I Am a Bag Lady, Are You?

A funny look at how I became a bag lady. Are you one?

I never thought I would be a bag lady, but I am. I have a deep seeded need for bags, and I’m not talking about the kind you throw everyones crap in and lug around on your shoulder. No I am talking about the general all purpose plastic/paper/cloth bags.

I am an equal opportunity bag whore. I’ll keep any bag. Ohhh that one has good handles! That one is perfect for the kids boots! This one is good if I need to bring something to the kids school where plastic is frowned upon. Yes I can rationalize the hoarding of all bags. The problem is actually using the bags, or remembering I have the bags, or throwing the bags out. They multiply like feral cats and the next thing I know I have an entire closet floor devoted to bags.

I can’t get rid of the grocery style cloth bags I get as handouts from my car dealer, the dentist, my kids school, and any other place that feels I need a rubber bracelet, a water bottle that will leach poison, and a pen. The bags are full of not only useless shit but guilt. Guilt because I should be using cloth bags when I am out shopping. But somewhere between acquiring and using the bags things go horribly awry. If I even remember to take them in the car for the shopping trip I will leave them on the passenger seat instead of tucked under my arm. Then I have more guilt because I could go run outside and get them, but I don’t. So not only do the bags bring a deep sense of shame, but also a reminder how fucking lazy I am. Awesome.

It’s not just the cloth grocery ones though. I have an overabundance of ALL bags.

Do you know how many freeze bags I have? Seven. I have SEVEN fucking freezer bags. WHY you may ask? Because I forget them when I most need my shit to be cold upon arrival and am forced to purchase another one. Or I am stowing away from my sister-in-laws (whose a great cook) with a few meals for my kids. The bags NEVER will get returned to her, not because I’m an asshole, but because I will forget to bring them with me the next time we travel to visit. Instead I hang them in the garage with promises to return them or use them during the warm summer months, but I won’t. They will remain on the shelf until I add another one to the family. August is a busy month of birthing new freezer bags in the House of Shit.

Then there’s the bags of shame – the plastic grocery bags whose very existence in my garage is a slap in the face reminder I failed at remembering the reusable grocery bags. If I put them in the car to recycle them appropriately I will forget to bring them into the store with me, even if they are sitting on the seat next to me. LOSE-R.

But there’s more bags that make my heart flutter.

I foolishly started out purchasing the specialty gift bags – baby shower, 1st bday, wedding – for events we attended. But do you know how damn expensive gift bags are? It is asinine to spend $5 on a card (BTW Hallmark really $5 for a fucking card!) and $5 for a gift bag. Enter the regifting of the the gift bag. When my kids were little I would hoard birthday gift bags for one of the 1,582 parties my kids were invited to in preschool and kindergarten. And now that my kids are older, I still do it. I have a tote full of gift bags, sad but true. If you need one let me know, I got tons.

But not only the birthday bag has a spot in my bag collection, the holiday bag holds an important place in my heart. Let’s face it when I am wrapping gifts at 1 am on Christmas nothing is better than throwing that shit in a bag. I have recruited the hubs into my insanity too. Every Christmas morning as he works the wrapping paper clean up patrol he sets aside the bags for reuse. He knows to not even dare tossing any bag. That sucker has to be limping on life support to get the heave ho.

But there’s more bag loving in my life. Yes, I love me some bags.

The high end store bag. If I get anything in a top designer shopping bag, there is no choice but to keep it. One time we stayed at a Ritz Carlton for my hubs work. I bought a candle in the gift shop and the tiny bag emblazoned with The Ritz and the gold lion crest was immediately given the royal treatment. The thing is that I will never give something to anyone in this bag. I feel like it’s a bit of “Oh LOOK I gotta Ritz bag!” move and I hate those people. Instead I keep The Ritz, along with it’s friends Tory and Tiffany. I can’t throw them out! I stow them alongside their lower end mates because it seems sacrilegious to send them to the county dump. And like a good friend, they are there for me should I ever need a little fuck you bag to give someone.

We all have our vices, mine just comes with handles.




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  1. HA! So funny! I think we could start a Bag-Lover Support Group cuz I LOOOOVE me some bags.
    My dirty little secret is that I religiously buy an Estee Lauder cosmetic item every time they have their “free cosmetic bag & make-up” with purchase program. I don’t even care about the free make-up that comes in the little cosmetic bag (I give it to my daughter), I just LOVE the cosmetic bag. I have a kabillion of those little bags now and certainly don’t need that many…but I MUST HAVE THEM!

  2. Phil says:

    We all have that plastic bag filled and stuffed with other plastic bags. Our parents had them and their parents had them. It’s a curse!

  3. Jamie says:

    We have a bucket under the sink that I swear is the Tardis’ little brother or something. There must be thousands of bags stuffed into that thing! It’s also the only bucket we have so I dread the day that someone needs the bucket, we’ll be suffocating on plastic bags when they all spring out and fill the apartment entirely.

  4. I used to have this problem, too, until I felt like it was getting to hoarding level. So I started throwing them all away, and now my friends and family are always like–OMG, you’re not throwing that gift bag away, are you?? And I’ll say, “Yeah, unless you want it,” and they’ll get all shifty and say, “Oh, no, I don’t want it…but I can’t believe you’re going to throw it away.” It’s as if THEY don’t want to hoard the bags but they think it’s a damn shame that someone else won’t. Assholes. 🙂