people (and a sale i couldn’t pass up):



but to be perfectly honest, what i really wanted was this teal backpack with cartoon drawings of little monsters all over it.  it was a throwback to elementary school–two(!!!) shoulder straps, a protruding front pouch with a zipper, a little mesh side pocket for a water bottle or umbrella, and a small hand strap on the top.  think jansport but 100x more awesome.  for any of our readers out there (that’s all seven of you, including the two who co-author this blog) who have ever been into the babysitter’s club, this bag looked like something that claudia kishi would have made, with papier mache earrings to match.

but alas, i didn’t end up getting it because it wasn’t practical and i was getting all these nagging act-like-an-adult sensations so i moved on, got the messenger, and eventually stopped thinking about it.

(things to think about: why do i love stuff that is made for children?  is this a youngest child thing?  could my fear of graduating college and entering “the real world” be manifesting itself in childlike preferences and behavior?  have i not gotten over my desires to be the real-life version of the aforementioned claudia kishi?)

fast forward three and a half months later: it’s sunday, a few hours before our flight back to the twin cities.  i’m at the summer-coffee-fix borders with my roommate and fellow travel companion (ronster), the amazing suma, and the booface.  the first thing i do is revisit The Bag Wall, where i am once again greeted with The Backpack.

once again, i still my pounding little heart and move on.

fast forward again to four days later: i receive notice that there is a package from the booface en route and i come home to find a package containing this glorious item:

ahhhh! real monsters

ahhh! real monsters

and all i have to say is this:

screw you, nagging sensations! i’m going to be the coolest kid in school.


6 responses to “fall break chronicles (kind of): making claudia proud


  2. it’s like a college student’s version of a carrie bradshaw column on finding the perfect accessory…

  3. backpacks are my jam, but best beware for the summer: sweaty back syndrome. 😐

  4. Awww that was so sweet of the boo!
    P.S. I didn’t know you were a Claudia Kishi fan! I LOVE BSC book series!
    Check out this site: http://whatclaudiawore.blogspot.com/
    (the earlier entries are my faves)


    I literally felt your internal youth struggle with confirming to the idea of adulthood while you stared at the bag.

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